The National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh, has appealed to the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), not to ostracize people of the South East for not voting massively for him during the March 28 presidential election.
Umeh, who made the appeal at a press conference in Umuahia, the Abia State capital on Tuesday, said the massive support Ndigbo gave to the candidate if the Peoples Democratic Party and incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, though he lost at the poll, was based on the conviction of the people that he [Jonathan] represented hope for their political future.
He said “Buhari should not see Ndigbo as his enemies. We are not against Buhari but were only pursuing our political interest.
“We were looking for somebody who would help Ndigbo recover from the ruins of the civil war. Jonathan convened a national conference and we felt that the report of the conference would address most of the injustices against Ndigbo – that was why we followed him.
“But now that the election is won and lost we should not be seen as enemies. We hope God will still use Buhari to address our many challenges. He should adopt the report of the conference.
“Buhari will not succeed if he fails to address the injustices in Nigeria or treats Ndigbo as his enemies. We will embrace him and support him if he shows concern for our plights.
“What we followed in the last election was the line of hope we saw in Jonathan. We are looking for a way Ndigbo can come back to Nigeria’s political tripod and survive.
“If Buhari had promised to implement the report of the conference, maybe we would have voted for him en mass. But now he should look for a way to accommodate us and give us a sense of belonging in his government”.
Umeh, however, said all hope was not lost for Ndigbo politically as APGA would provide the ethnic group with the opportunity to be re-integrated into national politics.
He, therefore, enjoined the people of South East to help in reviving APGA by voting massively for all its candidates at the April 11 Governorship and House of Assembly elections to serve as a political platform to advance the cause of the Igbo nation.