President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday, dismissed claims that his administration marginalized the South East geo-political zone in political appointments.
The president, who was personally reacting to alleged marginalization of the South-East for the first time, stated that Igbo occupied strategic positions in his cabinet including heading the Ministries of Petroleum, Labour, Science and Technology as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The agitators for Biafra had hinged their massive street protests for secession on the alleged marginalization of the South-East in political appointments by the Buhari administration as well as the neglect of the zone by successive governments.
Speaking during his maiden presidential media chat at the presidential villa in Abuja last night, Buhari said: “They say they are marginalised but they have not defined the extent of marginalisation. Who is marginalising them? Where? Do you know?”
The president explained that “Choosing a minister is not a matter of ethnicity, it is a matter of the constitution. I am limited by what the constitution says that there must be a member of the executive council from each state. There is a lot of partisan politics in it”.
Apparently frustrated by the marginalization claims, President Buhari asked, “Who is the Minister of State for Petroleum? Is he not an Igbo? Who is the governor of the CBN? Is he not an Igbo? Who is the Minister of Labour? Who is the Minister of Science and Technology? What do they want?”
“I stood elections and I won, I am limited by the constitution, I have a member of every state in the Federal Executive Council and I have to listen to them when I sit as chairman. That is the limit the constitution gave me”, he added.