President Muhammadu Buhari has continued his charm offensive towards the people of the South-East geopolitical zone of the country, maintaining that he will always remain a friend to the Ndigbo.
Buhari made this declaration in the Item Amegu Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State during a special empowerment programme for widows organised by the Chinedu Ogah Foundation.
Represented by the Executive Director in charge of Administration/Training, Nigerian Television Authority, Dr. Steve Egbo, the President dismissed his alleged hatred for the people of the South-East, saying it was the handiwork of “mischief makers,” Punch writes.
“All these accusations, permutations are all lies calculated to create bad feelings of the Igbo people,” he said.
“I will remain a friend to Ndigbo. I recall that in 2002, I invited the late Ikemba Chukwuemeka Ojukwu to my hometown of Daura. We discussed about the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.
“In 2003, I picked Dr. Chuba Okadigbo as my running mate in that year’s presidential election. If I hated Ndigbo, I wouldn’t have done that.
“In 2017, the Federal Government, under my leadership, commenced work on the Second Niger Bridge following its abandonment by the previous governments all these years.”
Buhari, who was in the south-east for a two-day working visit in November, described the entrepreneurship nature of the Ndigbo as “unique”, calling on other ethnic nationalities to embrace it as a means of moving the country forward.
In his address, the Chief Executive of Chinedu Ogah Foundation, Mr. Chinedu Ogah, commended Buhari for his pragmatic leadership qualities and the delivery of democratic dividends since his assumption of office.
Ogah noted that no fewer than 2,000 widows would benefit from the endowment fund for the less privileged set up by COF to assist poor widows.
“Between now and December 2018, we will roll out an endowment fund for the less privileged,” he said.