President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday debunked claims of his hatred for the people of the South-East geo-political zone of the country.
The President, represented by the Executive Director in charge of Administration/Training, Nigeria Television Authority, Dr. Steve Egbo, made the declaration in Item Amegu Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Tuesday, during a special empowerment programme for widows organised by a non-governmental organisation, Chinedu Ogah Foundation.
Buhari decried his alleged hatred for the people of the South-East, saying it was the handwork of “mischief makers.”
He said, “All these accusations, permutations are all lies calculated to create bad feelings of Igbo people.
“I would remain a friend to Nd’Igbo. 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 Nd’Igbo, 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.”
He described the enterpreneurship nature of Nd’Igbo as “unique;” noting that other ethnic nationalities should embrace it to move the country forward.
Earlier in his speech, the Chief Executive of Chinedu Ogah Foundation, Mr. Chinedu Ogah, commended President Buhari for his pragmatic leadership qualities and the delivery of democratic dividends to the citizens 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 the COF to assist poor widows.
“Between now and December 2018, we will roll out endowment fund for the less privileged,” he said.