By Gideon Njoku
Hon Emeka Nwajiuba, the Hon. Member, representing Ehime Mbano/Ihitte, Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, has revealed why the Igbo lost out in the Speakership of the House.
In a one page advert entitled ‘Appreciation To All For Your Support’, carried in the Sunday Vanguard of June 14, Nwajiuba revealed that the Igbo were denied the Speakership by the immediate past governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
Nwajiuba, a confidante of President Muhammadu Buhari, and until he was sworn in as a member of the House, the Chairman of TETFund, was interested in the Speaker’s seat. And was the President’s preferred choice for the office. He did not get it on June 11 when the Members picked their leaders because at the end, things did not add up for him and his supporters.
But while thanking those supporters who rooted for him to become the Speaker in the advert, he explained that he was the President’s choice for Speakership, but that Okorocha disobeyed the president’s instructions on the Imo APC NASS primaries.
He also told Ndigbo that contrary to the, almost, general, the President neither hated them, nor was it his fault that the Igbo were not accommodated in the leadership of the NASS.
Hon. Nwajiuba’s words: “I wish to urge restraint by some persons and groups in the South East who are quick to attack, unjustifiably, Mr. President over the current state of events. Nothing can be further from the truth. Mr President does not hate Ndigbo, and has no reason to.
“As a matter of fact, it was the President’s sincere wish to have the Speakership emerge from the South East, and his attempts for that to happen were thwarted. As a matter of fact, the Presidency urged the then APC governor of Imo state to allow a level playing field for the House of Representatives primaries to facilitate the zoning of the Speakership to the zone.
“The governor refused. His attempt at imposition, and the resistance that ensued, destroyed the cohesion of the party in the state, undermined the primaries, leading to the nullification by the court. “I was thus compelled to seek agreement with other aggrived members of APC to contest the Okigwe South federal seat in the platform of Accord Party”.
It will be recalled that Nwajiuba lost the election to APC’s Chika Okafor, Okorocha’s former Commissioner for Finance, and prefered candidate. But the court threw him out, and awarded victory to Nwajiuba.