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Igbo exclusion from service chiefs in bad faith – ex-OMATA president

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By Phil Okose, Onitsha

The former president of defunct Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, OMATA, Anambra state, Chief Gilbert Obi, has condemned the exclusion of Igbo people from the list of newly appointed service chiefs.

Fielding questions from newsmen in his Onitsha office Tuesday, Obi explained that such action by President Muhammadu Buhari indicated that the Igbo were not considered part and parcel of the entity called Nigeria.

“With our exclusion, it shows that we are in Nigeria but not part of Nigeria. It is an unfortunate thing. It is done in bad faith. Why will Igbo not be incorporated in the leadership of this country?” he questioned.

Obi, however, charged the newly appointed service chiefs to work hard, be sincere and upright.

He said that, from the reactions of most military personnel, the outgone chief of army staff, CoAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, performed below the expectation of the military and Nigerians.

“The jubilation and dancing from the soldiers that trailed the forceful retirement of the service chiefs, especially Buratai, showed that the soldiers were not treated well. Maybe they were owed

allowances and other benefits.”

“That also goes to show that things are not as they are supposed to be. It shows that Buratai did not perform well,” he stated.

On the menace of Fulani herdsmen, the former OMATA president noted that, “it is not fair that one will go to the farm and cultivate and herdsmen will come with their cows and render the entire thing useless. Rendering the labour useless.”

According to him in developed countries they don’t practise open grazing. It is an old means of rearing cows. Developed countries have more cows than us but you don’t see them grazing in the open.”

“I read in one of the national dailies how a Yoruba farmer was killed by herders because he has a farm.

I read also that there was a time cows were seen moving in Ghana and the president ordered and they were shot dead.”

Asked on the 2021 Anambra state gubernatorial election, he reiterated that the governor-to-be must come from the South senatorial zone.

“For equity, I am an advocate of rotation, power must get to the South. The Central has taken its turn, North has also taken, so it is the turn of South,” he posited.

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