The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu has reassured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari will do the needful and will not disappoint in handling the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) feud.
Okechukwu spoke against the backdrop of the feud between Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru.
The media was set agog last week by a leaked letter written by Kachikwu to the President, complaining about Baru’s excesses including alleged award of contracts worth over 25 billion dollars without due process and approval of NNPC Board which he (Kachikwu) heads.
Reacting to questions from journalists at Enugu over the feud between Kachikwu and Baru, Okechukwu said,” Please spare me am not the spokesman of Mr President.”
Reminded that he is one of the President’s followers, he said: “President Buhari will do the needful and will not allow anyone to dent his image or tarnish his integrity quotient, if the allegations are valid. This is his political capital upon which we followed him, upon which Nigerians voted for him and upon which the international community endorsed him”
The VON DG equally noted that Buhari’s urgent meeting with Kachikwu has vindicated some of them who believed abinitio that the Minister’s letter did not get to the President,
“As I said before, I have not seen nor heard from Mr President since the altercation, am at Enugu as you know, but permit me to opine from my observatory that the meeting President Buhari had with Kachikwu vindicated some of us who had expressed the candid view that it is possible that those who blocked Kachikwu from seeing Mr President might had blocked the letter from getting to him. Otherwise the urgent verification meeting he had with Kachikwu signposts this assumption. Aso Villa has unresolved culture of mix-bag.”
Going further, Okechukwu said for the much he knew of President Buhari, he had always placed public interest above self and cannot allow his political capital of integrity quotient to be extinguished by anyone, even his traducers can attest to his selflessness.
He attributed the unfolding events to the palace guards, in every palace, who sometimes in this instance, work 100 degrees at variance with Buhari’s public service trajectory. They wittingly or unwittingly fail to recognize the treasury and premium Buhari places on the Social Contract he has with Nigerians to make a CHANGE.
Asked whether President Buhari is in charge, Okechukwu retorted, “He is in charge. How can you spew such propaganda? He is not the talking type. His approach is slow and steady, which wins the race. For a president who in his independent anniversary speech X-rayed how he met an almost empty treasury and huge infrastructure deficit, and took the pain to travel round the world to source for funds to revamp the infrastructural deficit, it is unfair to profile him in that manner. Don’t fall for His Excellency, Governor Fayose or Peoples Democratic Party’s propaganda.”
“If he is not in charge how come he mobilized the Armed Forces to tame and contain the Boko Haram? How come he is waging with Ibrahim Magu as filed commander, strident war against corruption? How come he raised $30 billion infrastructure loan? I understand he is sourcing more money for Port Harcourt – Maiduguri Eastern Corridor Railway, Enugu Coal and other vital infrastructure. As I said before, Aso Villa has the tendency to alienate people from the president, especially when some key officials are not as pro-people as Mr President. It happened to Gen Sani Abacha of blessed memory, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan” Okechukwu said.
When questioned over the concentration of appointments in the North, okechukwu said Buhari has a broader view of Nigeria than most people can imagine. His concentration is on infrastructural development of the country than any other thing.
Assuring that the President is going to make amends on appointments, Okechukwu said a lot of pundits and public critics are not aware that his Zone the North West did not benefit as much as North East, pointing out that the North West has only one member in the 14 member NNPC Board, North East-four and South East none.
According to him, “North West did not produce the Chief of Defence Staff, Chiefs of Army Staff, Chief of Navy, Chief of Airforce nor NSA, as South East you hype. Watch out there is going to be changes.” He quipped.
“Methinks Mr President is a good listener, he had heard the complaints of Nigerians, not only that of his dear wife – Aisha, Nasir Elrufai, Ibe Kachikwu and a host of compatriots. He is fully aware that in the Chess Board game, there is only one King, every other player is a Pun. He will make amends, appointments are transient and temporary. Don’t forget that he is a retired Army General. Watch out” Okechukwu said.