OHANEZE BACKS NNAJI FOR POWER MINISTRY
The pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, has frowned at attempts by some individuals to oppose the nomination of Prof. Bath Nnaji into the federal cabinet, saying it would not stand by while people from the South-east zone try to pull down one of their brightest stars.
Some people from Nnaji's native Nkanu area of Enugu State had last week moved against the nomination of Nnaji because of some communal dispute with his own community. But Chairman of the FCT chapter of Ohaneze, Mr. Nwabueze Obi, in a briefing in Abuja at the weekend said such primitive issue should not be brought to the national fora since the Igbo had an established way of settling such desputes.
He said Nigeria would stand to lose if Nnaji whom he described as an internationally acclaimed authority in power and who had already drawn up a roadmap for the revival of the power sector was excluded from the cabinet. He recalled that the same attitude deprived Ndi Igbo of the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wondering why some people should be working tirelessly to pull down their fellow brother thus jeopardising the collective interest of the Igbo.
'You are all aware that Prof. Barth Nnaji has done very well as presidential adviser to the president. The president has projected for elevation. Our people are now bent on bringing the man down. He is being antagonised for primordial sentiment. If the position as minister of power eludes us, how are we sure that we will get it?' he asked.
According to the chairman, there is no better person to occupy that office in Igboland than Prof. Barth Nnaji, saying the roadmap which he developed was there for everybody to see. Obi, however, thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for finding Prof. Barth Nnaji worthy of a ministerial appointment, insisting that with Nnaji as minister of power, the problem of power in Nigeria would be tackled.
'He is tested and trusted and he is a community man. Let those who see him as an opponent sheathe their sword,' he noted. According to him, owing to the avalanche of dissenting voices in the South-east zone, Ohaneze was considering ostracising some Igbo indigenes whose stock-in-trade was to pull down prominent members from the zone.