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Tinubu told to Ignore protests against Gen Nwachukwu, Ohuabunwa’s inclusion in varsity governing boards

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been told to ignore pockets of protests by some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from Abia, against the inclusion of non APC members on the Board of tertiary institutions by the President.

Recall that Tinubu had nominated former Military Administrator of Old Imo State, General Ike Nwachukwu (retd.) as the Pro-Chancellor of University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN; Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Pro-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt; and Commissioner for Agriculture, Professor Monica Ironkwe, among others as members of the newly constituted Boards of tertiary institutions.

Some APC chieftains who spoke with Vanguard, dismissed the protest as “unnecessary”, and urged the President not to be distracted.

Recall that some APC members under the aegis of Abia APC Stakeholders Forum (AASF), on Monday, staged a protest in Abuja, calling for the removal of the non-APC appointees, describing their inclusion on the list as “a typographical error”.

But in a swift reaction, some APC members including former Council Chairmen, and lawmakers said the President had the prerogative to appoint anybody he finds fit to hold a political office.

Immediate-past Chairman of Bende Local Government Area, Chief Emmanuel Onwuchekwa, said the appointment could be part of the President’s inclusive agenda which should be applauded.

He said:” I don’t think the protest is necessary. It’s obvious that what Mr President is doing borders on inclusiveness.

” Probably there are so many people in different quarters and different ways that gave him support outside the party. And now that he wants Igbo to be involved in his administration. So, if that will make Abia to fully support the President in 2027, it’s very strategic. By then we will no longer have any excuse not to deliver the state to him.

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“So, since it’s Mr President himself that made the appointment based on his judgments, nobody should challenge it, otherwise they would be challenging the President himself. All we can do is to ask for more appointments.

” We can as well tell the appointees to be part of what we are doing. They should leave all the protest let’s run a government of inclusiveness so that APC will take over Abia in 2027″.

Similarly, Pastor Dike Okechukwu, another former Council boss and a member of the Benjamin Okezie Friends Initiative, a major support group of the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kanu, also described the protest as “uncalled for.”

Okechukwu sharply disagreed with the protesters that the inclusion of the non-APC members on the list of appointees was “a typographical error”, arguing that the affected individuals are all accomplished Abians.

“They can’t be typo errors. Those persons have all distinguished themselves in so many areas. Tinubu is the President of all Nigerians and if he deems any Nigerian fit for any appointment, there is no need for protest.”

He urged the President to ignore the protesters, arguing that spreading political appointments beyond party affiliations helps to stabilize the polity.

” The President should ignore the protesters. They are the people that are bringing trouble to the tranquility of the nation which we don’t want now. We want a stabilized nation by spreading political appointments beyond party affiliations. The era of politics is over, we are now in governance”.

Another chieftain of APC and former Commissioner in Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, ASOPADEC, Chief Orji Udeagha, said the President made no mistake in appointing non-APC members into any public position.

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He described President Tinubu as a unifier and master strategist, urging him not to be distracted by the antics of those who are not broad-minded.

“The President is a unifier, and he has a target of what he wants to achieve in every state. The President has been appointing people across board. I disagree with those who allege that these appointees fought against the victory of APC in the state in 2023.

“Anybody saying typo error should find a better way to play their politics. If you don’t get what you are looking for and it’s given to someone more qualified, just allow the person because they’re also Nigerians who must have worked for it one way or the other”.

However, another APC chieftain, and former Senator representing Abia Central, Senator Nkechi Nwogu, noted that party loyalists should be rewarded first before outsiders, arguing that “it’s not good for monkey to work and baboon to chop”.

She, nonetheless, noted that ” there must have been a lot of other considerations that made the President to appoint them”.

The former Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar, further said:”Eventually, they (the non APC members) will see what we saw and stayed with Asiwaju and join us”.

Former member representing Umunneochi state constituency in the Abia House of Assembly, Hon. Ikedi Ezekwesiri, said “the protest makes meaning because you reap from where you sowed”.

The ex-lawmaker, however, noted that ” the President has the prerogative to appoint who he deems fit into any position”.

Meanwhile, a group known as Abia APC movement, has congratulated Dr Mao Ohuabunwa who represented Abia North in the eight Senate, on his appointment as the Chairman , Governing Council, University of Port Harcourt.

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The group in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Uchenna Emmanuel, described Ohuabunwa as a “square peg in a square hole”, and urged President Tinubu to disregard pockets of protests by some self-seeking individuals against the appointment.

The statement read:”The leadership and entire members of the APC Movement, Abia State, has congratulated Senator Mao Ohiabunwa on his appointment as Board Chairman of UNIPORT.”

The group which argued that the time for politics was over, said the President had the liberty to pick competent hands to work with him irrespective of their political affiliations.

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