Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Araribe, intensified his call for more recognition to be given to those from the South East at the federal level, saying that the only person from that region in the Aso Villa is a photographer.
Abaribe said this on Friday as a guest on Channels Television’s programme Sunrise Daily in reaction to Governor David Umahi’s defection from Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Abaribe who had earlier in the week said the party was unfazed by Umahi’ defection also believes the governor’s movement will be gauged properly when it’s time for the 2023 elections.
His words: “Let us assume Governor Umahi is bringing the South East, as he says, into the mainstream because that was what I heard yesterday. What is the mainstream? Is it the Aso Villa that belongs to all of us that you cannot find a single person from the South East, except a photographer?
“Before every part of this country was represented in the Aso Villa, so when you want to do government business because sometimes government business is done from back channels, so if you have a problem or they want to do some consultations, you make a call into the Villa, you call to your countryman and say please can you tell oga this or that so that we can have this talk, there is none today inside the villa. There’s one guy, his name is Sunny, I think he’s a photographer.
“So Umahi is going to talk to who? Ok, because he is governor he can talk to Chief of Staff, he can go to see the president but what about others?”
When confronted with names of those who are from the South East and aides to the President, Araribe responded by asking, ‘where are they? Can you call them and ask them to tell the President A, B, or C? Everybody knows that we do not have someone you can call a proper person within that whole enclave you call the Villa.
“We had access, we do not have that anymore. Of course, you can have low-level people being appointed, but what do they do that you can say these people make a difference in our lives in the South East?”