By OBINNA EZUGWU
Former Head of Mass Communication Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Dr. Greg Ezeah has explained that as an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari during his electioneering campaigns in 2015, he is disappointed in the president’s performance in office.
Dr Ezeah who voiced his discontent with Buhari’s style of governance in an interview with Business Hallmark, said he had several quarrels with his colleagues both in his department and at the staff quarters because of his hardline support for Buhari whom he believed would do a lot better than former president Goodluck Jonathan. But according to him, he now apologises to those he quarrelled with over the president because he is disappointed.
“During the time Buhari was campaigning for presidency in 2015, I quarrelled with so many people. I was head of department then. In my office, I used to quarrel with a lot of people because of the type of support I was giving Buhari,” he said.
“The same thing happened where I live at the staff quarters. I quarrelled with a number of other staff members because of Buhari; I was an arch supporter of Buhari because I felt bad with the way Jonathan and PDP were mismanaging the affairs of this country. There was a lot of impunity, and because of that, I gave Buhari 100 percent support. But in my discussion with some friends now, going by the current situation in the country, I often apologize to them. I tell them I’m sorry.”
Dr. Ezeah who maintained that President Buhari has disappointed Nigerians, emphasised however, that his position is not borne out of tribal or religious bias, but of genuine love for the country. He noted that as an academic, he is obliged to analyze issues objectively.
“I’m not saying this with a biased mind, I’m being objective, Buhari has disappointed Nigerians. He is a tribalist who doesn’t even pretend about it. His policies, his programmes are all tailored towards favouring the Hausa/Fulani. He is not being fair, and if he doesn’t retrace his steps, it will not augur well for this country.
The don vowed to vote against Buhari if he decides to contest in 2019. He said the President had populated his government with mainly his own people who are in turn pursuing tribal agendas, and has refused to change them even when it is obvious they are not performing, just as he dismissed the president’s claim of appointing those he trusted as untenable.
“For a long time, I have not been able to vote, but in 2019, I have made up my mind to vote against Buhari if he is presented as APC candidate. Buhari has disappointed so many of his supporters.
Speaking on the appointments, he said: “But they are not performing. If he trusted them, then he should know that the trust he had in them was misplaced.
“Many people have asked that he reshuffles his team, but he has been adamant. The service chiefs for example, he retained them when their tenure expired even when it is obvious many of them have tribal programmes. For instance, the herdsmen/farmers clashes have not been handled objectively. You easily see favouritism on the side of the service chiefs in tackling the issue.
“Nigeria is a multi cultural country. To be a good leader, you must treat everyone equally. That’s why we have Federal Character Commission. But Buhari and his ministers don’t adhere to the provisions of the commission.
“Look, for instance, he removed the NIA director who is Yoruba, but instead appointed an Hausa/Fulani as his replacement. Why not appoint another Yoruba?”
Speaking of the proposed Cattle Colonies for herdsmen, Dr Greg said it would be unfair to other Nigerians and must be rejected.
“If they want to give Fulani herdsmen colonies in other states, have they given Igbo traders colonies in Kaduna and Kano? Have they given Yoruba people driving taxi colonies to park their cars? Why should Fulani be given colonies? Somebody will come to your place, your inheritance, and take it over.
For example, I inherited land from my father and you will come to my village and say you are taking over my father’s land to give to somebody else? It would be over my dead body. If they want to address the issues honestly, they should create ranches. That is the practice in developed countries. In developed climes, they too have cows.”