Jethro Ibileke/Asaba

An Asaba-based socio-cultural group, Nsukka Platform, has condemned in strong terms, an alleged assault on the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Barrister Okey Ezea, by the National Vice Chairman (South-East) of the party, Chief Emma Enukwu.Barrister-Okey-Ezea

The group in a statement made available to journalists in Asaba on Tuesday tasked the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari to uphold the principles of equity, justice and fairness in picking his ministerial nominee from Enugu state.

Chief Enukwu was reported to have slapped Ezea at a meeting of South-East chieftains of APC in Abuja where the governorship candidate was said to have made a case for Enugu North Senatorial district to produce the minister in the incoming administration.

The statement signed by Dr. Pius Ike and Dr. Leo Abonyi, chairman and secretary respectively of the group, specifically appealed to Buhari to pick his ministerial nominee from Enugu North senatorial district (Nsukka Cultural Zone), noting that, the zone has not produced a minister since the return of democracy in 1999.

The group hailed Buhari for insisting on appointing only loyal members of his party, APC with technical competence and integrity into his cabinet, explaining that the disposition has given Nigerians hope that he is poised to fulfill his promise to fight corruption.

“While we in Nsukka Platform Asaba salute him for this stance, we equally urge him to go further and ensure equity, justice and fair play in choosing the right people to occupy the ministerial seats,” it read.

The group posited that only two of the three senatorial districts (Enugu East and West) have been producing ministers since 1999, lamenting that Enugu North produced its last minister in 1979 during the Second Republic, in the person of Chief D.C. Ugwu who was Minister of Health.

“Since the country returned to civilian rule in 1999, the Nsukka people that constitute over 50 per cent of electorate of Enugu state, have not produced a single minister. All the ministers appointed from the state hail from Enugu East and Enugu West Senatorial Districts.

“These ministers include Chief Frank Nweke Jnr. and Prof. Bath Nnaji from Enugu East and Chief Dubem Onyia, Mrs Fidelia Njeze and Prof. Chinedu Nebo, the current Minister of Power from Enugu West.

“On this premise therefore, the Nsukka Platform Asaba calls on Gen. Buhari to appoint a technically competent and credible loyal member of the APC from Enugu north. By so doing, Buhari will have proven that his administration is totally against marginalization which has glaringly characterized the appointment of ministers from Enugu State by the past and present administrations in the country. Needless to say that tested and trusted professionals of impeccable character abound in Nsukka land,” the statement explained.

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