Elder statesmen and leaders from South­ern Nigeria have ac­cused President Muham­madu Buhari of toying with the country’s unity.
The leaders, who met yesterday in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, under the aegis of Southern Nigeria’s Peoples Assembly (SNPA), accused Buhari of execut­ing a northern agenda.
Present at the meeting were leaders from the South East, South West and South- South geopolitical zones.
At the opening session, the Chairman of the Yor­uba Unity Forum, Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gboni­gi, who was represented by Senator Femi Okurounmu, said that Buhari has harmed Nigeria’s unity by solely pro­moting northern interests against the interests of oth­er tribes.
He decried the President’s appointments so far which he said were in favour of the North, declaring that Buhari is pushing Nigeria to the brink of disintegration through his sectional interests.
His words: “We ask Mr. President to stop these eth­nically-biased appointments into offices. More and more sections of Nigeria are in­creasingly feeling margin­alised due to the actions and policies of government which are increasingly be­coming sectional.”
On behalf of the South-South leaders, elder states­man, Edwin Clark, said Bu­hari had tactfully excluded Southern Nigeria from the political equation of the country.
Clark, who said he could not be cowed from baring his mind, warned that “those who think Nigeria is their exclusive estate” should have a rethink, declaring that “the country belongs to us all”.
The former Commission­er for Information said that Nigeria was already cruis­ing on the highway that led to the civil war in the 1960s and early 1970s.
He expressed strong dis­pleasure over the leadership style of Buhari who he said was not worried about the implications of his biased policies.
He added that Southern leaders will invite the Pres­ident to a town hall meet­ing to dispassionately dis­cuss issues affecting Nigeria with him.
In his opening remarks, the Coordinator of SNPA, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, also ex­pressed concerns over Buha­ri’s leadership style, saying that Nigeria was more di­vided now under his watch.
The former Vice Presi­dent, who was represented by Chief Mbazulike Amechi, said that the meeting would discuss herdsmen’s attacks, restructuring, agitations in the Niger Delta and other parts of the South, collaps­ing economy, ongoing cor­ruption war and the growth or decline of democracy in Nigeria.
Governor Okezie Ik­peazu of Abia State, who opened the meeting, en­joined the leaders to “pursue those things that the states of Southern Nigeria can do to foster their economic and political interests”.

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