The lawmaker representing Enugu North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Chukwuka Utazi has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to change the way he addresses the people of the south-east region.
Utazi made the call on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, adding that the President’s language to the Igbos is not good.
As part of measures to fix the worsening insecurity in the region, the lawmaker advised Buhari to engage the stakeholders to address whatever grievances that may be on.
While noting that a stable Nigeria is best for the Igbos, Utazi noted that the easterners that make Nigeria home like the Igbos.
“I want to tell you that Mr President has the magic wand. His attitude, language to the South-East, he has to change it,” the lawmaker said in reaction to the way forward on the agitations in the region. The temperature is high. The way he talks down on our people is not good.”
When asked if an Igbo presidency in 2023 would fix the problem, the senator neither confirmed nor opposed it.
He added, “I have said it times without number that changing the Hausa-Fulani cap with red cap does not address the issue.
“There are fundamental things you need to address. He has to come out and address the Igbos in the language they understand.”
To the lawmaker, Buhari is a president of every Nigerian, including the Igbo-speaking people, adding that once he devotes time to addressing the easterners, the agitations would come to an end.
The South-East region has witnessed a high rate of criminality including killings and kidnappings in the last few months.
Dozens of police officers and other security personnel have been killed since January in targeted attacks in the southeast.
Raids on prisons have seen scores of inmates freed and weapons carted away.
On Sunday, gunmen ambushed a police patrol in the commercial town of Onitsha in Anambra state and killed an inspector.
Also Sunday, an area office of the electoral agency INEC was set ablaze in Enugu state, but vital election materials and equipment were not affected.
IPOB’s leader Nnamdi Kanu has been in custody since he was arrested abroad in June and brought back to Nigeria to face treason charges.
Calls for a separate state of Biafra are a sensitive subject in Nigeria, after a unilateral declaration of independence in 1967 sparked a brutal 30-month civil war.
More than one million people died, most of them Igbos, from the impact of conflict, hunger and disease.