The North-Central Development Initiative (NCDI) has alleged neglect of the region and its people by the current federal administration in appointments and other actions of the government since its inception on May 29, 2023.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Monday on behalf of the group, officials of the group led by the director general and national coordinator, Comrade Musa Ali Otigba, said they were drawing the attention of President Bola Tinubu to the maltreatment of the region, especially in areas of appointment of heads of government ministries, departments and agencies and the service chiefs, despite the fact that the North Central worked very hard for his victory, thus producing the third highest number of votes – over 1. 7 million votes in the presidential election after the South West and North West regions.
Listing leadership of the National Assembly, APC national chairmanship position, ministerial appointments and general appointment of heads of MDAs as areas where they alleged the region was neglected, the group which comprised members of the APC in different states of the North Central, said though they were pleased with the appointment of Senator George Akume as secretary to the government of the federation, it was not enough for the entire region and appealed to President Tinubu to do more for them.
Comrade Otigba urged the president to ensure that the region is adequately represented in the national security architecture, and in the next line of appointments, should be given priority to remedy the identified injustice and exclusion meted out to it.
While decrying a seeming conspiracy of silence by the APC over this noticeable neglect despite the efforts, commitment and loyalty of the North Central, Otigba added that the region has capable hands that can head strategic government agencies like NIMASA, APA, NNPC Limited, BCDA, SEC, FERMA, NEMA, RMAFC, NPC, PSC, etc, just like any other region.
“The government of President Bola Tinubu should do whatever it can to erase the suspicion in some quarters that there is a deliberate attempt to continue to undermine the North Central region and its people under the administration. The region deserves better a deal than it has got so far in this government.
“We appeal to the party under the leadership of Dr Abdullahi Ganduje to take deliberate steps to compensate the North Central for being denied its legitimate right within the party structure,” he said.
He said they would send a comprehensive list of party stakeholders who worked day and night for victory of the party across the states in the zone to the president for his information and necessary action.
The group urged Vice President Kashim Shettima and chief of staff Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to intervene in the anomalies and support the president in doing justice to the region and its people. They also called on first lady Senator Oluremi Tinubu to look into their plight and appeal to her husband to consider their request and treat the region fairly, just as they charged political leaders in the region, governors and members of the National Assembly from the six states in the region and the FCT not to look the other way because of the luxury of their offices, but give their full support to the appeal so that together, they would get justice.
Other officials present were Bashir Ahmed Bago (Niger); Mohammed Mubarak Alabi (Kwara); Dominic Alancha (Benue); Juliana Aliyu (Plateau); Hannatu Aboki (Nasarawa); David Ismaila Tukura (FCT); Oluseyi Sunday (Kogi); Qudus Amed (Kwara); Teghtegh Fabian (Benue) and Zubairu Abdullahi (Niger).