In a sequence of reactions to national issues on Thursday, the Presidency promised to address the issue of marginalisation of the people of the South-West raised by Yoruba leaders at their meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State, last week.
The Yoruba leaders had accused President Goodluck Jonathan of short-changing the South-West region in federal appointments and that the President appeared ungrateful for the support the Yoruba gave him in his ascension to power.
The Presidency said Jonathan was already taken measures to correct the perceived anomaly.
Senior Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, told journalists in Abuja on the sidelines of the PDP South-West zone meeting that his principal had nothing to gain by marginalising the Yoruba in his government.
“I can give you 100 per cent assurance that this issue (of marginalisation) is receiving proper, adequate and appropriate attention. It is not in his (Jonathan’s) interest to marginalise any group in the nation,” Okupe said.
He, however, blamed politicians in the zone for being the cause of the situation, saying that they refused to rally round Mrs. Mulikat Akande, who was the candidate of the PDP and the Presidency for the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He said rather than rallying round Akande to become Speaker, politicians from the zone, especially those from the Action Congress of Nigeria, decided to support another person because of their selfish interest.
It will be recalled that the opposition in collaboration with some members of the PDP in the House elected the current Speaker, Mallam Aminu Tambuwal, against the directive of the ruling party and the Presidency.
Okupe described the action of the politicians from the zone as “political misadventure and a political accident.
Okupe said, “The issue of marginalisation of the South-West was a political misadventure and political accident, brought about by the Yoruba themselves.
“If you would recollect, the Yoruba were supposed to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which is the number four position in Nigeria.
“But due to the political mishandling of the leadership of the Yoruba and also the sabotage of the Yoruba people by the Yoruba leadership. I am talking about the people in the ACN now.
“The Yoruba people in the ACN conspired against the Yoruba people and allowed the position to be taken away. That is the beginning of marginalisation.
“You see, when people sit down to share what is not enough and you don’t have anybody to speak for you, there is a problem.”
He, however, gave the assurance that the President did not hate the Yoruba and was sympathetic to them and would do something about their poor representation in government.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, has said the party remains the headache of the opposition in the country.
He said this was why members of the opposition were looking for drugs to cure their sickness.
Tukur, who came to the meeting with members of the party’s National Working Committee, appealed to the members of the party in the zone to remain united.
He said, “PDP is the headache of the opposition in the country. That is why they are looking for APC drug to cure their sickness.
“You people in the South-West must remain united to be relevant. Use your energy in coming together and stop fighting. That is the only way to get power.”
Tukur’s comical reference to the APC as a drug was meant to deride the name of the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, which was formed by the merging of four opposition political parties.