Following The Disappointment In Not Selecting Him As Secretary To Government Of The Federation, One Of The Hopefuls Has Opened Up To Clarify The Issue
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, who was tipped to become Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), but was not found to be President Muhammadu Buhari’s favourite, has clarified issues surrounding his non-selection for the job, despite a high powered lobby.
Speaking yesterday through his media assistant, Sunny Onueukwu, the one-time governor of Ebonyi State, who led his All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) into a merger that formed the APC, said there was never a time President Buhari told him that he would not be appointed to serve the country as SGF.
There had been online reports indicating that Buhari had invited Onu to a meeting where he was told that the office would elude him. According to the reports, Buhari had told Onu that he would not be made SGF because of the sort of pressure that would be mounted on him by politicians from his geo-political zone which would make him unable to discharge the office to the President’s satisfaction.
The reports also quoted ‘sources’ who said Onu’s residence had become “a mecca of sorts” for appointment- seeking politicians who Buhari did not want close to his government. But putting a lie to the reports and distancing himself from it, Onu said that no such meeting held between him and President Buhari.
The statement read, “For the avoidance of doubt, it has become important to state in strong terms that Dr. Onu never expressed the views credited to him in the online broadcast as no such conversation ever took place between him and our respected Mr. President. “He could not have, therefore, communicated a nonexistent conversation to another person, more so an unnamed individual on telephone. Accordingly, it is false, cheap and utterly in bad faith.
Already, Dr. Onu has personally issued a rebuttal on the matter which has been circulated in the social media in a Press Statement dated August 30, 2015.
“However, it has become necessary to issue the foregoing clarification in view of ongoing efforts in some sections of the print and electronic media to further allude to the same phony online broadcast without verifying the proof of its authenticity.
“Needless to add that such is capable of misleading the general public and by implication, injure the wellknown integrity and honour which Dr. Onu holds sacred and guards jealously.”
The statement further quoted Dr. Onu as saying that as one of the founding fathers of APC, it was his conviction that nothing should be done to injure the rights of citizens to free speech, especially in a democracy.
“However, in the exercise of such rights, care and respect must be observed to ensure that it is done within the ambit of the law, guided by respect for the truth, good conscience and sincerity of purpose. “It is hoped that in all circumstances, more so in a democracy, the truth should not be twisted to serve pre-determined ends or should the rights of individuals be muzzled to score cheap political points.
“Finally, Dr. Onu reaffirms his faith in our democracy as the immutable vehicle of popular choice for a new Nigeria, where though tribe and tongue may differ, as brothers and sisters, united in the pursuit of a common destiny, we must continue to stand firm, resolute and together,” it said.
–Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja