Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha in an interview with State House Correspondents said reports that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Germany was a medical trip is completely false. He also spoke on some other issues. JONATHAN NDA – ISAIAH was there for LEADERSHIP.
On President Buhari’s state Visit to Germany
The visit to Germany was a worthwhile visit, we enjoyed a lot of courtesy, I feel very proud as a Nigerian and to see our nation’s flag flying in Germany, and the President discussed issues of common interest with the German Chancellor.
We are beginning to gain back our dignity and respectability among nations, I think this is not far from the type of leadership Nigeria has now. The respect that is given to Nigerians now is the respect given to our President that is trickling down. I feel proud inspite of the challenges we are facing as a nation.
The President and German Chancellor among other things discussed on the need to de-emphasise the issue of formal education for vocational education just like trade test that we used to have in Nigeria. This goes to say that Nigeria was going along the right way but deviated, what drives Germany today is not formal education but information education, and skills acquisition.
On refuge crisis: As you are aware, the German Chancellor decried that situation. In Nigeria here we have almost 2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and not only displaced, the entire school system was shut down for about four to five years. So we have a lot of challenges in that regard but Mr. President made it clear that he intends to restore economic activities in the North East and would like partnership or assistance from any caring nation and German government is willing to assist Nigeria in that regard, most importantly is to stamp down the cause of the refuge, which is the activities of Boko Haram and this government is making frantic efforts to bring it to an end. The post Boko Haram is even bigger than the Boko Haram activities itself and Mr. President is doing something about it .
How would you react to Aisha Buhari’s comment?
I am concerned and let me say that our nation is passing through a very difficult time now ranging from economic, security and political challenges. This is the time that all Nigerians irrespective of political party, religion, culture must come together to see what we can do to salvage the situation and to build the Nigeria of our collective hope and aspiration and this is what we must emphasize at this time and we do not need any form of distraction whatsoever at this time. We should support President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve these three key things; economic, security, power and fight against corruption so that we can make headway.
I think we are beginning to see light at the dark end of the tunnel.
What is now trending in the social media, the comment of Mr. President and interview of his wife and I was there when Mr. President made the comment. I think both the interview and the comment were taken out of context. I can understand why the international community speak on this matter because of human rights and all that is going on around the whole world. I tend to believe that Nigerians should understand this matter because I do not think those were the intentions as being described on social media and those condemning the act. I can put it this way that it is a joke taken too far outside the shores of Nigeria.
If you have been with the person of the President and where he cracks jokes, you will understand with me that it could be his style of jokes because even when he was responding, he was smiling, I don’t think the meaning that is given to it is what it is.
If not, why would he have his five daughters having Masters and Ph.Ds and his wife educated and putting women in key positions in the country, I don’t think it is.
Aisha Buhari who granted the interview didn’t give that interview to bring down her husband is government, she was only trying to make peace among perceived aggrieved members in the polity.
I have situations where my wife joins Commissioners and my workers to condemn what I do, that does not mean she is fighting me, rather a bridge of peace between me and them.
I would have loved to make further comments if I do not see President Buhari and his wife having nice time, then it means that there is a quarrel between the two but am sure that as we are hitting out heads with each other on what they have said, they are there having their nice time.
Some people are saying the President needs to rejig his cabinet going by what his wife had said. What is your comment?
Quite frankly, I am a governor and I know where the shoe pinches more. It is natural that people who are in the game and those who are outside tend to see more, if there is a clarion call for Mr. President to take a look at his cabinet and bring in more people, their is nothing wrong for Mr. president to take note of comments by people because if everyone keep saying the same thing, there may be sense in what they are saying but that is not really the situation that would create for a big hullabaloo, most people in the party felt that they have not been carried along, I know that many of them complain everyday that they want board appointments released so that there will be calm.
The people from the South East said they have not been appointed, the people from the North East and even from the North West where Mr. President comes from said that have not been appointed, some local governments and villages are saying they have not been remembered, so at what point do we draw this line but there is always room for amendment because there is no perfection.
On the insinuation that the trip of Mr. President to Germany was for medical purpose
Medical for the President? At least I was with him till 1 a.m. after dinner before I left him and he went to bed and I went to bed. The following day I came to see him in the morning. The President didn’t go for any medial trip at all. The hospital we went to was to see a General who had an accident. These are some of the things on which people make uninformed comments and I do not know why people in this part of our world, are always happy when somebody is going down and I think there is need to change our attitude completely. If the issue was the one that had to do with how to move Nigeria forward, nobody will make comments or talk about it but once it is anything that is perceived to be in the negative, Nigerians are awake, I think we must change our attitude and see how we can build this nation. If Nigeria is succeeding, it is not Buhari that is succeeding, it is Nigeria that is succeeding.
If Nigeria fails, it is not Buhari that failed, it is Nigeria that has failed, so we must support him to succeed so that all of us can succeed so I am not aware that President Buhari went for any medical visit .