Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Igbo youths under the auspices of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has cautioned former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode, against pitching Gov. Alex Otti of Abia State against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for political patronage by the President.
COSEYL was reacting to a recent media attack on the Governor by the former Aviation Minister over unverified reports that Tinubu’s portrait was not hung in Abia Government House.
Kayode had reportedly called Otti a ‘hypocrite and a deceiver’ for not ensuring that the President’s portraits were hung at the Government House.
COSEYL expressed disappointment over Kayode’s uncomplimentary remarks on the Abia Governor, alleging that he is on a mission to blackmail Otti to get the President’s blessings.
The apex Igbo socio-political youth group, in a statement by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, accused Kayode and his likes of fanning the embers of ethnic crisis between the Yoruba nation and their Igbo brothers that have lived in peace for centuries.
COSEYL challenged the former Aviation Minister to first clear his name in the N2 billion airport project scandal when he was in office before passing any comments on Otti “who has maintained a clean record both in his private and public services.”
The statement read in part: “Fani Kayode should know his boundaries. He should not cause war between Igbo and Yoruba.
“We have not forgotten how some people’s unguarded words caused the maiming and unprovoked attacks on Igbos and their businesses in Lagos State.
“It’s obvious Kayode hates Igbo with passion. His attack on the people’s Governor, Alex Otti, is a confirmation of his hatred for the Igbo race.
“We want Fani-Kayode to know that Dr Alex Otti is not a criminal. He is not like some people who could not account for N2 billion meant for the building and renovation of Port Harcourt airport.
“We challenge Fani-Kayode for a walk with Governor Alex Otti let’s see who is the real deceiver. Femi is a pathological liar who can lie without blinking an eye.
“We warn Fani-Kayode to steer clear of the affairs of Igbo nation.
“Governor Alex Otti is a prudent manager of resources and will never use Abia taxpayers money to fund any political litigation whatsoever.”
COSEYL called on Yoruba leaders to rein in the ex-Aviation boss before he ignites ethics hostilities in the country.
“We call on Yoruba leaders to call their son Femi Fani-Kayode to order before he causes a war in the nation.”
Meanwhile, Otti’s Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, has dismissed as baseless and mischievous, the report that Tinubu’s portrait was not hung in Abia Government House.
He said that “anybody spreading such unfounded rumour is but only a jobless meddlesome interloper looking for grounds to get political patronage from the President through blackmail of honest fellows.”
Uko said that President Tinubu’s portrait had been properly and conspicuously hung at the appropriate places as protocol requires,” not just the Government House but other public offices across the state.”
He urged members of the public to disregard such fabricated lies, saying that Otti is focused on delivering democracy dividends to Ndi Abia, and would not give in to any destabilisation.
The CPS further said that his principal had no place for rumour mongers and blackmailers.