The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Wednesday explained why Southeast governors and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mustapha while briefing State House correspondents, debunked the impression that the Federal Government was not doing enough for South-East people.
Mustapha reminded the people that their political investment in the re-election of Buhari in the 2019 election would determine their fate in 2023.
He said: “We received very high-powered delegation today led by the Deputy President of the Senate and three of their governors and a deputy governor, and the Director-General of Forum of South-East governors.
“I think it is a remarkable visit because they came essentially to thank the president over the major activities that have taken place in the South-East.
“They appreciate the fact that the second Niger Bridge was a paper issue in the last five, six decades.
“They are convinced that the decision to complete the Niger Bridge is real; the contract has been awarded by this government for N206 billion.
“It is a mark of appreciation for the leadership that President Muhammadu Buhari is providing for this country.
“The South-East is an integral part of this country; it must be accorded its appropriate place in the scheme of things and we believe strongly that this particular government has extended its hands of friendship to the South East.”
He expressed hope that South-East leaders would continue to cooperate with the government to ensure the development of their people and bringing prosperity, peace and tranquillity to the area.
The SGF reiterated that the Buhari administration would continue to do everything possible to ensure speedy development of the zone as well as other parts of the country.
On whether Buhari solicited the votes of the South-East at the meeting, Mustapha said: “this obviously might not be most appropriate time.
“You remember there was a programme in the South-East where the president asked me to represent him and I flew the kite by telling the Southeast states that their quickest and easiest means to the presidency is to support Buhari’s second term.
“This means that they can short-circuit the period in terms of only having him there for another four years.
“Whatever they do in 2019 will determine what will happen thereafter because politics is a game of numbers and it is like a cooperative society.
“Whatever you bring as an investment when dividends are going to be shared, you will get proportionate with your investment and your investment in politics is what you bring to the table.
“I urge the Southeast to look at this matter seriously that every time we have a presidency in Nigeria, it is negotiated in several ways.
“It is either negotiated by votes or what you bring to the table and you must negotiate from the position of strength. You can’t negotiate from the point of weakness”.