Nigeria Not Making Progress Because Britain Laid Dubious Foundation-Okpala

By Vincent Kalu

Chief Joseph Okpala has said that the reason Nigeria was not making the expected progress was because the British colonial rulers laid a dubious foundation for the country, adding that separatist agitations remain the trump card for one Nigeria.
What is your assessment of the state of the nation?
With all the noise about change, the indices have shown disaster, and we are being consoled that we have to make sacrifices. Can those sacrifices be matched with honest policies that can move Nigeria forward or sacrifices to be made on alter of political expediency?
You are asking the citizens to make sacrifices, and helplessly they obey and you then make policies tailored to suit a fraction of the society- either the tiny elite group or a section of his people. Like the United Nations Common Country Analysis observed, many things in Nigeria are governed by narrow-minded or myopic approach. There is no nationalistic approach to Nigeria’s governance; it has been all about lip service in the past 50 years; parochial approach to issues.
In recent time, it is only former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the North, who has seen the reason to call for the restructuring of the country. I don’t know what pushed him to make such a timely statement, maybe, to further his political career. If he made it out of sincere observation that gives hope that Nigeria could be salvaged eventually.
Where did we get it wrong?
We got it wrong from the foundation of corruption the British government laid in Nigeria, whereby they gave undue advantage to the north. They manipulated the census figures to give the north undue advantage, and the result is why it is difficult for Nigeria to know its population, which is a sine qua non for planning for development.
The first census was rigged by the British government in favour of the north. The result is contrary to all existing demographic theories. They claim that the desert region is more populated than the forest region. It is only in Nigeria you have this arrangement. Mali and other desert countries that have the same landmass as Nigeria, what are their population figures? Festus Odimegwu came in as National Population Commission (NPC) chairman, and said Nigeria has never had census, and this drew the ire of Northern politicians who demanded for his immediate removal, and former President Goodluck Jonathan caved in.
Nigeria fought a civil war that ended in 1970, and everybody thought that Biafra was a foreclosed issue, but recently some young men started agitating for Biafra, what could have given rise to it?
When you are oppressing a people and cheating them. No sane society can thrive under such arrangement. You are sowing a seed of trouble, and the fruit it bears is the renewed agitation for Biafra. When America was oppressing the Blacks, it gave rise to agitation championed by people like Martin Luther King Jr, but because they were dealing with intelligent people that wanted their nation to be great, the wall of segregation broke down, and they opened their door that later gave rise to Obama becoming the President of US.  People had to pay the price, like Martin Luther King.  Nnamdi Kanu is an Igbo hero, hero of Eastern Nigeria, and Nigeria’s hero. Let nobody make mistake about it. Just like in one of my write ups, where I described Ojukwu, as an Igbo hero, Eastern hero, and Nigeria’s hero. Such people with courage, guts and nerves make every society to move forward.  Martin Luther King suffered all forms of incarceration, and finally paid with his life. Eventually, about half a century after, one of the most conservative Presidents in American history, Ronald Reagan, signed into the law, a national holiday for Martin Luther King.
In his speech, Reagan said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, here we are standing on the shoulders of a great American, I hereby sign into law, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr national holiday,’ can such thing happen in Nigeria? Nnamdi Kanu is the equivalent of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 29 years, and he was treated like a criminal, and after he came out, he became the President of the same country, South Africa. The same White people, who conspired to mess him up lined with other European leaders to have a handshake with him, because they never knew that a Blackman could be so resilience.
People like Buthelezi, the leader of the Zulus, who compromised Black majority interest, where is he today in South Africa, and who remembers him? Kanu shouldn’t compromise. The more he is there; the more it is becoming dangerous for Nigeria, because the world’s conscience would be aroused. He is the conscience of the society, and Femi Fani Kayode, recently said so when he had a chat with him. He said Kanu is Ojukwu and Nzogwu combined.
He is the soul and conscience of Nigeria today, and when he comes out, he will shake hands with heads of states. Through him, the Nigerian authorities are trying to break Igbo’s best attributes – resolve, tenacity and resilience, which was what they did by shooting unarmed Biafra agitators in Onitsha, Aba, Asaba, Port Harcourt and other places.
I’m happy that Amnesty International has written reports of some of the activities of the Nigerian security operatives against those unarmed protesters. Britain did Brexit, no one was shot. Britain feels it has a choice to be in the European Union, but it feels that Black people don’t have the right to determine where they want to be. That is hypocrisy. What makes me happy is the attitude of Kanu’s family members, who are staunchly behind him. In the fullness of God’s time, they would be so proud of their son, likewise the Igbo. These separatist agitations remain the trump card for one Nigeria.   (The Sun)

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Igbo Groups Elect Nnamdi Kanu As New Leader |The Republican News


IPOB leader and Radio Biafra director, Nnamdi Kanu

Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu

A coalition of pan-Igbo groups, the Eastern Consultative Assembly, on Tuesday, elected the detained Biafra activist, Nnamdi Kanu, as its new ‘leader’.

Kanu, who also heads a pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, is currently in detention at Kuje Prison, Abuja.

He is being prosecuted by the Federal Government over alleged offences that border on treasonable felony.

Kanu was elected leader of the ECA in absentia at a special session which held in Enugu.

Others elected at the event include Rev. Fr. John Odey, publicity secretary; Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Ukon, secretary; and Dede Uzor, assistant publicity secretary.

Foremost Igbo women leader, Mrs Maria Okwor, is the deputy leader of the group.

In a communique issued after the election, ECA insisted on the restructuring of the country.

ECA, in the communique signed by the deputy leader, Okwor, and the publicity Secretary, Odey, insinuated that the national census figures were rigged to give the impression that the northern part of the country had a larger population than the South.

The group noted that the South-East states were actually more populated than the northern states.

ECA said the census figure released by the National Population Commission was one of the reasons it was demanding the restructuring of the country.


It also noted that the Federal Government’s failure to restructure the country was one of the factors that revived the agitation for the actualisation of Biafra.

The communique read in part, “The fraudulent and oppressive census figures is one of the reasons the East can no longer accept Nigeria as presently structured.

“The deliberate asphyxiation of our people with a very wicked state and local government creation based on land mass is another reason.

“The refusal to peacefully restructure Nigeria is the reason the demand for secession is growing louder and louder.

“The demand will only grow louder until justice is done.”

The group equally condemned statements credited to elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, who reportedly expressed annoyance over the agitation for Biafra.  (

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Southern Cameroun Joins IPOB In Biafra Agitation |The Republican News


A new pro-Biafra group, the Biafra Nations Youth League (BNYL),  has joined the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), in its struggle for a sovereign state.

BNYL, according to its leader,  Prince Robinson C. Obuka is  a community-based organization of youths  with headquarters in Bakassi Peninsula.

  It was reportedly established on August 3, 2013 in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, following agreements by members and founders to uphold the unity of the various ethnic nations in the Bight of Biafra.

  The group said it supported all the actions taken so far by IPOB on the continued detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

    IPOB is involved in a struggle for the actualisation of a sovereign state from the Nigerian state.

   Already, IPOB has declared May 30 as a sit-at-home day to drive home its point and to further push for the unconditional release of its detained leaders, who are facing treason charges in a Federal High Court, Abuja.

According to an electronic message, “the BNYL believes in due process to freedom and especially due consultations and have assured the aggrieved people of Biafra that we will remain steadfast in the greater dream of achieving Biafra and would make sure the various ethnic nations stay focused’.’

    Before throwing its weight behind IPOB,  BNYL said it had  begun grassroots mobilization in many towns of the coastal area and had expanded to the inland areas including the Igbo speaking territory who are majority tribe of Biafra. 

     In the past, the group said it had organised a congress with the Governing Council of former British Southern Cameroons in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State during which  a declaratory speech in support of Biafra independence and Biafra-Southern Cameroons Coalition was made by the Council Deputy Leader, Applaud Prince.

  “Following the development, President of Southern Cameroons Youth League and Secretary General of the Organization of Emerging African States, Dr Ebenezer Dereck Mbongo Akwanga, a one time prisoner spoke with IBTIMES UK that Biafra-Southern Cameroon Coalition is a possibility as the people share similar culture and history.

    “Another activist from Manyu division, Comrade Ashu Shamy, a former SUG President in Cameroon and co-founder of BNYL confirmed that his people and Cross Riverians are one and would never kick against Biafra,” the statement read .

   It said the group has also held  a congress in Ekukunela, Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State in honour  of internally displaced natives of the Bakassi Peninsula last April.

    The Federal Government has told the Biafran agitators to forget the idea, noting that after a 30-month civil war to keep the nation together, its unity  remained non-negotiable.

on the 12 april 2016 following arrest of the Deputy Leader Comrade Ebuta Takon who was detained in Ikom for three days. The congress saw the announcement of the Biafra Youth resolution known as Akwa-Cross Declaration same day in Ekukunela with the presence of Ikom, Etung, Obubra, Boki and Bakassi youths which followed a demonstration by mostly Ejagham natives in the host town.

The Resolution gave more recognition to the Communal Congress stating that the League will be Congress minded and nation conscious. The League have organised series of combined Akwa-Cross elders and youths Congress in Eket, Akwa Ibom State where the BNYL was adopted as a household Organization. This followed Nembe Kingdom meeting in Bayelsa State to ascertain the grievances of the Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that focus on blowing pipelines after hearing from the people of Nembe declared support for Avengers action due to neglect of the Niger Delta, a region that lies at the mouth of the ancient African Region, Bight of Biafra.

On November 05 2016 BNYL moved headquarters from Ikom to Bakassi following clashes between the militia group, Bakassi Strike Force and Nigeria Troops of Operation code named “Delta Safe” accusing the Nigerian Military of targeting natives, after blasting the government for ceding the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon without referendum urging the people to build faith in Biafra. The League currently have a Chief of Staff named Linus Essien who is also the leader of displaced Bakassi Youths. On Novenber 09 2016 the National Leader, Comrade Prince Obuka and some members of a Christian Charity that came with relief materials for IDPs were apprehended in Ikang-Cameroon boarder by troops and handed over to the Department of State Service DSS, Cross River State Command where they were detained for three days and was granted bail, troops revealed it was an order that came from Abuja. On 8 February 2017 the National Deputy Leader, Comrade Ebuta Tako, himself Ejagham native of Cross River was arrested in Ekok, a small Ejagham town in Mamfe area of Cameroon following his visit to the town. He was released on bail after two days in security net. The Biafra Nations Youth League have equally supported the actions by the indegenous people of Biafra IPOB who have engaged in streets protests against the detained Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu as some members have been participating but organised by the IPOB.

The BNYL believes in due process to freedom and especially due consultations and have assured the aggrieved people of Biafra that ‘We will remain steadfast in the greater dream of achieving Biafra and would make sure the various ethnic nations stays focused.

group has joined the Indigenous Peoples of a (IPOB), in its struggle  to actualise the Biafran nation.

The Biafra Nations Youth League (BNYL), which promises to support IPOB activities at all times, according to its leader,  Prince Robinson C. Obuka, is  a community-based organisation of youths  with headquarters in Bakassi Peninsula. The BNYL was established on August 3, 2013 in the popular city of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

This follows agreements by members and founders to uphold the unity of the various ethnic nations in the Bight of Biafra.

The group said it supported all the actions taken so far by IPOB  to free its leader, Nnamdi Kanu from prison.

“The BNYL believes in due process to freedom and especially due consultations. We have assured the aggrieved people of Biafra that we will remain steadfast in the greater dream of achieving Biafra and will make sure the various ethnic nations stay focused,’’ it stated. (The Sun)

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Ojukwu Would Have Gone To War Over Nnamdi Kanu’s Detention, Says MASSOB

Image result for Odumegwu Ojukwu

Late Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu

Tony Okafor, Awka

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra on Wednesday said the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu would have waged another war against the country should he be alive over the continued detention of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

The MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, Anambra state.

The MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, Anambra state.

He blamed the Nnia Nwodo-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo for not finding time to visit Kanu in prison.

Madu wondered what had kept Nwodo and other Igbo leaders from visiting Kanu even when it had become visible that they had been gallivanting about, paying solidarity visits to those who did not deserve such courtesies.

His statement read in part , “If truly these men in Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership love our people knowing fully well that 90 percent of Ndigbo prefers Biafra to staying in Nigeria, what has kept Chief Nnia Nwodo, his executive and Ime Obi from visiting or showing solidarity to Nnamdi Kanu, the most loved Igbo man today?

“What has been keeping the leadership of Ndi Eze in Igbo land from visiting Nnamdi Kanu in prison or his father, a fellow member of the southeast traditional council?

“ Why is it that Igbo National Assembly caucus has never shown any sign of affection to the travails of Nnamdi Kanu and others?”

The group which said it was missing the father figure of the late Ojukwu, asked the Nwodo leadership of Ohanaeze to emulate the likes of late Senators Uche Chukwumerije, Ikechukwu Obiora, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Joy Emodi, Annie Okonkwo who would “storm the court in solidarity during my detention, Uwazuruike and others.

He added that “During my three years, six months and two weeks detention in Suleja, Keffi and Kuje prisons from 2006 to 2009, Senator Uche Chukwumerije and others severally visited me and others in prison.

It added,“What is still holding the Southeast CAN and other Religious leaders from showing solidarity to our brother, Nnamdi Kanu and others in prisons.

“If Gov Fayose of Ekiti state were to be Igbo, he would have visited Nnamdi Kanu in prison, if Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu is still alive, he would have fought for the release of Nnamdi Kanu.”  (

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BIAFRA: Failure To Address Inequality, Injustice May Make All Igbo Agitators, Says Nwodo


New Ohanaeze President General, Dr John Nnia Nwodo

 …Says Okorocha, Obiano have reconciled

By Mike Ebonugwo, Clifford Ndujihe, Gbenga Oke &  Olayinka Ajayi

PRESIDENT General of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has stressed the need to address entrenched inequity, injustice and discrimination, especially against the Igbo to ensure harmonious co-existence in the country.

The two-time minister, who was elected Ohanaeze leader, exactly one month ago, pinned the raging agitation for the Republic of Biafra by Igbo youths on perceived injustice and discrimination meted to the Igbo.

Noting that he had never been a tribalist and was president of the University of Ibadan students union, he said as Ohanaeze leader, he has to convey the views of his people as it is in order to get a solution for the good of all. He added that he witnessed the civil war and does not want to witness another civil war, hence the need to address the faulty unitary structure of the country that is responsible for most of the problems.

Buttressing why Igbo youths are agitating for Biafra, Nwodo said most Igbo people may be forced  to join the agitation if the discrimination and injustice against Igbo continue.

Wondering why nothing is done to Boko Haram terrorists, who picked up arms to fight Nigeria and no armed Fulani herdsmen has been prosecuted, among others, he lamented that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, carrying placards are gunned down even though they have right to freedom of movement and association as enshrined in the constitution.

‘’Law enforcement agents should not dramatise to the nation that they are from a particular part of the country, confer an immunity on criminals from that part of the country and requires a high-handed approach to those who do not come from that part of the country.

‘’The selective prosecution of criminals in our country and the exertion of brute force in certain areas of the country even without the apprehension of crime destroys the very foundation on which this federation is founded. We have increased ethnic consciousness within the length and breadth of this country and  this has fired separatist interests,’’ he said.

On the recent media war between Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Nwodo said the duo have resolved their differences after he pleaded with them.

‘’What happened between Governor Okorocha and Governor Obiano is just a storm in a tea cup and it has been accentuated by your colleagues in the way they addressed it. They had a principled disagreement about a representation of which number of governors were crossing from one party to the other. One made an assertion and the other made a denial. The rebuttals were taken over by their press aides and put in such unpalatable light that embarrassed their superiors.

When it happened, I called Governor Okorocha and he was in South Africa. He was not even in Nigeria at the time the rebuttals were issued instantaneously and replied and claimed not to have seen the rebuttals before their publication.

‘’Governor Obiano, on the other hand, was totally embarrassed. He said to me, this is not my language. I could not have gone this far. I was prepared to discipline my staff until they presented a defence of the Imo governor’s writing but they did not bother to contact me before writing those things. They felt they were doing me a favour. He said how could I discuss my colleague in that manner and two wrongs don’t make a right.

‘’So, in the circumstance, he made a phone call to governor Okorocha and they both discussed it and put it behind them. And they have both respected my plea for an injunction that this matter should not go ahead and that has happened. We are both planning to have a meeting of all the South-East governors, which will discuss the basis of our  relations,’’ he said.


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BIAFRA: How To End The Agitation-Methodist Prelate Kanu Uche |The Republican News

President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to embrace dialogue in resolving the agitations for an independent state of Biafra. Giving this advice in an interview with SATURDAY SUN, in Lagos, the Prelate, Methodist Church in Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche noted that Buhari meant well for Nigeria, but lamented that some people surrounding him are giving him and his government a bad name.

The cleric spoke to the trio of BRUCE MALOGO, TUNDE THOMAS and VERA WISDOM-BASSEY on other national issues including leadership, corruption, menace of herdsmen, on- going crisis in Southern Kaduna among a host of others.

People have been saying that we don’t have good government, now what is the responsibility of the leaders themselves?

The whole thing borders on leadership. A community or family depends on leadership. When you have good leadership people must follow, but when the leadership misbehaves, the centre can no longer hold. In short, it is like, Nigeria is under a curse. Maybe we have committed an error, and we have a leadership that doesn’t care. We have leaders that are not servant-leaders.

Leaders must be caring, generous and emphatic. They must feel for the people that they are leading. Look at what usually happen during the campaigns before elections. People who are nobody, they will come to your house, sit down with you, joke with you, and even when you crack a palm kernel, they will share it with you. But once you vote them into office, they become changed persons.

The first thing they write in front of their houses is beware of dogs. They cut you off. Then you see them going about with police escorts. They will even instruct their police that they should not allow any visitor to disturb them. They will tell their orderly, ‘tell them I’m in a meeting’ but which meeting? Meeting with the devil or what? That is the mentality of our leaders – they don’t come down to the level of the people.

I will continue to say that we have enough to meet the needs of this country but we don’t have enough for our greed. What individuals divert to private and personal pockets is more than what they need and that’s why we are having problem. So, our problem is man   made. The problem of Nigeria has not come from God. Our problems come from us, both leaders and the led, and the led has a share of the blame because they have been voting people for money and selling their birthright.

When politicians seeking votes distribute N1,000 or even N500 to the electorate, that means they are selling their votes and some of these politicians that are buying their votes are criminals. If we put right people in the right positions, things will be okay.

The other aspect is that it seems government is not accountable to Nigerians, how do Nigerians make government accountable to them?

It is very easy. The legislature is put in place to checkmate the executive. The lawmakers are to supervise the budget passed to them by the executive, but they are not doing it. Our legislators have sold themselves to the executive.

It is now the executive that determines when to impeach a speaker, the senate president or local government chairman, and gullibly because of avarice, because of greed, you see fellow lawmakers buying into the plot and, conspiracy against their fellow legislators. You see them dancing to the tune of somebody that is supposed to be their servant.

Another thing is that our people don’t know their rights. Each ward has the right to recall any erring lawmaker. I’ve read what the constitution says on this.

People can recall their representatives. If you are representing us, and you are not doing well, we can pass a vote of no confidence on you by collecting signatures of majority of people registered in that ward and recall the lawmaker who is not doing well.

But you know hunger and greed are the major problems we have. Our people love money. Some people think about nothing but money they always go for money – to them money is everything. During the last general elections in 2015, they came here to my house, politicians, yes, they came here but I didn’t allow them to open their boots because they wanted to influence me to influence Methodist members to vote for them. But I said no – these politicians came from the North, East, West, everywhere, but I resisted them. If I had danced to their tunes that time and collected money from them I would have built about three or four houses. These people came with money, but I said no when they told me they have something for me.

I told them to come and thank me after winning the elections and I will pray for them. I tell my members don’t vote party but vote personalities that you know can deliver – that’s what I maintained. As a church leader I’m apolitical.

I’m much interested in this corruption thing, it worries me like so many other persons,   in what ways is the church complicit in the corruption going on in this country?

There was something I said during my first conference as the Prelate  of the Methodist Church, Nigeria. We had that conference in Port Harcourt. I told them that henceforth no person with questionable character will be made a knight. And if we don’t know your source of income, we will not accept it. We have to know how you made your money before we accept it. I want to tell you that this is the rule now. Ask any Methodist now, they will tell you that they are afraid, if you are not sure of yourself, you don’t come anyhow to the church.

It is better for us to finish a house in 10 years rather than take questionable money to complete such house within two years. But it is unfortunate that some churches have opened their doors to all manners of people who bring ‘Ghana Must Go’ containing money to the church, and then buy prayers.

And in some of these new churches in the Pentecostal, we know what is going on. The people that are stricter, especially in the main line churches, what you have there is integrity. There is integrity there. There is integrity in the Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Anglican and the Presbyterian churches.

But for these new churches, they have compromised and that’s why they build cathedrals here and there – they don’t ask questions. They only preach prosperity. In those churches, if you don’t have money, you are not a child of God.

We can’t continue this way, what practical things can we do as a way out?

The practical things we can do is to embrace change. Like Buhari said, change begins with me. Let him also change. Let everybody in position of authority change. Let every minister change. Let the citizens change, but  if we are paying lip service to change. Corruption will persist and a time will come when we may have hyper-corruption.

What I know is that stealing has become endemic in this country. Let me tell you as we are sitting down here doing this interview some politicians are already scheming for 2019. Do you know why dollar is not in circulation? They are hoarding dollars. They are waiting for election time to bring it out and exchange it into naira for election purpose.

How can we build religious harmony in this country?

We must adopt what I will call tolerance, forbearance and forgiveness. For instance, if you go through my compound where I’m living here, I have some Muslims working for me. I’m not afraid of employing them because they are Nigerians.

When I was in Kano I had more Muslims working for me, more than five of them. Even in the church compound, I allow them to pray in their Islamic ways. There must be religious tolerance. That’s why I like Yoruba people. They are tolerant. In a family in Yoruba land, you have a Muslim, you also have a Christian and you also have a traditionalist, and they all live together in peace.

Nigeria is a pluralistic society and we must be accommodating. What we must value is the sanctity of human lives. Any religion that teaches shedding of blood is not a good religion. I don’t think any religion teaches killings. Even you go to Dubai, an Islamic country, the people there are very liberal. In the hotel where I stayed when I visited the country, about 80 percent of the workers are Christians.

The King of United Arab Emirates is very liberal and that’s why the country is very prosperous – there must be harmony before Nigeria can make any progress. There must be religious harmony and political tolerance for us to become a great nation.

So, what is the role of religious leaders in all these?

We are playing a role – for instance I was part of the people including former President Olusegun Obasanjo that are trying to broker peace between President Buhari and some South East leaders over the issue of marginalization of the South East in the current political dispensation. Buhari was to attend that meeting, he was convinced to attend, you know majority of the people of South East are aggrieved, they felt that after the war, they have not been fully integrated and those who participated in the Civil War are not the aggrieved ones but younger elements.

Some of these aggrieved younger elements even lost their parents during the civil war and therefore there must be a way to pacify them. We thought that bringing Buhari to the South East to interact with the people will bring about the needed peace.

Sincerely I believe that Nnamdi Kanu’s issue should be settled through dialogue by the federal government. They should send some people to him and appeal to him – ask him what his terms are. How do we bring the status of Igbo to be at par with that of other ethnic groups in the country? If they do, then I believe the young man will reason with them.

Look at major political appointments made by Buhari, Igbo have been marginalized and that’s why people are aggrieved. But I believe Buhari will do something. Some people think that Buhari doesn’t listen, but the man listens.

Look at him, he has been appealing to Niger Delta militants to lay down their arms. I think Buhari means well. But there are some things he should not do. He should not dabble into judicial issues, he should respect the independence of the judiciary.

I believe that it is those selfish advisers that are surrounding Buhari that are giving him bad name. I believe that left for Buhari, he wants equity and justice to prevail in this country. We have read his body language, he wants fair play to prevail.

But some of those people surrounding him are evil. I pray they should allow Buhari to work for Nigeria’s interests. But there are spoilers in his cabinet. I don’t want to mention names – there are some people doing evil things using Buhari’s name, but Buhari himself is not evil. But I believe that Nigeria will still get there. We will still become a great nation.

That meeting in the South East, what eventually happened because Buhari was not seen there?

You know some young people started threatening that Buhari should not come, and if he had shown up there might be some casualties. The boys may cause trouble, and the organizers of the meeting and the government didn’t want anybody to lose their lives.

But I believe that in the nearest future, the ground will be so well prepared that he will come. If I were Buhari, I will not be annoyed with these aggrieved elements, but rather try to win them over to his side by providing them some incentives like giving them good roads, hospitals and stable power supply.

Now political question sir, part of the solutions people are canvassing is to decentralize Nigeria which some people are referring to as restructuring as it was in the 60s, how practical is this as a solution to our national problems?

If we leave Nigeria the way it is and people are enjoying dividends of democracy there won’t be all these clamours for restructuring. Another way out for us is to have regional governments, the centre will be less strong. The centre will handle security, foreign affairs, it may also handle the judiciary, but then economically empower the regions. For instance if we have South East regional government, you may abolish local governments, and then have what we call Community Administration; states directly running communities by providing direct funding.

You now hold the community administration including the traditional rulers, Ezes accountable for good governance. Then whatever the regions generate as internal revenues, they will keep part of it and also remit a part to the central government. This is even part of the recommendation of the National Conference organized by the former President Goodluck Jonathan. I don’t know why they jettisoned that confab recommendations and kept it in the cooler.

Although some parts of Nigeria are not comfortable with the report, believing that if it is implemented leadership may elude them. Unfortunately in Nigeria, people feed from the centre, and that’s why you have bitter struggle for control of power at the centre.

Are you one of those who believe that the previous administration messed up the economy?

Yes I believe that, but the messing up started with the military – so much money was squandered. Corruption didn’t start with Jonathan, it has always been there with us.
The messing up started with the military. So much money was squandered by them. Corruption didn’t  just  start from the coming into office of Jonathan but corruption has been there all along.  Look at the Abacha era, the Babangida era, Obasanjo era,  they meant well for the country, but there were elements of corruption in their governments. Even the current president made mistake when he was the chairman of the PTDF, but he is now a repented person.  I regard Buhari as somebody who has repented. Nobody is saying it but I must say it.  But I still strongly believe that we will get there one day.

On the issue of killings in Southern Kaduna, do you think the Federal Government is doing enough to address the crisis?

The Fulani people who have been accused of being behind these killings are well organized people. The Fulani have been spreading through West Africa and if you have been reading books on History of West Africa, Fulani are very ferocious and belligerent. When you offend one, you offend all. Some of those Fulani that wreaked havoc in Nigeria are not really Fulani from Nigeria. They come from outside Nigeria and they mobilize from outside Nigeria to come and fight inside Nigeria. Some of them are from Mali and Chad.

What we need is understanding. There must be  harmony among us. I believe that what is happening in Southern Kaduna today is a continuation of the Zango-Kataf crisis of the 80s and 90s.

The Hausa-Fulani traders in Southern Kaduna followed the rail to Kafancha. They are migrants. They should learn to live and let live. The Southern Kaduna people are the land owners, they are the indigenes of the area so the Fulani should respect the land owners. They should live and let live.

This is one of the reasons I oppose carving out of grazing fields for the Fulani. If you allow a Fulani man to have a grazing field, thereafter he would enthrone an Emir. Then they would try to take over the land from the original owners.

Fulani are unlike the Igbo. Igbo are republicans and adventurers. They leave their own areas to develop other people’s areas and they are willing to go back home anytime. I don’t think Fulani have a home. To them every land they occupy is their home. The type of Fulani we have today, the Fulani herdsmen are very violent. They are unlike the ones we used to have. I don’t know what these Fulani herdsmen are after, whether they want to conquer Nigeria. But if they want to conquer Nigeria, I want to say if they try that, there will be no country called Nigeria again because people are ready to resist with their last blood.

So the best thing for us to do is to live in harmony. We have to discuss how to live in harmony. (The Sun)

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