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We Want Referendum And Not War – Igbo Group |The Republican News

By Kenneth Ofoma, ENUGU

We want referendum, not war – Igbo group

 

An Igbo group, Voice from the East, has stated that majority of the Igbo speaking people of South East and South South otherwise known as Ndigbo do not want any more wars, but a referendum to determine their sovereignty.

The group which embarked on a peaceful protest in Enugu Monday in solidarity for the proposed visit of the United State’s Ambassador at large, Mr. Samuel Brownback, to Nigeria over what the US tagged, “Nigeria is a country of particular concern over killings,” urged US government to save Ndigbo and Christians in Nigeria from a possible extermination and Islamisation.

“We are Igbos, we don’t want war again but a referendum. We don’t want what happened in Turkey to happen in Nigeria,” the group declares.

The group carried placards that read in part as follows: “Herdsmen are agents of Islamisation; “Nigeria is a country of particular concern”, “US government stop killing of Christians”; “Buhari has failed to hold killer herdsmen accountable,” among other things.

Addressing journalists during the protest, the Convener of Voice from the East, Comrade Kindness Jonah, said that they were on the streets to show solidarity for the proposed visit of Mr. Samuel Brownback of the United State’s Commission for International Religious Freedom, USCIRF on his proposed visit to Nigeria over the killings in Nigeria by armed militia herdsmen.

“We welcome Brownback to Nigeria. We welcome USCIRF to Nigeria to stop killing of Christians in Nigeria,” he said.

Jonah accused President Buhari of failing to tame the armed herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents, saying that he has not done much to check their activities and pointed out that that was part of the reasons why they wanted Biafra.

“Buhari is monetising herdsmen, Boko Haram. That is why he cannot stop them. Buhari has not been talking about the killings. Buhari cannot stop them. He is the patron of Myetti Allah cattle breeders and so cannot stop the killings. We want Biafra and that is why we welcome Brownback to Nigeria,” he said.

“We want to have a referendum and we use the opportunity to ask US President to help Biafra get freedom. We don’t want war but a referendum,” he said. (New Telegraph)

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Proselytized Igbo: Denial Of Igbo Identity Amongst The Igbo Of South-South |RN

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By Victor Wilberforce
I coined the word Proselytized – Igbos. Many stopped being Igbo during the Civil war out of fear of genocide and are unable to resume their cultural identity again.
These groups are predominantly found in the South-South and are in each of the 6 SS states. They are usually oil-rich and prefer to be called ethnic nationalities which fits the British/ Federal Government propaganda that Igboland has no oil.
Their resolve to remain minorities despite their actual majority status is strengthened by the fact that they shiver to imagine their group in the deprivation of their brothers in the SE, who are marginalized and viciously maltreated in the scheme of things.
These groups get certain palliatives nay incentives for divorcing themselves from the major Igbo group.
However, like other oil producing ethnicities, their lands are despoiled by oil exploration activities, the people are bereft of tangible developmental indices. Their lands are overwhelmed with despoilation from pipeline bursts. Their major source of living being fishing and farming is disturbed, yet the people cannot complain.
They cannot complain because of the crumbs gave out to their elites. These vocal and selfish elites scramble for everything from their masters’ table so that their families can enjoy the soft life they are used to.
There is a 13% deprivation for these states, ‘magnanimously’ put in the Constitution by General Sani Abacha but this amount is viciously cornered by Nigeria elites in both the Federal and State governments. In the 1963 constitution, the derivation is 50%.
The Ministry of Niger Delta and the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC are other conduits used to defraud the peoples and governments of the region.
Why the people cannot come together and form a group like South-South Igbo Agitation Group or Agitation for Development of Igbo Oil Producing Areas in the South-South or Niger Delta Igbo Agitation for Development DIAD like the Ijaws have to MEND remains a shock – yet many of the freedom fighters for the upliftment of the Niger Delta are Igbo.
In truth, Igbo groups are the largest producers of oil in Nigeria but it is an anathema and even dangerous to voice this truth in Nigeria. Rivers state produces about 20% of the nation’s oil and over 70% are Igbo groups, Delta state produces 25% of the nations’ oil and about 40% are Igbo. This trend is replicated though in smaller percentages in all the states of the South-South.
Everybody in Nigeria knows that the South-South Igbos are the majority in the Niger Delta. However, when an Ikwerre man like Chibuike Amaechi says he is Igbo, he is termed fake Niger Delta but when he says that he is Ikwerre then he is Original Niger Delta.
Few people in Nigeria today agree that the Aniocha, Ikwerre, Abueto, Oshimili, Ika, Ogba, Ekpeye, Ukwuani, Aboh, Ndoni, Abi, Etchie etc are Igbo, fewer people will agree publicly that Governors Liyel Imoke, Nyesom Wike, Chibuike Amaechi, Peter Odili, Ifeanyichukwu Okowa etc are Igbo but in the secret they know and use it against them.
Gov Peter Odili of Rivers state was denied the Presidency and Vice – Presidency of Nigeria at the behest of Clarke and Nuhu Ribadu because he is Igbo though the position was zoned to the South-South where he comes from.
In as much as a system prevails in Nigeria that encourages people to deny their ethnicities, in as much as there is a system that provides the uneven playing ground for all, in as much as lies are promoted above truths then the Nigeria of our dreams shall remain a mirage.
(Victor Wilberforce is a critical thinker and a social engineer)

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Igbo To Benefit More When Buhari Is Removed From Office, Says Obasanjo |RN

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                               Ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo

Tony Okafor, Awka

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday asked the people of the South East geopolitical zone to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general elections “in their own interest.”

Speaking at a meeting of the Coalition of Nigerian Moment in Awka, Anambra State, Obasanjo said the Igbo would be the most beneficiary in Buhari’s ouster.

He asked the Igbo not to believe the promise that the Igbo would produce the President in 2023, describing it as “a grand deceit and evil machination.”

Speaking through the South East convener of CNM, Dr Okey Nwosu, the ex-president asked the people of the zone to “collectively work with the CNM towards ousting Buhari from office in the 2019 general elections.

He accused the All Progressives Congress government of perpetrating “carnage and wanton destruction of lives and property across the country.”

He said, “The meeting is a wake-up call for Nd’Igbo to dump APC and collaborate with CNM, which is the best alternative for their rescue from poverty, hunger, recklessness and ethnic cleansing in the hands of the Hausa/Fulani marauders.

“Every Nigerian leader is very much embarrassed with the state of the nation where people are attacked, killed, raped and made refugees in their own homes.

“Political leaders must advocate action against these senseless killings and seek how to design a new democratic action plan to ensure we take care of this conundrum democratically, and say, ‘Enough is enough.’

“If unchecked, these unethical activities will lead to the destruction of the country. It does not augur well for Nigeria’s development.”

He said the objective of CNM was mostly on how to “sack Buhari from Aso Rock in 2019 and ensure that a visionary government is elected.”

He added, “Nigeria’s eminent personalities, including Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and T.Y. Danjuma have all spoken and condemned the killings and destruction in the country.

“If these people can say that the nation needs to be saved from these calamities, the South-East geopolitical zone must add their voice to the clarion call.”

He said the CNM had mobilised no fewer than five million Nigerians to realise its objectives in 2019.  (Punch)

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50 Years Ago: Brigadier Samuel Ogbemudia Was Igbo From Igbo Akiri Not Igbanke

Samuel Ogbemudia                                                   Samuel Ogbemudia

By Mr Emma Okocha

A columnist at Dailysun Newspaper – He covers a column that titled: Blood On The Niger. A complete history of what happened before and after Biafran/Nigerian civil war.

His recent column titled: 50 years ago….. Ogbumedia was Igbo and Igbanke, Igbo Akiri

“From time immemorial, the people that are called Igbanke today were known and called Igbo-Akiri. It was in 1967 when Ogbemudia became the military governor of the Midwest State that he changed the name of the town from Igbo-Akiri to Igbanke…

It would have been unthinkable at that time to reveal that an Ibo man or an Ibo town produced the military governor of the Midwest State…. Ogbemudia, including the prominent Evangelist Rev. Isaac Idahosa, are all Ibo and they hail originally from Igbo Akiri.”

(See Blood On The Niger, Gomslam Books 2012 pages 33, 216)

Captain Fred Anuku, the Commander of the Biafran Navy was the first Nigerian naval graduate from Dartmouth. While his fellow Ika-Ibo Brigadier Samuel Ogbemudia joined the Federal troops, Fred, who was married to the Caribbean, fled Lagos during the 1966 Igbo pogrom and was offered the command of the fledging young Navy by the Biafran high command.

At the same time, Major Nzeogwu’s involvement on January 15, 1966, Revolution brought suspicion and calamity to his own people of Asaba, Okpanam and environs. As we prepare to organise a programme for the Anioma and Asaba 50th Year Genocide Anniversary, we shall today mention some of the top actors, commanders from the western Ibo nation of both forces whose roles led to the genocide in Asaba, Isheagu, Ogwashi, Igbodo, Ubulu Kingdom, Ibusa and Ndi Oshimili.

These prominent Commanders include Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, Col. Conrad Nwawo, Col. Joe Achuzia, and Captain Fred Anuku on the Biafran side. On the Nigerian side, we shall record the memorable activities of Brigadier Samuel Ogbemudia, General Godwin Alabi Isama, General Cyril Iweze and Commander O.Z. Chiazor, the first black man to be commissioned by the Queen in the Royal Canadian Navy.

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Significantly, at this time, charismatic Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu had been released from the Calabar prison. He had disagreed with Ojukwu’s war aims and military strategy, and obviously discountenanced the declaration of Biafra. He advised that the East should resist for, at least, four months, cultivate foreign and local support and then prepare and get into the position with more arms and training to resist a total war.

He opposed any frontal engagements against the superior-armed federal troops at that initial stage of the war. At the 1967 Abakiliki military exercise, Nzeogwu demonstrated his extraordinary military acumen and proved beyond doubt that he was the Rommel of the Nigerian Army. A commander’s dream, endowed with a peculiar knowledge of the sub-savannah battlefield terrain, he exuded a rare combat capability and commanded the battle simulation with such confidence and precision that he drew tears of adulation from the awed subalterns.

He inspired most of the officers with his unmitigated improvisations. To most of the top brass of the Biafran Army, who were seeing the dawn of real combat action for the first time, this fighting leatherneck was a military institution all by himself, a study in combat readiness and tactics.

After his release from Calabar, Nzeogwu managed to reach his boys still in the Nigerian Army in the Midwest and in the West. The plan to enter the Midwest was originally his and that was his own way of setting a stage for the cessation of hostilities, an end to the war, and the restoration of the ideals of the January 15 Revolution.

To this end, he was disappointed by his friend, Major Olusegun Obasanjo whom he had not heard from and whom he learnt had gone back to Kaduna. On the other hand, he was confident in and had some respect for Major Samuel Ogbemudia, his colleague at the Nigeria Military Training College (NMTC), Kaduna.

Furthermore, Wole Soyinka revealed that the Westerners had agreed on the opposition against the North but also disagreed with Ojukwu on the declaration of Biafra, and for that matter, the declaration of Benin Republic. Declaration of Biafra, the Revolutionaries reasoned would isolate the Easterners and put the West and the Midwest in a bad position whereby sympathies from the West and the Midwest would end up being restrained.

They would do better fighting as Nigerians. Whatever was the final consensus, Ogbemudia turned tail. He was next heard of leading the triumphant entry of the Federal Forces into Benin.

Few days after the war, the Biafra Research and Production Bureau made two secret and instant contacts with the high command of the Nigerian Army. Willy Achukwu, the Onitsha-born multi-talented improvising scientist, led one team to the Commander of the 82 Division, Enugu. Before the meeting, a team of Biafran Scientists were directed to put down sketches of the scientific equipment, designs, take measurements of the weapons, guns.

A special house with good illumination was erected to keep safely all the Biafran designs and prototypes. They also produced a new Ajuala flying Ogbunigwe to supplement the ones produced at Awo Idemili. Research at this time resumed on what I might term the first world “Smart Bomb” was redesigned as the much-needed facilities and spare parts, lacking with the exigency of the war were becoming available after the war. (Pse., see Biafra, a Legacy Lost TELL Magazine Special Report No. 14 April 8, 2002. Page 37)

While Willy Achukwu led one group to the Commander 82 Division Enugu, Professor Ezekwe and Professor Nwosu went to Benin and handed over their Biafran scientific designs to Governor S.O. Ogbemudia. Ogbemudia raced to Lagos and desperately tried everything to convince General Gowon to seize the opportunity and convert that Biafran scientific ingenuity and like the Americans absorbed the German-Jewish war scientific breakthrough, and transform Nigeria to a modern powerful black nation. Gowon shilly-shallied and meanwhile the Willy Achukwu group were lucky to escape the gallows.

General Bissala the Commander of the 82 Division before their tearful eyes, poured gasoline over the designs and materials, brought out a box of matches and set the huge collection of the scientific fabric of Black civilisation on fire!

Ogbemudia’s shock and depression on learning of the outcome of the meeting with the GOC and the burning of the Biafran war prototypes and designs were enough to transform him from Saul to Paul.

For the third time, the Brigadier deflected and returned to his original base and more than any other post-war governor was very prominent in the rehabilitation projects to return the war-weary Igbo to Jerusalem. He offered grants to poor students, donated buses to the University of Nigeria and rehabilitated the former Biafran Army officers, returning home to Bendel.

All the same, he cannot run away from the serious war crime charges of changing the name of a whole community, the heritage of his people Igbo Akiri to Igbanke. To this day, the people of this community yearn to return to their kith and kin in the Ika province of Delta State.

On his triumphant entry into Benin, in company with the Butcher of Asaba, General Murtala Mohammed, can he absolve himself and other officers and men of the Federal Second Division, of complicity in the wanton killing of Igbo in Benin that started on September 21, 1967, to the end of that war?

This post was first published on Dailysun Newspaper

 

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Ohanaeze To Youth Wing: It’s A Sacrilege To Summon Your Elders |The Republican News

By Biyi Adegoroye

 

The Apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday lambasted its Youth Wing for allegedly giving its President-General, Dr Nnia Nwodo, a seven-day ultimatum, saying the action was not only a sacrilege but a display of youthful rascality.

The Youth Wing, in a statement allegedly signed by President-General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro and Secretary General, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, called on Ndigbo to rise and stop Nwodo before he commits political suicide that would burn the hands and identities of Ndigbo.
They urged articulate youths and wise elders, as well as technocrats to rise up to rescue Ohanaeze Ndigbo from Nwodo’s clique and save the Igbo nation from political suicide.

“Imagine, out of 24-man executives of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nwodo uses an illegal organ of Forum of States’ Presidents against the Constitution of Ohanaeze to subdue, intimidate and humiliate other Ohanaeze Ndigbo executives members,” the statement said.
But the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Chuck Ibegbu, said: “ They do not have the powers to summon the President General to a Disciplinary Committee. That amounts to youthful rascality. How can a child summon or discipline his father? That is an abomination in African culture. That shows the level of degeneration in this generation of youths.

“They lack discipline, respect and you know what the Bible says about those who disrespect their fathers. Ironically, tomorrow they want to be fathers. That is rascality in the highest order and we don’t tolerate that in African culture.”
Asked whether there was a crisis in the group, Ibegbu said: “There is no crisis in Ohanaeze. The youths cannot fight their elders. The Youth Wing of Ohanaeze was disbanded by the last administration and when we came up and tried to see what their problems were. We found out that there were lots of misdemeanours.”

“They were behaving arrogantly outside the provisions of the Ohanaeze constitution. So the Imeobi of Ohanaeze met last November and dissolved the Youths’ Wing and Women’s Wing. They are preparing for elections in the next few weeks.”
He insisted that there was no crisis whatsoever in the group and expressed confidence in the leadership of its President General.

“We have great confidence in the leadership of Dr Nwodo. We are all intact. In the next few weeks, there will be the election of the wings where a new leadership will emerge.
“As it were, our group is irrevocably committed to its mission and core mandate – to serve the Igbo nation with our might and strength. We are committed to equity, justice and fairness among all ethnic groups in Nigeria. We are irrevocably committed to the restructuring of Nigeria.”  (New Telegraph)

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Igbo Voting For Buhari Will Not Give Igbo Presidency – Udenwa (Imo Ex-Gov) |RN

 

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Ex-Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa

 

Imo guber : We’ll resist the imposition of Okorocha’s son-in-law

The former governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa has expressed worries over the spate of violence in the country. He believes that the All Progressives Congress(APC) has no solutions to the situation. In this interview with WILLY EYA, he spoke on various issues including the determination of people of Imo State to resist the imposition of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s son-in-law, Mr Uche Nwosu on the state.

How do you feel about the state of affairs in the country today especially with the spate of violence and wanton killings in Nigeria ahead of the 2019 general elections?

The state of the nation is nothing to write home about. There is so much suffering in the land. A lot of people are not employed. The prices of goods are rising so much and the people are earning so little. In the country today, everybody is crying. I think that is because of the government’s inability to grasp the situation. The government seems not to know exactly what to do. All these culminate in the level of violence you witness in the country. If youths are unemployed, they could easily engage in all sorts of crimes. If the youth are gainfully employed, we would not have the level of insecurity that we have in the country today. That is the situation we have on our hands and it is very unfortunate.

But even with all these happening under the All Progressives Congress(APC), do you think Nigerians would be ready to go back to your party, PDP in the next general elections?

I think Nigerians would go back to the PDP because just compare what happened when the PDP was in power to what is happening now. I am not saying we are perfect but we did not have the level of suffering that we are having in the country today. It is not that the PDP was perfect but whatever was our own shortcoming, I believe by now, we have learnt our lessons and we would be ready to make amends. The sufferings cannot continue as it is today. We cannot vote for the APC forever. By the time the APC was coming in, they promised heaven on earth. They promised for instance that electricity would improve substantially. They promised improved infrastructure, employment and even security. And three years after, we have seen today that all the promises have come to nothing. Not even one of the sectors they made promises on has improved. They have not improved employment, the supply of electricity, infrastructure, security, prices of commodities and so on. So we have not witnessed improvement anywhere. The worst thing that is happening to us in this country today is the issue of insecurity of lives and properties of the people. Insecurity is on the increase on a daily basis. It is astonishing that every day, you hear that 20 people have been killed here, and 30 people have been killed there, and so on. It is as if we do not value the lives of human beings again. It is not pardonable for a nation to even lose one person carelessly and not to talk about losing 100 people. I do not know where Nigeria is heading. So, with the situation on the ground, Nigerians can no longer leave their country for the APC. If we do that, we are all doomed.

With your vantage position after eight years experience as governor, one area I would like you to talk about is on the fragile national unity that we are experiencing since President Muhammadu Buhari came on board. Nigerians have never been this divided since after the civil war. What in your view is the problem?

The answer is very simple; if we leave Nigeria the way she is today, with all the ethnic and religious divisions, I can tell you that we are heading to a disaster. It is not a situation we should joke with. But I am sure that if the PDP comes back to power, we would not allow this to continue. We cannot definitely allow this level of ethnic and religious divisions to continue. The PDP was in power from 1999 to 2015, but there was no time that we had this kind of ethnic and religious division. We know exactly that in Nigeria, we have several tribes and different religions. There are even some other religions but all of these existed side by side without problems. But what is happening in the country today emphasizes our religious and tribal differences. That is not how to build a nation; that is not the way to go and that would not lead us anywhere. It can only lead us to chaos. So, if the PDP comes to power in 2019, I am sure we would check that drift. I do not think that anybody in his right senses should be a religious bigot or a tribal chauvinist. Your tribe and your religion to the PDP do not matter because they are personal to you. Your religion is between you and God. But the way we have emphasised our religion and tribal differences in the current administration has never happened in Nigeria before. Today, watch the appointments when they are made, you would see that the bulk of the appointments comes from one side. The other time, somebody was analyzing it in the media, when the security council of the country is sitting, no person from the South East, a whole region would be there. I think the South-South has one person and the South West has one other person. The rest are from the North. This has never happened before. It should not be allowed to continue. I am not saying that people from the North should not be there but in terms of competence, I do not believe that the other zones from the country do not have competent people to be there. In terms of ethnic balancing, the whole country should be represented. These are ways of dousing tension. Now, we talk about federal character. We should not only talk about federal character when it is only convenient for a particular section of the country. We should talk of federal character in a holistic manner. There are federal appointments that you want to make, even if all the competent people are from one region, as long as we are practising the federal character principle, everybody should be carried along. These are very simple issues to deal with. It is just that those who are in power today do not want to deal with them.

You are sounding optimistic that the PDP may bounce back to power in 2019 but what do you make of the defections of some key members of your party to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), APC  and other parties? I am talking about names like Prof Jerry Ghana, Prof Adeniran among others.

Defections are happening right, left and centre. While some are defecting from the PDP to other parties, some are also leaving other parties to the PDP. So, the defections do not worry us at all. Prof Gana and Prof Adeniran that you just mentioned, these are my two very good friends and the reasons that they are giving come from the last national convention of the party. But while they are not satisfied with what happened within the party during the convention but the party leadership has also tried to talk to them not to be angry but help in putting the party together. Even with that, for reasons best known to them, they left. But I can tell you that as they are going, other people are also coming into the PDP. I can tell you that the level of defections out of the PDP is not as much as the level of those coming into the PDP. So, at the end of the day, I do not think that it would drastically affect the fortunes of the PDP. But I must say that the two of them are eminent members of the party. At the same time, that does not mean that if they defect to other parties that the PDP cannot move forward. So many are coming into the PDP, and not the APC. The ruling party, the APC is in shambles. Despite the fact that they are in government, the party is in shambles. And if you watch their own defections, in the next two to three months, their defections would be much more than whatever happened in the PDP. I think that despite the setbacks that we are having, the PDP is getting stronger and stronger. We have passed our worst period. We can only but go up again.

What is your take on the reordering of election schedule by the National Assembly? Do you agree with those who hold the view that the move is targeted at the President?

I do not think that the move to reorder the election is personal. It is not targeted at the president. In 1999 when we contested elections, the order of elections as far as I can remember was just like what the National Assembly is saying now. It was changed somewhere along the line. The important thing is that the National Assembly has the powers to do that. If they have the powers to reorder the elections, I do not see how it is targeted at anybody.

What is your take on the position by some people that restructuring of the nation should be carried out before the general elections?

I feel that restructuring should be done before the 2019 general elections but now it is clear that the APC government does not want to restructure the country. It would have been the ideal thing to restructure the country before the election. I can assure you that when the PDP takes over the government, to restructure the country would be our first assignment. The APC manifesto with which they won the 2015 presidential election talked about restructuring and they sold this manifesto to Nigerians and Nigerians voted for them based on their own manifesto. But you can see that the way they have treated the issue of restructuring up till now tells you that the APC is not a serious party. The APC is not a party you can trust. With the problems Nigeria is having, you cannot trust the party because they cannot come up with solutions to our problems. Look at all the promises they made before the elections; tell me which one they have fulfilled; none. I can assure you that the PDP is firm on restructuring and it is paramount to the party. But if they fail to do that, we cannot say there would not be an election without restructuring. I do not support that but the thing is that it is ideal to have restructuring before the elections. But if they want to have the elections without restructuring, we leave it to when the PDP comes to power. I was a member of the 2014 National Conference and in all the recommendations, the restructuring was on the front burner. We all agreed that it is the only way we can move forward in this country. But the APC is not ready for restructuring, so I do not see how we can entrust the governance of this country in the hands of the APC any more. They cannot be trusted. At the National Conference, people gathered from all walks of life and if you know the basis of selecting the delegates of the conference, you would know that every part of this country was represented. All classes of people including market women were represented. The civil society was very well represented. The traditional institution was well represented. We made very serious deliberations to arrive at the report that we have but unfortunately, this government has said no to restructuring. They came with a cosmetic report the other time and said it was the APC programme on restructuring. Do you think that they are serious about restructuring? After how many days, you are bringing out a wishy-washy report on restructuring; what are you going to restructure? That tells you that these people do not want to restructure but we believe that Nigeria must be restructured. That is what all sections of Nigeria are saying.

As one of the leaders in the South East zone, what type of politics should the Igbo play ahead of next year’s general elections? Do you agree with those who argue that voting for Buhari is the easiest way for the South East to produce the president of this country?

Saying that voting for Buhari is the easiest way for the Igbo to produce the president of this country is arrant nonsense. If you like, give Buhari 100 percent vote, it would not improve your chances of producing the president of this country. These are all gimmicks. The Igbo should vote for a party that believes in restructuring, a party that generally believes in Nigeria’s unity, a party that genuinely believes that every Nigerian is equal, a party that believes that every Nigerian irrespective of where you come from have equal rights. That is what the Igbo should vote for and not be talking about voting for the APC because you want to be president in 2023. That does not hold anywhere and those who are saying it know that they are not serious. Even our brothers who are saying it know that they are not serious. Go and ask our brothers who went to the APC about their fate in the party. They have no place there. They are not usually there when decisions are being taken. They are not consulted when decisions are made no matter how highly placed they may be.

In view of the tension and the state of affairs in the country, what are your worst fears about Nigeria?

My worst fears about the country are that if we do not take time, and these killings continue unchecked, it could result in an insurrection that would be worse than the last civil war in Nigeria. Anybody who fought the last civil war would never wish that it could come to Nigeria again. The last civil war even had boundaries; the worst would be when we would not have boundaries and everywhere would become a battlefield. Nobody will be safe. That is my worst fear. I pray that all of us should put our differences and selfishness aside and look at Nigeria as our country. We should try and carry everybody along. Once we have equity, justice and fair play, the tension in the country would come down. But as long as people feel completely neglected and marginalized in some places becoming a permanent battlefield, there would not be peace. In the country now, everywhere you hear of Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs). In Plateau, Adamawa, Borno, Benue, Nasarrawa, Yobe, Taraba and so on, the story is the same of the IDPs. And what are IDPs? They are what we used to call the refugee camps during the civil war. But IDP is a new baptism for refugees. These things should not exist in our country. The more we have these features, the bleaker our future will be. Let us remove ethnicity and religion in our politics and build our own country. Nigeria can be a great country. I was one of those who thought that with Buhari coming in, there would be discipline in the country. I must say that he has got discipline but with what is happening now in the country, I do not know whether he is in charge. I thought that with his discipline, Nigeria would be taken to the next level but instead, the country is moving backwards. We are retrogressing. Let every Nigerian not think of his tribe or religion but the nation unless we want to go our own ways, which I do not support. I still believe in Nigeria but I believe in a restructured Nigeria. I believe in a Nigeria with equal opportunities for her citizens. I believe in a Nigeria where everybody would put his best.

You were governor of Imo for eight years and your state has been in the news for many controversial reasons. The most recent controversy is the endorsement of the Imo Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, by Governor Rochas Okorocha. As a son-in-law to the governor, his candidacy is generating furore, are you comfortable with the development?

It boils down to the fact that our governor has no direction. His son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, I must concede to him is a Nigerian, an Imo indigene and he is constitutionally qualified to contest for any position he wants but the issue of the governor trying to impose him, that is neither here nor there. I can assure you it would not happen in Imo State. If you listened to the media when the governor was sharing positions, you would know how naïve he is. He said his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu would become the governor, he would be the Senator for Orlu zone, and he has appointed the Senator for Owerri, he has appointed House of Representatives member for part of Okigwe and so on. He was distributing democratically elective positions. Does it ever happen anywhere? Under which platform is he standing to distribute elective positions? He is not even talking of those people being the candidates of his party. He is talking about the person that would become governor, the person that would go to the Senate and so on. Is it done anywhere? It tells you the level of madness we are having in that state but Imo people are not fools. I can tell you that Imo people would stand against it and I can assure you that it cannot happen in Imo. If it happens in Imo, then it means that there is nobody there again. The young man is qualified to contest as governor of Imo State but for Okorocha to say it must be him is the height of foolhardiness.

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South-East Elders Council Back Buhari For 2019 Presidential Bid |RN

By Pamela Eboh

South East elders’ council yesterday said they will support President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential election if he decides to run again. According to them, the All Progressives Congress, APC government had done well in fighting corruption and the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency.

Speaking on behalf of the group at Nnewi, the Chairman of the forum and former President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, said the decision was reached at the South East leaders meeting in Enugu.

His words: “It is not yet clear if President Buhari would contest again. He would not be drafted for the position when he had not indicated any interest. “There are so many factors to be taken into consideration while talking about Buhari for the second tenure.

You have to know whether the man wants to go for a second tenure before you begin to support him. If he does not indicate any interest, then what is the purpose of supporting him? “Are you going to draft him into the position? And you should know that between now and 2019 is a long time in the political calendar because a lot of things can still happen.

There is this saying that man proposes, but God disposes. But left with us, if he wants to run, let him go ahead.

“We will support him but the decision has to come from him and not foisted on him by his handlers. That is the view of the South East elders’ forum.” He further described corruption in Nigeria as a monster that could not be killed in one shot, urging President Buhari to ride on with the battle and never allow any room for sacred cows.

He added the forum reasoned that if the issue of corruption and insecurity were fixed in Nigeria, a good number of foreign investors would be attracted to the country with the attendant jobs creation and increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  (New Telegraph)

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