It is only since after the civil war that sycophants emerged in Igbo circle, Food is Ready politicians, this will stop, for patronage encourages corruption, indolence and brigandage.

Jonathan is serious negotiating with the west, begging them and they are giving him conditions; they are negotiating; Is he doing that with Ndigbo? Why are we cheap? Why is Ohaneze cheap?

The recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan by the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has raised dust from stakeholders in the south-east geopolitical zone. In this interview, the All Progressives Congress,APC,Spokesperson in the zone and a Chieftain of Ohanaeze, Mr. Osita Okechukwu faulted the position of Ohanaeze leadership insisting that Jonathan has done nothing for Ndigbo to warrant such endorsement.

What is your position about zoning baring in mind that it is only the south-south and south-east geopolitical zones are the two, that had not ruled the country before Jonathan’s administration?

I read your interview with Chief Joe Nworgu, whose tenure as Secretary General is stewed in controversy and before the court of law. My understanding of his interview is that the two reasons he gave are spurious.

One is that south-south should complete eight years, after which they hand over to the south-east. Second is that Jonathan, having

convoked the Confab, is conscience bound to implement the report. My take is that the zoning convention is premised on broad North/South divide and not the six geopolitical zones of south-south, south-east, south-west, north-central, north -east and north-west.

That’s why I said that their reasons for the endorsement of Jonathan are warped, ineffectual and only meant to enrich the actors not the people. Secondly, one has severally warned Ndigbo and indeed Nigerians to beware of ethnic and religious merchants whose only agenda is to expand the fault lines which divide the country, instead of building bridges to unite the country. Otherwise how on earth can Ndigbo get an additional state under this democracy and under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic without negotiations with the Hausas and Yorubas?

Or how come that our dear president has not implemented the items recommended by the Confab which are basically policy matters? Or has Mr. President submitted an Executive Bill to the National Assembly arising from issues in the report he is in agreement with? Has he set up a lobby team to negotiate the issues on the table? We know when an issue is placed on the front burner by Mr. President.

What’s your take on the crisis in Ohaneze leadership ?

It is very unfortunate and diminishes the relevance of Ndigbo in the national political landscape. The old proverb has it that a house divided among itself is bound to fail. A cursory look on Igbo trajectory in the past 16 years of our return to democracy shows that we are lagging behind our competitors the Huasas and Yorubas. We need to re-strategize in order to gain respect and recognition.

On the tenure issue one can say that there was no amendment going by the Communique of the General Assembly of Ohaneze of August 2010. The communique only elongated the tenure of late Ralph Uwechie and not the present leadership. I was at the 3rd January meeting where they showed a Nollywood kind of projector film, without reading from any minute book nor any public publication notifying Ndigbo of the amendment. Since the matter is in court one should avoid contempt of the court, and as Thomas Paine said,whatever reason cannot fix, time will fix it.

You said Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, was foisted on Ndigbo in a less transparent bidding process, can you expatiate ?

In summary, a company had to bid for Abuja and Enugu Electricity Distribution Companies and got a negative response in what they classified as Negative Present Value during the National Council on Privatisation Technical Committee evaluation. This means that the company failed consistency test and was to be disqualified. Rather than disqualify that company, it was allocated Enugu Electricity Distribution Company instead of another company that was the Preferred Bidder. My take is, if President Jonathan so loved the Igbo why did he bend the rules? Why didn’t he give Abuja to the company that failed? The outcome of this non transparent transaction is that the south-east has the highest tariff with very low power supply.

It means that factories will close and some will move out of our region, hence undermining the enterprise and hard working Ndigbo. The question is on which plank was the endorsement anchored? Is it on fulfilled promises or generally good governance ? Mr President failed in all parameters, crashing the Naira, condoning of monumental corruption, allocating the ownership of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to a non performing company through a non transparent bidding process.

Today, the south-east has the highest electricity tariff in the country – 94%, is that how a good brother treats his brothers? The Enugu-Onitsha road and Enugu Porthacourt road remain the worse major roads in the country. All the federal roads in the south east do not indicate the man has any interest in the area.

President Jonathan’ s score card of failure is endless for one has not even mentioned the promises he made before the 2011 presidential election to revamp Enugu Coal, which he apparently forgot or the 2nd Niger Bridge which he forgot to include in the federal budget like the Loko-Owete bridge.

In all our efforts to vote continuously for the PDP since 1999 what’s the pay back to Igbo people? President Jonathan’s reward for the Igbo support is not commensurate to our sacrifice and so on what basis, if not personal aggrandizement, was his endorsement by Ohaneze anchored?

You mentioned items which do not need amendment of the constitution to implement, can you name such items?

They are too numerous. All that is required is a president that has the political will, the discipline and the suavity to negate the tendencies and interests in our political horizon. Without being immodest, Mr President lacks the political will to fix hard choices, which include issues like Revenue Allocation to all the tiers of government. Most people agree that the revenue allocation formular today is warped and unduly conferred unearned power to center.

There is the issue of the Mineral Resources management which does not require constitutional amendment to be pushed through. A lot of people do not remember that after the 1996 Constitutional Conference, General Sanni Abacha of blessed memory unequivocally stated in black and white that derivation will be not less than 13%. Those who demonized the North forget that the 13% derivation inserted in the constitution is traceable to a northern president. May one ask, what prevented President Jonathan to work towards increasing the percentage?

Do you think Buhari will implement the Confab report or create additional state in the south-east?

That’s a nice question. I have been with General Muhammadu Buhari, whom we fondly call GMB since 2002. It was late Rt.Hon. Chuba Okadigbo that led our foray into the GMB camp. Immediately after his impeachment, he called about twenty of us to his house and announced that he was leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and we cajoled him of sour grape, prodding whether it was because he was impeached that he was jumping ship.

Okadigbo said no, that we must move because the then President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was constructing a one party state, that in GMB he found a man who possessed the political will to traverse the marathon race of constructing a political party that would challenge the one party state Obasanjo was constructing. The rest, they say, is history.

You have not answered my question?

Hold on, I am coming. In his manifesto in 2003, 2007, 2011 and currently GMB subscribes to the idea that we must restructure to true federalism. And luckily today we are in camp with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and co who are protagonists of true federalism, state police and the fine ingredients enumerated by the Confab. So who is fooling who?And most importantly GMB is one of the few Northerners who have the loyalty of the north.

They believe in him and he believes in them and also share common affinity with the masses of the country. He stands tall to assist Ndigbo in getting the necessary cooperation to address injustices meted out to our people. Jonathan does not posses this unique panache with other Nigerians because he disappointed many constituencies. GMB is of the candid opinion that we do not need a federal government that drills borehole, he prefers a federal system where the center concentrates in defense, foreign affairs and policy matters on other issues.

Definitely, he will present a bill to the National Assembly which will address the issue of state creation, the principle of derivation and bridging of all the fault lines contained in the Confab report more than Jonathan.

What other things should make Ndigbo vote for GMB?

We are hard working, innovative and entrepreneurial people. This is why I said that those who endorsed Jonathan are deceitful and did not honestly chart or draw any check list in their bargain either in 2011 or 2015. This is my worry, how some individual mortgage the fate and destiny of people with levity. GMB mentioned in the letter he wrote to Ohaneze the imperative of check-list. I delivered the letter and GMB said, lets discuss so as to acquaint me with core interest of Ndigbo. The meeting did not hold because of time factor. Jonathan is serious negotiating with the west, begging them and they are giving him conditions; they are negotiating; Is he doing that with Ndigbo?

Why are we cheap? Why is Ohaneze cheap?

Briefly, one can say that GMB regime will profit the Igbos more than Jonathan regime, because all the hard working Nigerians will benefit immensely from his regime.

GMB will run a transparent government that will favour the hard working, innovative and entrepreneurial citizens more than patronage system.

It is only since after the civil war that sycophants emerged in Igbo circle, Food is Ready politicians, this will stop, for patronage encourages corruption, indolence and brigandage.

 

 

 

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