Rommy Ezeonwka is the owner of Rogeny village in Oba, Anambra State where the 60,000 capacity Rogeny Stadium is located. He is irked that the leadership of Governor Peter Obi has not lived up to the expectation of Anambrarians and he explains why in this interview with As. Politics Editor, Daniel Kanu
How would you assess governance in Anambra on the leadership of Governor Peter Obi?
I want you to leave anything I will say on this issue unedited because I stand by it. In the first place, I must say that Governor Peter Obi is a disappointment. Obi is a failure to Anambra people as far as his government is concerned. I must tell you that the trust the people had in him has been eroded. We thought we had gotten Messiah when he came to power but the people have discovered to their sorrow that the governor is a lone ranger. He has combined the entire governance of the state as business and where ever he goes he carries the briefcase. He does not work with the legislators; he doe not work with the best of ideas that will be beneficial to Anambra and he does not invite stakeholders to deliberate on sensitive issues bothering on the state. If you want to see the face of Anambra you need to see the face of Rogeny Stadium. Stars like Kanu Nwankwo, Wilson Oruma, and Celestine Babayaro, the Eaglet ’93, among others were here for years to receive their training. Before Obi became of the governor of the state, Rogeny was the busiest stadium in Nigeria where activities was going on even on fortnight basis or at worst very month but because of his attitude to so many things including social line, social life has dimmed in Anambra, there is no social life or I may even say it’s none existent again. People do not come out again after 7pm, as people are living in fear and sorrow. There is fear of kidnapping, armed robbery, people are being killed, police are killing people everyday, and corpses are in all the mortuaries in the state. I can tell you authoritatively that over 70 percent of Anambraians have deserted the state; the economy of Anambra was shattered when he told people to invest in shares and he did not educate them properly on how they will do it. He was telling them that everybody could buy shares and go to South Africa to enjoy their holidays. The traders, most of whom were not well informed on the issue, thought he was telling them the shares and at the end the shares collapse. That was an irreparable loss brought to Anambra traders by Governor Obi. Now there is no road anywhere. The roads we are managing now are the ones done by Chris Nwabueze Ngige and the woman of virtue, Virgy Etiaba. The makeshift roads by the time they finish one end the other side has collapse. You can see the Nnewi-Oba road; leys have cut off so many routes in the state. They will take picture of roads done by Ngige and put on the signpost as if they did it. This is a Governor who will say they have donated 10,000 computers to schools as if that is great achievement. He said he built 500 transformers, how much did those entire thing cost? There are no fresh plans and if you gauge the opinion of the people, they will tell you he has failed. They are talking of celebration for Anambra, what are we celebrating? How many infrastructures has he fixed to warrant any celebration? We are tired of newspaper giants with little achievement on ground. This is a governor that was there and the judiciary was on strike for seven months, doctors were on strike and he seems not to show concern. What is happening is not a good omen for both our people and the governor. The state is gradually becoming a ghost town.
Why are the legislators keeping quiet in view of all this allegations?
But you know that the people did not elect even the legislators. Majority of them bribed their way and are and are there as robots to rubber-stamp what the governor wants. The legislators are just keeping mute because most of them have been compromise. Can you imagine that since now there is no local government election? Before the excuse was that there was security threat and as a result the local government election could not be conducted so why is still being delayed? The governors are not telling us the whole truth.
Most critics say Ndigbo are their worst enemy, do you share this view?
There are a lot of things that we are going to do in Igbo land. We are going to do what is called cleansing, an atonement. The souls of most our people killed during the war are yet to have a good rest. There are certain things we have done wrong that must attract atonement. If you ask me I can say that Ndigbo are the highest haters of themselves and that is not good for us. That is why we lose opportunities when we get them in the national portfolio. You give them the Senate Presidency and they impeach themselves, you give them the national Chairmanship of a party they quarrel among themselves, give them anything sensitive they ruin themselves, but I know that will stop soon. We need to re-bury our dead heroes, our men and women and the children who lost their lives during the pogrom so that they can have peaceful rest and I believe after that exercise the desired unity will evolve. Even this idea of Ndigbo keeping corpses in the mortuaries is wrong, I do not know where we got this culture and it is not helping us. We do not need to keep corpse for long as it is against our culture
Why is it that the Igbo elite seems not to be backing MASSOB unlike their counterparts in the Nort h backing Arewa or South West backing the OPC?
It is a sad development. I will not say it’s cowardice but they are making a big mistake not to embrace a structure, a God-giving structure that is very relevant in their political struggle for which t he activist championing it has gone to prison over 16 times. All the Igbo politicians are saying they want to be Igbo president without a structure that can back them up. It may be a sign of foolishness on their part because they need the MASSOB structure as far as concerned. Ndigbo needs an activist structure like MASSOB.
Let me tell you, aside from the OPC plat-form, the South West wouldn’t have gotten the presidency, minus the activities of the Niger Delta militants the minority or south-south would not have smelt this presidency, now the North is throwing up the Boko Haran and they have Arewa standby so as to truncate the Igbo presidency ambition in 2015 and you will see what will happen. Sometime, I wonder whether Igbo politicians do not see all these political calculations. I am telling you that except we embrace MASSOB no Igbo man will smell the presidency, you just watch and see what is evolving and where we are going to land by 2015. Already, that federal government is to commence negotiation with the Boko Haram group. We will see how everything will play out. In this present Nigeria system, you must have a serious structure that is ready to die for others to live.
Are you saying Boko Haran is preparing for 2015 Presidency?
That is what I am just saying. They are on serious agenda. It is either they get back the presidency or bomb will litter everywhere. They are ready to die because that is the only way they feel they can get justice or the only way they think they can achieve their purpose in a situation where injustice has been projected into the political system. What we are having now is that if you keep quiet nobody takes you serious.
President Goodluck Jonathan is proposing a six-year single tenure, what is your take on it?
Well I think many people may misunderstand the President on the six-year term. The over zealous politicians may be blaming him but Jonathan must be a prophet and a seer and a diviner to bring in this proposal. If you see the horror, the evil and the danger of sycophantic activities that come to display when a governor’s tenure or that of the president is about to expire, you will give the president kudos for this proposal. It is sad that these sycophants, after two years in office are already proposing for their second tenure while abandoning governance. For me if there is a law that can be promulgated that whoever goes for one term, of any agreed years must nut aspire again, it will be better for our politics. It will help those in power to concentrate better and it will help us to avoid the evil of second term craze. The bid for second term by all means is part of the trouble with Nigeria. Even when the incumbent is not interested in second term proposition the political sycophants around will ensure they force it down the throat of the incumbent
What of if a bad leader emerges to handle the clutches of power for those six years?
That is where the legislature will step in. Do we no longer have impeachment clause for those that are not performing in office? Part of our problem also is that even when these legislators pass the laws it is not observed. If this single term is there and they see a president that is not doing fine then the power of the National Assembly comes in because impeachment is an alternative to bad governance. For me idea of single term is the best that can happen to this country if accepted by the National Assembly. There is nothing wrong with single term. If will not give room for the evil associated with the battle for second term. A lot of resources are wasted on second term bid