On Saturday 10th March, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike the MASSOB leader along with Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka were formally Presented to the people of Igbo land as the new Igbo leaders to take over from the Late Biafra War Lord Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Eze Igbo gburu gburu.
The presentation of the new Igbo leaders, which was held at the Palace of the Traditional Ruler of Nri Kingdom, His Majesty Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso, was the Major high light of 2012 edition of Igu aro festival with Uwazuruike and Ezeonwuka bagging the title as Ijele Ndigbo and Ogirishi Ndigbo.
In this Interview Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka speaks on how the Ijele and Ogirishi will pilot the affairs of the Igbo race henceforth.
Congratulations on your formal presentation as Ogirishi Ndigbo and of course Deputy Igbo leader to Chief Uwazuruike .
How do you feel at this moment Sir?
Thank you very much, I feel great and honoured with this title of Ogirishi Ndigbo and Deputy Igbo leader to Chief Uwazuruike. Today marks a turning point in the lives of Ndigbo because for the first time their leaders in the persons of Ralph Uwazuruike and My self are formally presented to them in a grandiose ceremony. What happened here at Nri shows that Ndigbo are well organized and are battle ready to face the challenges ahead of them. I must give Kudos to His Majesty, the Eze Nri, Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso the Chief custodian of Igbo culture for making today’s event a reality. Today’s event speaks volume on his favor that he knows his responsibilities as the chief custodian of Igbo culture and tradition. Today’s event clearly indicates that His Majesty works closely with the gods of Igbo land. The smooth nature of the event shows that the gods of our fore fathers are at work for the welfare and progress of Ndigbo. I’m overwhelmed with joy and I’m sure that every well meaning Igbo man is happy with what happened at Nri today.
After the rain comes the thunder, after the presentation what next? There are insinuation from some quarters that MASSOB will take are Igbo leadership following the emergence of their leader Uwazuruike as Ojukwu’s successor?
That’s not the issue we are talking about. We are taking about putting all hands on deck, initiating programs, embarking on programs and executing programs of Igbo interest capable to enhance our welfare and progress. If you had listened to the Igu aro speech as delivered by His Majesty, he emphasized on unity of purpose and called on the governors to work with MASSOB for the over all interest of Ndigbo. He also called on MASSOB to integrate into democracy, as according to him the battle ahead will be fought with ballot papers and not with bullet. He further noted that the large number of MASSOB members couldn’t be over emphasized.
To answer your question clearly MASSOB is fully part of what is happening as stakeholders and I’m sure they are ready to offer service when ever and wherever necessary for the interest of the Igbo nation.
Governors and MASSOB working together? What is the possibility?
Democracy is the possibility. The numerical strength of MASSOB cannot be over emphasized and that’s why His Majesty is calling all the governors and the entire Igbo race to embrace MASSOB. MASSOB is very dear to us.
You have been talking about the arrangement for the burial of Biafran fallen heroes, how far about it now?
We have started working on it before Ojukwu passed on so we had to suspend it following Ojukwu’s death. We will go back to the drawing board for that purpose because it is a very important issue. We must have to perform the burial rite of the civil war fallen heroes in other to enhance the chances of progressive Igbo Nation. In fact it is likely going to be the first project we are going to execute under Uwazuruike’s leadership.
Security has remained the Major problem facing the South east region, is there any measure you and Uwazuruike would introduce to check mate insecurity in the region?
The first measure is to bury those Biafran fallen Heroes because we discovered that their wandering spirits are the cause of violet crimes, like kidnapping and armed robbery. If a dead person is not buried the spirit will ever continue to rove around the living using them to cause trouble in revenge for not according the dead body burial rites. After the burial we shall declare Amnesty for kidnappers and armed robbers. Further more we will make effort to re-orientate the youths and expose them on subsistence activities. At the moments we lack competent mechanics, bricklayers, carpenters etc in many parts of Igbo land where as our youths are joblessly roving around the streets. So there is need to expose our youths into these jobs as mechanics, bricklaying, carpentry and other jobs capable to sustain them as responsible citizens.
You are emphasizing more on using a cultural and traditional means to serve Ndigbo how do you intend to succeed with them amid the people who are predominantly Christians?
I too am a Christian, I’m a Catholic and I take Holy Communion. My message is clear: let’s go back to our root and put things in order. Our ancestors and our gods are not happy with us because we have abandoned them in the name of civilization. And everybody is seeing the dire consequences: the leaders are embezzling public fund to the detriment of the over all public interest. In those days if you steal public fund the spirit of gods will descend heavily on you. Bu nowadays it is not so because they too (the gods) have abandoned us and we must go back to them for us reposition ourselves and achieve what we want to achieve.
In all and all what will the Igbo expect from you and Uwazuruike?
Holistic transformation of Igbo land and I’m sure that if they cooperate and give us support we shall achieve it in a very short period of time and the Igbo land would be an envy of others.
My dear sir, are you part of a state or a region? this so caleld Northern Agenda and penchant for ruler-ship not leadership has failed. it did not succeed 100 years ago it will not succeed now.What is fiscal federalism? in simple words you pay for what you can afford, which is not what the north is doing, the north is like proverbial lazy relative who marries a wife has many children and is lazy and wont work,the only meal ticket he has is his adduced relationship to a rich cousin on whom he lay all his problems. With every new born he complains his cousin doesn’t treat him well. Yet he will not work a days labour or break a sweat.Kano State with all the onions and tomatoes she produces cannot boast of a single tomatopure9e producer!The north by that i mean the 9 sharia states have no claim to the coffers of Nigeria if they don’t contribute meaningfully to the Nations GDP. Already the burden of the almajiris on our nations economy can not quantified,The tourist and economic divestment caused by the norths power by all means in the form of Boko Haram is yet to be quantified, fully qualified in all its ramifications and thus remain known,Educational backwardness due to a deliberate program of exclusion by the so caleld northern elite will remain with north for decades regardless of whatever programs are put in place.In this vein the North could afford to attempt to wipe out a complete generation of hard trained and earned youth corpers plus innocent traders on the altar of Arewa Consultative Forum in the name buharism Who created the disparity you talking about, the north with its agenda for internal colonialism of non Islamic nations of the middle belt and any other part or individual in this nation who would not subject to her agenda, or the disparity in budgetary allocations.The North rather than concentrate on developing her own strengths wanted to always rule and empty the nations coffers on cronyism and wasteful favours of aggrandisementWhere was the norths sense of nationhood ,togetherness and accountability when she was busy with military conquest of her own people .Blanketing the rights of the minority independent tribes in the name of the arewa agenda of colonisation and domination via indirect rule and representation by military dictatorship.Suffice to say the bear is in the northern cage kill it or not you all will go hungry first and for ever.My dear sir open your eyes and see the only produce the north can boast is that of an importer and exporter of terror.This same Northern governors name millions as northerners, clamour for money on their behalf yet when the monies are allocated little or nothing trickles down to the massesMy dear sir, silence is not always golden it just may seething rage waiting for the right fora, I say this enough of the north and her constant distractions from nation building and general progress for the good of all, because the north is the narcistic last child who loves only herself and we all at 50 are old enough to see that.