In less than 10 months the people of Anambra State will elect a new governor that will take over from Obi whose tenure in office will expire precisely on March 2014 to this end the people have started looking beyond Obi’s administration. In this interview, a notable social crusader and Ogirisi of Igbo land chief rommy Ezeonwuka reviews Obi’s administration and previews the 2014 pool stating what he regarded as priority task for whomever that will take over from Governor Peter Obi. He also spoke on the Nigeria situation and 2015 General Election Excepts.
For weeks After president Jonathan visited North Boko Haram is on rampage with the Bombing of a motor park in Kano and lately the mass attack in Ganye Adamawa State as their latest onslaught on the people of this country. Do you see any hope of arresting the deadly menace of this human destroying sect in Nigeria?
No hope for now and it is very unfortunate that while some people are busy celebrating the election of a new Pope and I am celebrating the expected construction of second Niger Bridge some people in Nigeria are busy killing their fellow human beings even with out reason. Book Haram has become a very big thorn on the flesh of this country and worst part of it is that they operate like ghost as president Jonathan observed when he visited Borno State. In my own opinion, I think the people and leaders in the North have to improve on the level of vigilance and intelligent gathering. The other day I read a report in a daily newspaper where security operative raided a place where Boko Haram stored arms and ammunitions courtesy of a tip off from the people.
I have no doubt in my mind that the police and Army are equal to the task but the problem as every body could observe is that Boko Haram is faceless, so it is a challenge on the people living with them to find ways of detecting them, detecting their hide out and meeting points, where they store their arms and report to the police.
Some people have the impression that Boko Haram members have their hid out and meeting point in the neighbouring countries. Do you share that impression?
It is not impressible for such to be, going by the fact that some neighbouring countries are predominant Moslems. It is also not impossible to say that the authorities of those countries may not be aware of it. They may not know that some evil men are storing arms and ammunitions in their lands. They may not know that some killers are hiding in their place probably remote areas. So in this case the Federal Government have to appeal to the authorities in neighbouring countries to investigate on it especially in the border towns and against tighten up security at the borders.
Do you subscribe to the call-asking president Jonathan to grant Boko Haram Amnety?
Those who are asking for Amnesty should first of all produce the people who they are making the Amnesty case for before Mr. President. If I want somebody to help you I will first of all take you the person other wise I will be accused of 419 attempt. Let them at least give Jonathan some names of those who they wish the President should grant Amnesty.
You are celebrating the Award of contract for the construction of second Niger Bridge?
Yes, it is part of development and Federal presence, which we are always yearning for her in the southeast. I thank Mr. President Jonathan for it.
Some people are hopeless while looking at the problems bedeviling the country like corruption, Boko Haram bombings, lack of power supply, kidnapping, robbery, assassin, unemployment and fear of election rigging in 2015. What is your position of these issues following Nigeria situation.
People shouldn’t loose hope. Loosing hope is not the best solution rather we have to rest hope in god and not mortal men. God can do wonders if all of us who are progressive minded can unite to pray. God told Abraham if their were few people that were good in Sodom and Gomorah the land will spared. In like manner god can deliver us from various problems bedeviling us for the sake of the progressives.
On the fear of election rigging, I don’t think that 2015 election is going to be business as usual. Nigerians are becoming more and more aware of the need to fight rigging and thus I don’t think riggers will have their way in 2015. In my own locality I will mobilize forces against rigging and ensure that the people’s choice will prevail. I will use the 2014 governorship election in Anambra State as a test run by mobilizing any eligible voter around me to come out and vote and defend his or her vote. So I’m not afraid of rigging. Don’t forget that I’m the founder of Association of Igbo Youths (AIYO) and AIYO was vowed to fight every vices in the southeast including election rigging.
Talking Anambra 2014, how would you preview it?
I preview it with much hope that it is going to be a successful exercise and Anambra people and Nigerians in general are going to experience free and fair election and a smooth transfer of power from the incumbent, Mr. Peter Obi to the person that will eventually win the election. So with the hope at the back of my mind I’m a sending one important message to all those politicians gearing up for the election that they priority to creation of jobs if elected to govern the state. The rate of unemployment in the state is alarming and the alarming situation is the reason behind kidnapping and armed robbery in state. So anybody coming for the election should have it at the back of his mind and start doing research about it and not going about saying I want to be governor or that god has sent you to be governor as some use to say. No, these are jot what we are after. We are after a man of ideas who will make a possible impact on the people and the place. In government two things are involved: the people and the place. You empower the people through job creation and then the place through execution of developmental project cutting across all sectors.
At what level of degree would you like to place governor Obi’s performance?
I give him pass mark, Excellent for that matter. Everybody in the state is feeling the impact of his good governance. You know I’m not a praise singer, what I’m telling you is nothing but what is on ground in Anambra State. Roads are massively being constructed; maintained or rehabilitated schools and hospitals are given massive face-lift in all parts of the state from North, South and central. In the economy he fought corruption to stand still in the state insuring that the state resources are well utilized for the overall benefit of the people. If you come to other sector like sports, I can assure you that Anambra courtesy of Obi’s performance can comfortably host National Sporting events like National sports Festival, Olympic trials, Athletic champions etc because we have got the facilities. Two mini stadiums in Onitsha and a 60 thousand capacity Stadium at Rojenny Games Village in Oba is enough to host all National sports event. In commence and industry he facilitated a gigantic breweries ion Onitsha upon which a lot of people secured job among other things that I cannot just start counting and elaborate about. I mean that Obi has done excellently well more than people expected of him and thus he has sent a high standard of job for his successor.
Does it bother you that APGA the party they christen Igbo party is in crises?
It doesn’t bother me because I’m not a politician nor partisan. More so, I believe in the person and not the party. I believe most people are like me in this regard becsue they are tied of squabbles, acrimony and rancor in party politics among politicians. This time, I think we should vote for the person based on his credibility and not his party.
How would you eulogize the late literary icon professor Chinu Achebe?
He was great intellectual, a leading light that made Ndigbo and Nigeria proud. He was honest, diligent and spent his lifetime thinking and researching ideas and knowledge that will ever educate people both inside classroom and outside classroom. I call him a master storyteller and a Universal Teacher. Ndiogbo Nigeria and the entire world ever miss him.