Since inception in 2003 as a political party in Nigeria, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, has never faired well at the polls by winning elections into Governorship, Senate, Federal House of Reps and State House of Assembly seats. The reason for the failure according to observers is consequent upon the fireworks of other parties like the PDP and defunct ANPP and ACN. A head of 2015 general election there is much more hope that APGA which has its strong hold in the southeast region will do well at the poll following the recent success recorded by the party in Anambra State where it retained the Governorship seat and sweept votes during local government election. In this interview, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, the Ogirisi Igbo, who is now a member of the APGA Board of Trustees (BOT) raised such hope that the ruling party in Anambra will rise up to the occasion of marching other parties fire for fire and borne to borne informing that the party now have the full protection of Ogirisi which has the power to thwart any offensive targeted against the party. He also spoke on Igbo Agenda and current national issues.
Congratulations on your emergence as BOT member of APGA. Before we go into APGA issue and other things, can we share your understanding about politics, why you have been apparently absent in the field of politics and why you seem to have accepted it now?
Thank you very much. This is a triple bullet question at one point and I like it. Somebody, I think a British man defined politics as a situation of war without blood. And when he was asked to define war, he said that war is politics with blood. I agree totally with this definition of politics and to be frank with you since I was born I have never been afraid of any situation, I don’t fear any thing except God. My absent in politics is not because it is dirty, or it is bad or dangerous as some people use to say, it is because I choose other means to serve humanity mostly business. For instance I invented the business of importing motorcycle spare parts at Nnewi and Nnewi boys bought into it at which they become millionaires. Today Nnewi traders don’t play with me because they regard me as their business father.
Secondly, I built Rojenny tourists and games village with a view to provide a recreation and leisure luxury centre for the people. I didn’t built Rojenny to make profit; I built it as an epitome of natural environment where people can visit and feel the aura of nature at its fullest best. Many have come to say they want to invest on Rojenny but I told them point blank that the place doesn’t generate profit and if I had built it to make profit, I would have committed suicide because in this part of the world people have no time for leisure not to talk of spending money on it . I give you example Rojenny stadium is freely open to any school that wishes to use it for inter house sports or graduation ceremony but we hardly see schools using it. Now to summarize issues, I’m sure you know that for the past 10 years or more I have been at centre of Igbo Agenda doing every thing within any ability to see that all is well with Ndigbo. I have raised the issue of performing the burial rites of Biafran fallen heroes, I also raised the issue of FG to give Amnesty to armed robbers and kidnappers and many people are in support them. It is my effort towards a better Igbo race that culminates my installation as Ogirisi Igbo by His Majesty Ezeobidiegwu Onyeso the traditional ruler of Nri kingdom and the Chief custodian of Igbo culture and tradition.
Suffice it to say that it is my pro- Igbo activities with the youths that resulted in my relationship with APGA. Governor Obi impressed me, so much, and then I had to mobilize the youths to vote for APGA so that Obi’s works will have to be consolidated. So the issue is not that I’m not interest in politics, the issue is that I’ m busy doing things as providence dictates and I’m happy that political leaders have got to notice and appreciate what I’m doing.
What does the membership into APGA BOT meant to you?
It is means appreciation of my contribution to the Igbo Agenda from the leadership of APGA. I thank the new leader of the party Mr. Peter Obi, the National Chairman of the party Chief Victor Umeh and his National Executive Committee for considering me worthy of the party’s BOT membership. I promise to do my best in rallying support for the party.
APGA as Igbo party was the message during governorship election in Anambra and also during the recent local government election in Anambra. In your observation is the message selling, are they buying into it?
First of all let me say that APGA is not Igbo party and it is a misnomer to say so because APGA is a national party in Nigeria. Before it was registered as a political party, the electoral body certified it as a national party because the people involved met all the requirements that qualify it to be a national party. So it is not an Igbo Party, but what we are saying is that APGA is closer to Ndigbo than other parties because it was conceived by Igbo people and was supported by late Dr Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Let us use APGA as the Yoruba are using APC. Let Ndigbo use APGA to elect Governors in the Southeast, as well as Senators and Reps and Assembly members that is what we are saying.
The power play for 2015 has begun in some quarters seriously, and some people may skeptically wish to ask this question: where is APGA in the scheme of things considering the fact that the party is still engulfed with litigations over national chairmanship position?
I’m optimistic that APGA under Mr. Peter Obi as leader and Victor Umeh as national chairman will perform well at the polls in 2015. Secondly with my membership in the BOT I can assure you that APGA is now under the full protection and guidance of Ogirisi and I’m ready to unleash Ogirisi on any body with the intention to sabotage APGA and also unleash Ogirisi on those that will come out to rig election against APGA in Igbo land and anywhere in Nigeria. I wish to tell those that have bad intention against APGA that no weapon fashion against the party over 2015 election will proper. Having said this not with standing, I also wish to use Ogirisi to resolve the conflicts in APGA once for all. We will like to see a peace and strongly united APGA so that the party could be in a stronger position to stand the test of 2015 polls.
The local government election in Anambra was criticized by observers as a sham…
Cuts in… forget them, they are agents of opposition who tried to stop the election but failed. In other states the ruling party uses to win all chairmanship and all councillorship positions but in the case of Anambra as the light of the nation, other parties won 14 councillorship seats. So what are they talking about?
Some people argue that considering the poor way election is being conducted in Nigeria democracy in the country is under serious threat, do you agree?
This question has to be referred to INEC and perhaps security agents. These are the institutions saddled with the responsilibilities of carrying out election programmes. After each election they use to review the situation, security implication and other wise. If the reports about previous elections are poor and they don’t have adequate measures to curb the threat ahead of the subsequent elections, then one can agree that Democracy is in danger. But like I said earlier INEC are in a better position to answer the question because they have the reports, they know the situation and thus they are in position to tell us whether our democracy is under threat or not.
What is your take on the purposed national conference, a lot of people have the hope that the Conference will go along way to stabilize the polity to the realization of the desired path for a better Nigeria?
Since they started talking about the Conference, my questions on it are: is the Conference going to stop terrorism in the north, provide jobs for the youths and put an end to armed robbery and kidnapping in the south? Is it going to provide steady power supply? Is it going to fight corruption to stand still, provide good roads, rebuilt or reconstruct Enugu-Onitsha Express way, Enugu – Port Harcourt Express way and other roads begging for government attention? Is it going to make the FG to immediately commence the construction of pressing second Niger Bridge? Will the Conference see us getting one additional state in the southeast? If the Conference could make all these possible I will support it, but if it can’t make them possible then let’s forget it and use the huge sum of money it will consume for other things.
Some say that 2015 election will make or mar Nigeria or how would you preview the election?
According to the presidential committee on national conference, no part of the country indicated interest to secede out of the country, and I’m very sure that every state is getting ready for the election, so the election in my preview will come and go like others before it and Nigeria Aluta continua