Eze sir Steve Dike (KSJI), is the Eze Udo 1 of Igando / Ikotun Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos State. In this interview with INIOBONG IWOK, Dike says the President Muhammadu Buhari led All progressive Congress (APC) administration, is not sincere about it programmes and policies for the country.
How do you react to the herdsmen killing in Benue and several parts of the country?
If I say the herdsmen killing in Benue State was not avoidable, I would be making an understatement, some people say they are Libyans or Chadians;
but where are our security men when these killing was going on, because they would have passed through Plateau, Adamawa and Taraba to get to Benue and over 100 people would have taken part in such killing excise, why were they not caught?
The government is now saying they are not herdsmen, if the governments say they are not herdsmen that they came from Sudan, which route did they take to get to Benue?
What did the government not say about Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, but they did not carry guns, knife. They did not do anything, but look at the way they were treated by Buhari.
Former President Ibrahim Babangida said any conflict that exceeded 48 hours has the hand of government in it, and when they were burying the people the minister of agriculture who is from that state was busy commissioning projects in another state, you can imagine such level of insensitivity.
The lives of cows are now more important than the lives of Nigerians; the President could not do anything, he has been turning a blind eye and treating the issue with kid-gloves, they promised us change, were is the change?
What is your reaction to the cattle colony?
Go to Tanzania, Senegal were rearing cattle is big business, they don’t talk about colony , they talk about ranches; colony is not acceptable, it can only be used here in the South, there is no land for that here, let the President set up colony in the North.
The committee has failed already; nothing would come out of that committee; the President is not sincere in what he is doing, a man who has not said anything since the killing began, why can’t he visit Benue State? What do you expect when all the head of the DSS, immigration, customs and police are all Fulani natives?
Does it mean you will not support his second term ambition?
He can run for second term, it is his right to do so as a Nigerian; let’s see and allow Nigerians to decide if he has done enough, it is we Nigerians that would determine who rule us in 2019.
But between now and then it is only one year, and I can’t see anything to show that this administration is working, you are running an economy were the budget is eight trillion and we are not seeing any capital project in place.
The roads and rails was done by the Jonathan administration, you say you are making progress in Agriculture and now the herdsmen have discouraged people from farming; anyone who says we are going to do better is lying, we are not making progress, even in agriculture, success as claimed is a failure.
Is there an alternative to the current system?
We have to go back and look for youthful leadership so that when they rule to some age, they can have the time to look back and see what you have done.
In 1983, Buhari was senior to Babangida, now Babangida is 77 years old, so you can see he is too old for the job. If you go to the APC and even the PDP the youth leaders are always in their 60s, is that right? So we need to give the youths a chances, let them learn on the job, all over the world the youths are taking over.
Am a traditional leader not ruler, we need youthful leadership, I don’t mind if the president comes from the North or South; but the question should be can he do the job?
Several youths are unemployed, and let them have a chance to rule, those days the youths are given jobs just after finishing from university, now the country has turned upside down, even the investor are running away because of kidnapping.
What is your assessment of the anti-graft war?
There is nothing like anti-graft war, go see what is happening, when an ordinary man steals a goat , he is put into prison, when a big man steals billion he is set free, there is nothing like anti-graft war in Nigeria for now.
Buhari says he does not believe in restructuring, that the problem with Nigeria is about the process of doing things?
It is not about APC or Buhari; it has to do with what we, Nigerians want, the people are saying they want restructuring and he is running away from it, it shows he is not sincere, we can’t move forward like this: the genesis of all this problems is the structure of the country.
When this government increased fuel price last year did anybody protest? We taught he meant well, but have we seen the fuel to buy, this government is not sincere at all.
In 2012 when Jonathan wanted to increase the price of fuel, the same TInubu led people to protest against the government, now the same people are not talking, the same crime APC is committing.
They are importing fuel inspite of their promise to repair the refineries, the PIB bill is the way forward for that sector.
Are you saying Jonathan was not fairly treated?
Jonathan was not fairly treated, he was the only democrat that ruled this country; under his administration we had Jega as the INEC chairman, all the appointments were given to people in the North, he built Almajiri schools, Jonathan said it himself that he is the most criticized Nigerian leader, that Nigerians would appreciate him when he leaves power.
There has been talks of an Igbo president in 2023 how do react?
I am not interested in an Igbo man as the president, I am only interested in a man who would give food to the people, a man who would have the interest of the country at heart, we want a president who would not say this is Igbo man when it comes to admission issue, a man who respects the diversity of the country and things would be done on merit, a president who would know that Nigeria is a secular state.
But former Abia State governor, Chief Orji kalu said he would be the first president from the East in 2023, how do you react?
Kalu eats from government, what has he done? He does not know what he is talking about, there are a lot of things that are going wrong, the APC have failed, they promised to create 10 million jobs in one year and bring dollar to one naira, and they have not fulfilled these promises, how do they want to re-elect them?
How do you assess your state governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha?
Okorocha has been a disappointment, he promised the people that there would be massive creation of jobs and creation of industries in his second term, but this is not the case.
Go to Imo State, the roads he is building would spoil after six months, he has not done anything, he is just demolishing market without providing alternative markets.
If you want to remove Keke on the road why not provide alternative; especially when you know your people would be returning home for Christmas celebration.