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Lack of unity, Igbo’s greatest problem-Nwokedi

Chief Chika Nwokedi is the president general, Igbo cultural group, Ndi Igbo Buru Out. A philanthropist and Igbo leader in Lagos, Nwokedi in this interview with INIOBONG IWOK, speaks on the Biafra agitation, the Buhari administration among others.
******The Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha recently said that the Biafra agitation by Nnamdi Kanu and his group is fraudulent, do you agree?
I am not here to talk about Governor Okorocha, or what he is saying: Okorocha is a politician, I am not a politician. But Kanu alone knows the reason for what he is fighting for. Let me say that if as a father, you have seven children and one is always crying, it is natural you would be bothered, because the constant cry can make such child have headache, so you would call him or her to ask what the problem is.
Nigerian Government should act like that, call these people and ask them the reasons for their agitation and grievance. I believe in one Nigeria, I don’t think breaking up the country is really the solution.
******You are a leader; do your people support the Biafra agitation?
Kanu has green card, I don’t have one, and I have been in Nigeria all my life. I am sure if Kanu have a company here in Nigeria he would not be asking for the breakup of Nigeria. Personally I believe in one Nigeria, I believe in peace and it is through that we can get what we want.
But I believe that the government needs to hear from the agitators. Look at the Niger-Delta militants, they were called and settled, the government should call the Biafra agitators and settle them, a lot of the Niger Delta boys were sent out to study abroad, why is it that our own is different? Let the government call them and listen to them.
******Do you believe the Igbos are marginalised?
Yes, we are being marginalised. You are a Journalist, check how many positions are held by the Igbos in this administration. Even in the last administration we were marginalised. The Igbos did not occupy much positions in the last administration. You can go and check the statistic. But I believe in one Nigeria, but what they are doing now is bad, the appointment is one sided.
*******A lot of people think Igbos are their own greatest problem, they hardly speak with one voice?
Yes it is true. I agree with you, it is a problem, A lot of us think only about ourselves. Let them zone the presidency to the East, you would see that about 50 aspirants would come out and non would want to step down for the other. Go to any local government here in Lagos: you would either get two or three Eze. Igbo’s need to be more united and speak with one voice.
*****What is the feeling of your people about this government so far?
We are disappointed in Buhari’s administration so far, look at the state of affairs in the country, people are hungry, no job. But I want to believe things would change, let us give him more time, it is not easy to lead. I think we need to be realistic, anybody can be sick, I cannot pray for the death of Mr. President, but I have been in an elective position before and I know how difficult and frustrating it could be sometimes.
******Are you in support of the agitation for the restructuring of the country?
The country need to be restructured. It is obviously not working the way it is presently constituted, but let us look into the Jonathan 2015 Constitution Conference report, that report would solve our problems. It is unfortunate that that report is being ignore, because there is another government in power, we have to realise that government is continuous.
We have to be united as a country because we are stronger like that. People are praying for the break up of Nigeria, so that they can come and take our oil. We need to fix the country, and I believe if we are willing we can fix things.
******What is your assessment of the performance of your governor, Okorocha, what are your people saying about his administration?
Some people are enjoying, others are just there. The governor has not done much, we are from the same Idiato Local Government, but the road in my area is bad, there is nothing on ground there. There is still time in this administration, I want to believe the governor would do all these things before be leaves power.
*******What is your view about the anti corruption war?
Buhari is trying, but only one man cannot fight corruption in this country, let us support him. It is difficult, but we need to support him. Look at the massive looting everywere, the revelations, imagine people burying money inside the toilet.
*******What is this organisation’s major objective?
I decided to bring my friends together and help the needy in the society. We are a philanthropic group, we assist people who have problems with finance, there is a man that jus left here now who said his family could not eat for two weeks and he was helped. We help the needy in the society and we are not supported by government.
*******What is your advice for the President?
I think the government should create jobs. This government promised jobs but so far, there is nothing on ground. People are suffering, go to Ijegun or Ikotun road here and see those boys, a lot of them have nothing doing and that is why they would rob you. I would advise the President to disguise and go around the country to see the situation of Nigerians. Things are so bad.
The way the country is structured is bad. That is why government is not delivery on its promise to Nigerians. People want to be in leadership position at all cost, look at the Edo lawmakers fight over position why? Our public officers are not delivery.
Look at the pathetic state of police officers, their meager salaries, yet we want them to put their lives on the line for us. Go and see the poor state of the Barracks. Police should not live with the public because of their work, which may put their lives in danger, I am not interested in politics again, but if I am to be given any appointment I would love to be police affair minister, because I appreciate the work of Nigerian Police Force and I want to make them better.

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