Chief Ozo Anakwe is the former President-General of the defunct Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders’ Association (OMATA), a prominent stakeholder and opinion leader in the affairs of Anambra state and indeed Ndigbo. In this interview with our Anambra state Correspondent, Alphonsus Nweze, Anakwe speaks on the raging issue of quit notice handed down to Ndigbo by the Arewa youths to vacate the North by first October this year, Buhari’s alleged hatred of Ndigbo, the coming Anambra State Governorship election on November 18, 2017 among others. The excerpts:
How do you see the success of sit at home by IPOB?
The success of sit- at- home by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) was because of the treatment being meted by President Mohammed Buhari on South East and South South since he came to power, an unfortunate development that had rather united South East and South South.
And because God is against such ill- treatment,He refused to give him the strength to complete his mission against Ndigbo.
I do not share the view of those who urge us to pray for Buhari to die.
But in as much as l am not wishing him death, I cannot pray for somebody, who is against my people, my future; one who does not include my people in all his appointments, who sent my people to prison without conviction by Court of competent jurisdiction, who refused to court-martial the soldiers that were killing my people who engaged in peaceful demonstration and who told Femi Fani-Kayode that he hates Igbos, and will not forgive them.
Wishing him success is for him to succeed in eliminating my people So,I disagree with the clergies who told the christians to pray for Buhari. They should count me out. My prayer is that whoever will want to eliminate Ndigbo and the people of South South shall not succeed. And I am saying it in the name of Jesus.
What is your view on the quit order on Ndigbo residing in the North by the Arewa youths?
I advise Arewa youths to emulate other ethnic groups like Afenifere, Ijaw, Ohaneze Ndigbo and others as well as progressive youth groups in the country to embrace education .
It will help them learn technology instead of staying in the bush and learn violence and how to destroy lives and properties of Nigerians especially that of Ndigbo.
What they suppose to be thinking of themselves is to understand that as future leaders, they should imbibe the habit of going to school.
Ndigbo can go without their properties in the North but with their hardwork , they recover them in less than 20 years but if left for Arewa youths, they can squander them in less than five years .
This shows that they don’t have conscience, sense of justice that Ndigbo should not complain of lack of appointment because they failed to vote Buhari.
What is the way forward?
The way forward is for Nigerians to choose two options, either allow Biafra to go or take the advice of Ndigbo to fundamentally restructure Nigeria, according to the National Constitutional of conference of the former President, Goodluck Jonathan because you cannot refuse to move and still refuse others to move forward.
Those Northern leaders who believe in justice and fair-play know that they are not fair to Ndigbo, that they have ill-treated Easterners but those who have no conscience still want the state quo to remain. My advice and warning to Federal and state governments is not to play politics with Nigeria judiciary.
How do you see the recent utterances by Dr.Chris Ngige that Igbos are not benefitting in Buhari’s administration because they did not contribute to his electoral success?
In my opinion, he is talking from a shallow mind, instead Igbos looked before they leapt, they have examined Buhari and found out that he would not deliver, that giving him power will not be for the interest of the country.
Today,Ndigbo have been vindicated for the following reason. Those who sponsored his election are disappointed; they are not proud of the government they worked hard to enthrone. My question is, are the Christian North who voted for him happy today they did?
Are the Southern Kaduna people who voted him happy today?. Are the Yorubas who voted him happy today?. Are the APC members happy today? Is British Government that worked for his election proud of his election? Will Obama and Cameron be bold to say they sponsored Buhari?
Are Members of security agencies in the country happy with the type of lopsided recruitment? Are Nigerians generally happy with the performance of INEC today? What of the strained relationship between the executives and the National Assembly?.
What is the relationship between Buhari and Nigeria’s judiciary? Where in the World has the type of bail condition given to Nnamdi Kanu by Justice Nyako happened? How many Nigerians have been in prison without trial or government outrightly and blatantly failed to obey order of court of competent jurisdiction?
What do you say about the persisting recession in the country with a lot of Nigerians suffering?
The economy is not moving forward. Our naira has drastically fallen against dollar. Inflation is on the increase. How many employment opportunities do we have since the inception of this government.
Unemployment rate in the country has gone up. How many roads and other infrastructure have this government built? How many megawatts have they added to the national grid? Our industries have closed down.
How many people have Fulani herdsmen killed, yet Federal Government has not done anything. Since independence till date, no president of Nigeria has assaulted the Judiciary like this President, went to their residences in the dead of the night and arrested them.
Even with Buhari ‘s inability to run the country because he has stayed in the hospital more than he stayed in his office, some people still insist he will contest again. How do you see this?
They are talking of second term when he has not been able to rule in the first term. My problem is that National Assembly is not up and doing. What did Obasanjo do when the then National Assembly moved to impeach him. They are there for jamboree. They are not there to protect the people and government of Nigeria.
By now, Buhari should be facing impeachment, because he has committed a lot of impeachable offences if we go by the Constitution of the Federal Republic. Even market women know that he cannot contest in 2019. What are they going to tell Nigerians? It is because they have nothing to tell Nigerians that they are talking of second term.
What of the November 18, 2017 governorship election, APC has boasted it would win at all cost? And a lot of politicians are rushing to the party to contest the governorship election?
Those rushing to APC are like a lady rushing to a man to protect him against a masquerade. Immediately she runs to the man, the masquerade will stop pursuing him. Tell me those who are rushing to APC who have never held political appointment?
For people like Jim Nwobodo, once beaten twice shy. Some of them were alleged to have embezzled PDP campaign fund. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have been prosecuting Fani-Kayode, why not prosecute these people as well.
They have run to APC to shield themselves .They are there because rain is falling there. When the rain stops, they would come back to the house they started their journey.
But I want to tell you that all their boasts are empty. The Anambra state I know, their members and sympathizers are not more than 18 persons in each Local Government. And dreaming of capturing Anambra state is like a tortoise, boasting he will defeat an elephant.
Those top politicians who crossed over to APC have lost about 98 percent of their supporters. My advice to them is to join other party not APC, if they are serious of contesting the coming governorship election.
Their hopes and confidence are on INEC and the security agencies, not on the voters of Anambra state. As far as Anambra I know is concerned and in my capacity as the former President-General of traders in the State, there is no APC in Anambra state as at today.