I believe in the sanctity of the principle of rule of law. There is a Court of Appeal decision on the process to be adopted in the arraignment of judicial officials; i.e. passing through the National Judicial Council, NJC. Coincidentally, the CJN is the chairman of NJC. I’ll advise that the matter concerning the CJN which has dominated the space since Saturday be handled with caution and within the ambit of the law
You were in the PDP for most of the 16 years the party was in power. Why did you leave immediately the party lost power?
I did not leave because of the defeat of PDP in the General Election or my loss in the Abia gubernatorial primary election but due to fundamental differences between myself and the leader of the party in the state then and now, Senator T.A. Orji who championed the political principles of non-inclusion of participants of the then gubernatorial primary where his favourite candidate emerged and acts targeted at diminishing our political fortunes.
I saw it early and left the party. Like it’s now popularly said “all politics is local” and now all aspirants in that “primary election” except the brother-in-law to the incumbent governor left the party for him. Ditto other political heavyweights in Abia like Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, Senator Chris Adighije, etc.
Also the brazen impunity in the party at all levels and lack of internal democracy and mechanism for conciliation and peace were other reasons for leaving to another party APC with attractive political ideology and pro people policies.
How do you assess the President Muhammadu Buhari administration especially in its treatment of the South-East? The administration has been accused of marginalising the region especially in appointments into the top rank of the security agencies.
The Buhari administration has rekindled public confidence and trust in governance and he has reinforced the fine doctrine of continuity in governance which is an essential ingredient of statecraft and administration. Since assumption of office he has been able to complete and commission critical infrastructure and projects he inherited from previous administrations to the admiration of the Nigerian populace.
From the railway sector, the most outstanding is the more than three decades rail project between Ajaokuta, Itakpe to Warri. We also have the Lagos – Ibadan rail link that will be commissioned soon among others. Also in the aviation sector the Port Harcourt and Abuja airports have been completed and commissioned.
I plead with President Buhari to revisit the Enugu Airport and finish it and grant more international routes to the airport. I spent my holidays in the Eastern part of the country what I saw in terms of road infrastructure was amazing. The Enugu/ Onitsha road is seriously being done with high quality workmanship, the second Niger bridge is ongoing and has taken off in earnest, the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, particularly the Enugu to Aba portion. I understand that the funding of the projects in the South-East is guaranteed. I also interacted with supporters and non supporters of President Buhari and they were all in agreement that the President has done well in terms of the above road projects and they prayed God to grant him good health and long life for honouring our legend, the great Zik of Africa with a befitting resting place (mausoleum) after many years of his demise. I think the people of the South-East are more interested in the development of infrastructures and the reopening of the ports/wharfs in the Eastern zone and conducive business/economic policies targeted towards their commerce than the aggrandisement of public offices by the elites.
But nonetheless, we must not be relegated to the background in terms of some critical positions in the services when the opportunity arises. I’m confident that Igbo all over will vote massively for him and votes must count this time around.
And what I mean is that Igbo who are residing in the South-East, the Igbo in Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Abuja, Nassarawa, Rivers, Delta, etc, will vote Buhari. When you aggregate these votes, you will see that Igbo have a great voting strength.
The Igbo bloc is interested in producing the next president of Nigeria in 2023 and that is why there is going to be massive support for President Buhari’s re election. So, I urge Igbo all over Nigeria to come out en-masse to vote for him no matter where they are domiciled.
What do you make of the near official endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by several Igbo leaders?
The apex Igbo organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo recently declared that it has not given support to any presidential candidate. I’m optimistic that when the opportunity arises the Ohanaeze Ndigbo will support President Buhari based on the recent developments listed above.
You were a member of the APC’s reconciliation team to the South-South. How would you rate the assignment?
The National reconciliation process put in place by our party is paying off. Milestone resolutions were achieved all over the country and there are just few isolated cases in court. I rate the assignment successful.
How do you see the chances of President Buhari winning the forthcoming 2019 presidential election?
President Buhari’s chance of winning the presidential election is certain because of his sustained goodwill over many decades. The masses of Nigeria trust him because of his integrity when it comes to holding public offices. Most importantly, he has succeeded in the areas he set out as areas of priority as the president of the country. In the area of security, the menace of Boko Haram and other forms of insurgent or terrorist attacks have been largely scaled down and contained; Nigerian territories have been recovered and the citizens earlier dislodged are back to their homesteads.
In states like Gombe, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa and FCT, the activities of Boko Haram have been eliminated and serious efforts are being made to achieve same in Borno. The fight against corruption is going on steadily with results being recorded in terms of investigations and convictions of hitherto “untouchable” Nigerians.
The destinations where slush or stolen funds were taken to before now are no longer available thereby making stealing of our collective wealth unattractive and tedious. This was achieved by numerous treaties both bilateral and multilateral signed by the Nigerian government at the instance of President Buhari with other sovereign countries that were safe havens for hiding illicit funds. One can also notice that criminal activates in various parts of the country are now scaled down due to various actions of this administration while the current challenge in Zamfara State is being approached from a multifaceted military approach of using both aerial and land options in addition to the use of intelligence. Nigerians believe that very soon the Nigeria military and other security agencies will overcome the challenges.
Nigerians will vote massively for President Buhari in the next General Election because they can trust him with the resources of this country and they support his fight against corruption.