Sunday Magazine

Endsars’ll manifest in 2023 elections, says Nduka-Eya

Elder statesman and former Secretary General of the pan- Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya, in this interview with KENNETH OFOMA, speaks about the travails of Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife in the UK over alleged human trafficking and organ harvesting, the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the chances of the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi in the 2023 presidential election; and the worsening insecurity in the country

 

 

What’s your reaction to the arrest and trial of former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and his wife in the UK over alleged human trafficking and organ harvest?

 

The letter which Ekweremadu sent to the British embassy asking for passport was the truth, he didn’t hide anything. A trafficker does not tell the truth, a trafficker hides what he wants to do under some cover. The passport goes into the system; the boy’s passport said he is 21 years, on what grounds did the British people say that he is 15? That’s one. Number two, Ekweremadu was clear on what he wanted to do, the name he sent to the embassy corresponds with the name of the boy, and the boy had a passport which said he was 21.

The boy was willing, they all flew, and he paid for his flight until Ekweremadu later said we are going to be in Royal Hospital where the daughter will be checked up. If they had gotten the kidney transplanted probably nobody would have heard. But when they got there the thing didn’t match.

And the boy had to come home and because at that point the boy went to police and said he was abused or something like that. People should be fair and Ekweremadu is a politician and we know what politicians of Nigeria, but then this matter, if he had said something different I would have lost sympathy. That’s why I feel Nigerian government has taken up the matter. A lot of people said because… you see, we visit innocent people with the sins of many other politicians, that’s our problem.

Once he is a politician we don’t pick out the politician, we pick out the sin of the politicians. If you listen to what is happening in Akwa-Ibom State, they want to crucify Mike Igini for doing his job and    refusing to be corrupt. Everybody knew that Akpabio was interested in the presidency; he went there and stepped down for Tinubu at a time when they had finished the primaries of senators.

So he was nowhere, you see they say you cannot reject a list submitted by the party, that law has been overtaken by the fact that if you did not go through primaries you cannot be a candidate and that is what Mike Igini is talking about. What do they think is the position of INEC in monitoring the primaries, why do they think they are there, they think they should just go there, drink Champagne and come home?

 

They write a report of the result of those primaries and deposit in their office, they don’t send it to the party. But because our parties are dubious, they are always trying to manipulate things to their favour.

 

The national INEC man who said you cannot reject nomination for a party was dealing with 2010 law; he was not dealing with 2022 law. This Mike Igini should be a national commissioner. People want him out; oh remove him, who will remove him? In his television interview he gave us the thing; when Jonathan wanted to mess with him, he stopped him.

Chief Mike Igini keeps doing your job the God wants you to, do it as an umpire. Jega he worked with is a strict professor, I believe Yakubu is also seeing the same thing; they have a legal department that looks at these things.

And the other day he came to the television to show how people changed the score from 006 t0 1006! These politicians aren’t ashamed of themselves?

The two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP didn’t give Ndigbo the opportunity to be president this time around, but Peter Obi left PDP for the Labour party, how do you see his chances?

 

Now listen to me. The Constitution says there will be rotation between North and South, okay? That is, every party that gets involved should follow that regulation, agreed? Who was the Northern person in PDP who has done eight years to be able for the post to go down to the South? Can you answer that question?

Well, Yar’Adua could have done eight years but he died after a few years…

 

Okay, for the APC, they have no choice than to zone to the South, alright? And that’s what they did. PDP has shown that through 16 years tenure, that the South has had six plus eight, to the Northern two. If you are there, what is good for the geese if good for the gander? You know my attitude the Obi controversy also compounded the issue because of the way PDP was going. They are tearing their party into pieces and I’m not sorry for them they are the architect of their failure.

Arise news was able to say that for Atiku Abubakar there were four committees, out of which only one headed by Ortom (Benue Governor) recommended Okowa (Delta State Governor), the other three recommended Wike (Rivers State Governor). And the man was in a position    to pick, and Atiku said he had a difficult task, and Atiku apart from Igbos not understanding themselves, and not understanding politics, Atiku did what he did in order to favour the Igbos, at least to have a soft spot for South-East. If South-East is complaining and I agree with them, when I was Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Uwechue wrote the people and said in the next dispensation it is the turn of South East… so my idea is if we didn’t go through by what happened to the PDP presidential election (in 2019) and Atiku got it, the South-East should not.

Peter Obi should have become Vice President and this time he would have been in office for eight years and nobody in Nigeria would have been able to say why you should not be asking to continue from there because already this year everybody knows; why didn’t the Yorubas allow the South East? Our Igbos should know their politics. They don’t know their politics.

When the Southern states said it must come from the South, they (South- East) did not get an assurance that when it comes to the South, the Southern governors should push it to the South-East; otherwise…

 

Ayo Adebayo made it clear, you should bring this thing to South East, eme nwata ka emere ibeya obi adiya mma, (if you give a child what you gave to other children he will be happy), did they listen?

Tinubu had a lifelong ambition to be president, if Buhari didn’t want him to be, will he be? We must know our politics, Ndigbo, including Umahi (Ebonyi governor), he was the chairman of South-East governors Forum, his answer to the problem was to decamp to the APC, why did he decamp? Because there was talk that South East should get the presidency and he thinks that once he goes to the APC he will be the person. Let’s not deceive ourselves.

Hope Uzodimma (Imo Governor), what is he doing? The Supreme Court did a desperate act on itself by doing the job of INEC. All they could have done in the Supreme Court, INEC go, take votes, add it and call the result. But the Supreme Court decided to do the arithmetic, what are we hearing? That the number of votes by that addition exceeded the number of voters, isn’t that rigging?

And Uzodimma is sitting there? a wise man like they do in the UK, he should have resigned and said no, like Yar’Adua did, “my election was marred with irregularities”. We are now talking about the appointment of an INEC chairman. Justice (Mohammed) Uwais came out with a document on this matter. Didn’t the National Assembly throw it overboard; did they look at that report? Because the report by Uwais shows that the president alone should not be appointing the chairman of INEC.

On the issue of insecurity, it appears practically now that no part of the country is safe. In the South all the forests have been taken over by gun men and terrorists. What do you think about the handling of security in this country?

 

Listen very carefully. Nigerians love to live by the lies; they want to live by self-denial. Do you remember when Buhari was not President Boko Ha-ram named him as their negotiator, are you aware of that? Buhari came out and told Jonathan that fighting Boko Haram means fighting the North. Do you remember that? When he became president, did he deny being ambassador of Boko Haram? I’m asking question, help me to answer. So he was still their man. Are you surprised today that Boko Haram is telling us, government knows what we want?

You see, Nigerians are not addressing the issue. Why haven’t Nigerians taken Buhari to task?

Why have they not taken Buhari to task? You are aware when people were complaining that people are being dropped in the forests, many, many months ago. You are aware when they told us that herdsmen were carrying AK-47 openly and nothing has happened to them. You are aware when Mr. Ahmed, the one they put in Customs said they captured arms illegally imported to Nigeria.

Has anybody asked where those arms are? Is it possible that government is importing arms and dubbing them illegal importation? If it’s illegal, who has been prosecuted? Where are those arms? Didn’t you hear that they also captured trailers of army uniforms? Where are those army uniforms? Nigerians know what is happening but they don’t want to come out unless something happens. Are we asking ourselves the questions, these questions that I’m asking you Nigerians know. You talk of insecurity, didn’t we know? Let me ask you.

You went all the way to kidnap Nnamdi Kanu in Kenya, kidnap. Do you remember Umaru Dikko? Whose regime was that carried out? Okay, so they are very firm in kid

napping. Are you surprised that kidnapping has become the business of the day today? Quote me the way I’m saying it, I’m not afraid. Nigerians are not asking the right question, they know what is hitting them but they don’t want to talk about it, they are all pretending.

 

My last letter to Ndigbo, it’s in my file now, it’s in my website. My last letter to Ndigbo after I wrote to Buhari in 2018 going to 2019; I said Buhari , you promised us some things, you promised us change, it’s now four years, nothing has happened; we have gone from frying pan to fire. I used to be one of your admirers because of the war against indiscipline.

That’s the letter I sent to Buhari. The young girl who gave you a bouquet when you came to Enugu in Polo Park, was my first daughter who is now 50 years plus. I wore white uniform as a permanent secretary and gave you a salute at the gate. We have not gone far, luckily you took the glory but we know it was Idiagbo who was doing the job.

 

I know they didn’t allow Buhari to read, that time Abba Kyari was the Chief of Staff, Buhari is not the reading type but I have done my duty as a citizen by writing my president and sending it by courier. I also wrote Saraki and Dogara. At that time APC president of senate and Ekweremadu was PDP deputy president of the senate.

Dogara was it PDP or APC but I wrote them. I told them that I’m making a sort of a last wish of an elderly man because I’m already on my way out- that this country came on a tripod through a federation. That the army came over and made us a unitary government and when the army was leaving, instead of restoring our constitution or set up a committee to restore our constitution which they suspended, they went and wrote us a new constitution in 1999 and imposed on us “we the people.”

 

And I say we the people did not, we the people never wrote a constitution. And that constitution is the cause of all the problems we are having today, because it was written by northern military Generals and promulgated as a decree, signed by Addusalam Abubakar, revealed to us after Obasanjo was sworn in.

Obasanjo did not know the constitution because it was released after he was sworn in. and that was why in 2005 Obasanjo wanted to see if he can review the constitution. A constitution which Ken Nnamani as senate president threw the baby and the bath water into the sea. Because as president all that troubled them was that Obasanjo inserted third term, and they should have taken away that section of the constitution; that constitution has a provision for the sixth state for South-East, they threw the baby and bath water away.

 

And all of them are making noise now forgetting the damage they did to us.

As it is now, what is the way out to save the country from doom?

 

One step out happened on October 20, 2020. Do you remember the date? When Nigerian youths armed with only the National flag at Lekki Tollgate, they were singing the National Anthem to say ‘sack SARS.’ Okay, several of them were shot. We saw it, when they took away the light. What has come out of it? They desecrated    the youths, they killed them. We have a Commander-in-Chief; what did he see #EndSARS as, as a movement to overthrow him. Those are the people that elected you, if they want to overthrow you why must you resist it?

 

We are still on the solution sir?

 

The solution is one, chairman Mahmood Yakubu the INEC Chairman, he delivered to Buhari in 2019. You remember the controversy between him and Atiku? If you take your mind back you will know what happened. Many Nigerians believe that Atiku won that election. INEC delivered Buhari. I think what Mahmood should be doing now is to leaving legacy for himself like Jega did by giving us a credible election. He is already doing it and we should encourage him to continue and refuse to be lured by politicians.

 

The machine they are using should be improved so that we don’t have problems with machine anywhere. The machines they now say transmit results. Why am I saying this? In 2019, INEC came and showed us on television their server, saying that when voting it will be making direct entries. At the tribunal they denied that one.

So my appeal to him is, give us a credible, transparent, free election. Did you see people complaining in the Ekiti election except for buying of votes? Because the transmission was clear and if SDP and PDP had joined together they could have done better.

 

All these parties, why don’t they gang up against APC as APC ganged up against PDP and win this election. Two, they must do everything in their power to allow the young people who have opened their eyes

 

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