Dr. Christian Nwachukwu is the Eze Ndigbo of Lagos and Chairman, Igbo Governing Council. In this interview, he speaks on the state of the nation and the 2023 general election, among others issues.
What is your take on state of insecurity in different parts of Nigeria and how do you think the issue can be addressed?
To curtail insecurity in the country, government should fight with a sense of seriousness and sincerity. There should be a synergy between all the security operatives, so that they can effectively fight insurgency. They must be up to the task and government needs to walk its talk so as to protect the lives of Nigerians.
What is you assessment of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Well, it is a pandemic that we don’t want and it is a global challenge. We have the rules and regulation by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that everybody should be protected with face masks, sanitising of hands and keeping of social distance, among others.
So, we appreciate the effort of Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. He is making efforts towards containing the pandemic; all we need to do is to take all the necessary precautions so as not to contract the virus.
As Eze Ndigbo of Lagos, how have you been managing affairs of igbos in Lagos State?
It is not easy but it is a job l have to do as a leader. I was chosen to be in this position many years ago. The Oba of lsolo took me to the Oba of Lagos who made me the leader of Ndigbo in Lagos State.
When the All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed we made it our indigenous party but the man who contested the Igbo leadership position with me joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). l remain committed to APC and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is my leader. He commissioned my palace as a governor through his wife, Senator We gave both of them lgbo chieftaincy titles.
Asiwaju was given Ezinna of lgbo while his wife was honoured with the Ezinne title. Senator Oluremi Tinubu did something to some Igbos at Abuja airport that baffled me.
Report came to me how she assisted some Igbos who were stranded at the airport years back. She practically came down from the plane she boarded and put the Igbos in the same flight she was free of charge. I owe her a debt of thanks for that humanistic gesture.
Also, during the commissioning of my palace, she watched some cripples who came from the East performing a dance. Moved by their zeal, she quickly ordered for wheel chairs for all of them. I can’t thank the Tinubu family enough. It is not easy to manage my people.
Asiwaju Tinubu is a good and open minded man who gave Ndigbo a chance in Lagos State by giving them appointments. The lgbo cannot go far from him. We believe he will go to Aso Rock. He merits it. Ndigbo should team up with him in unity and work with him to rebuild Nigeria again.
A majority of your people are in PDP, while you and a few others are in APC, what are you doing to make Ndigbo, especially those who are not in APC in Lagos State to support the party?
Yes, I am the Eze Ndigbo of Lagos State, which implies that I am the leader of my people. I work with them and they see me as their leader but we have unanimously mandated the member representing Oshodilsolo Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Jude Emeka Idimogu, to mobilize the Ndigbo in all local government areas in Lagos State. He is the best man for the job. Election is yet to come, but when it comes, the lgbo will support APC.
We have a lot of Igbos who have dumped the PDP and want to join us in APC and we are working on a date with the state chairman of APC for these Igbo politicians to be welcomed into APC.
Can you shed light on the issue of lgbo in Lagos APC leadership tussle?
If you are in a relationship with somebody and you are not getting the necessary support, you should quit such relationship. We unanimously chose Hon. Jude Emeka Idimogu and we are ready to work with him come 2023 elections.
Do you think there is hope for APC in 2023?
Yes. There is hope. Don’t believe in anything written in a vehicle before you board it. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will deliver in 2023. He is a master in politics in Nigeria. The North has taken their slot; it is the turn of the South.
Let the lgbo work with Asiwaju Tinubu and APC to get there. It is good to make friends with those that will support you. If the South-East supports the South-West, the West can support the East when the time comes.