Nigeria’s unity Not negotiable –Kalu - Healthy People Lifestyle Journal

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Nigeria’s unity Not negotiable –Kalu

Being conclusion of interview by former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, first published yesterday.
Is what is happening in the country due to the failure of the elders?
It is the failure of the Nigerian polity, not the elders; all becaue the polity is not counselling them enough. So, it’s not the failure of the elders of southeast. IPOB is almost in every part of Nigeria, not only in Igboland. There is agitation because we have not been treated well. But President Buhari had asked the question onve, ‘your people were finance minister and many other people given appointment in the last administration and they did not do all those things’. He said that the roads he is fixing today, those people failed to fix them.
Will the Presidency zoned to the South-East end the agitation?
I will not say that if the opportunity is given to the South East ro produce the President today, the agitation will go down. I will only say that the development will help in streamlining things because both the elders and young people are feeling cheated. I feel cheated sometimes, but because I have a lot of exposure; because I have travelled far and wide and have relationships with the northerners and the Yoruba, I don’t feel so much cheated. This because I know that many of them mean well even though they don’t have access t
o implement that ‘meaning well.’
Nigeria’s Presidency should not be based on where you hail from; rather, it should be based on competence. I am a very competent and every other person that will come from that region is also  competent. It is only when south easterners have ruled the country, that the country will have a new direction because if you travel to Sokoto, after the aborigines, the next people living there are Igbos. In Kaduna, it’s the same thing.  Even right in your village, after the people from your village, the other people living there are Igbos. So, it is only an Igbo man in the saddle that will say no, my brothers live in Sokoto, I must treat Sokoto the way I’m treating the people of Abia and so on. This is the way it should be and this is how we can enjoy democracy.
Are South East elders talking to the Biafra agitators?
I think so. The governors in the zone under the leadership of  Dave Umahi, met and they are talking to the youths, I am also talking to them even though I’m not a governor but I have had opportunity to meet most of them.
I believe if Biafra will be a success, people like me bhave led it because I am sure Nnamdi Kanu doesn’t have the reach to the American government, nor to people in the UK, Germany, France or Canada. We have access to these people and they are not thinking along that line, they are thinking of  Nigeria as a big integral entity. What we have to do is to review our strategy, including Nnamdi Kanu himself.  He can say whatever he wants to say, he has a right to carry a flag, sew his dress with Biafra, travel across the country.  nobody should touch him because there is freedom of expression in the country and it should be respected.
  What I can’t understand is some intellectuals supporting Biafra and that disturbs me because I have gone to the deepest part of the US government and they declared that never would they allow the country to disintegrate. I have gone to the deepest part of the UK government and they also told me in confidence that they would never allow Nigeria to disintegrate. So, why are we wasting our time.
You need a person to back you up whether you are disintegrating or not.These are world powers; it is world politics. Whether you like it or not this is the truth. These world powers also look after the world.
What do you make of the quit notice by the Arewa youths to the Igbo?
The quit notice means nothing, absolutely nothing because the people that gave the notice are people who do not know what this country stands for. Nobody should be disturbed. I’m not disturbed, I am still investing in my farm in Maiduguri. The quit notice is not in tandem with the convention that guides the existence of Nigeria as an entity. However, I congratulate the Northern Governors Forum and the South East Governors’ Forum, for the way they handled the issue. My appreciatiom also goes to a lot of well-meaning Nigerians.
I was also impressed by the Acting President on the consultations he made with the Igbo and northern leaders even though he would have invited people from other parts of the country like the Middle Belt, South West, because the problem is everywhere. If the killings begin  in the North and people think that it is Igbo people who are being killed. Whether you are Yoruba or Edo or from  any other place, the person also will be killed too. The Acting President should invite other people not only the Igbo.
Another issue is that there are many hate messages going around in Nigeria. The thing is increasing because politicians are feeding from  politics the Politics of bitterness. So, they peddle  a lot of rumours in the system. This is not right because many of our politicians do not have a second address, or where they could fall back on if politics is over today. So, politics is a do or die affair and this is not right.
No reasonable northern elder would do that; did Adamu Ciroma say so? Did the notice come from Jubril Aminu, Ibrahim Babangida or Abdulsalami (Abubakar)? Will Aliko (Dangote) support that? Only those who are looking for cheap popularity are ranting.
It’s just like me calling for secession, you would think that I’ve gone nuts. The unity of the country is not negotiable.
When you say northern elders, I don’t know whether the Sultan, Emir of Kano and the likes are among them. If all these people had come out to  say we should quit; then we will quit. We are not afraid of quitting. But Nigeria’s unity is more important.
Those who have fought a war before, we congratulate them for fighting although many people lost their lives and so those lives are very precious. Those lives needed not be lost. All the lives being lost to Boko Haram, etcetera, are enough.
Read full story on Sunnewsonline

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