“Is it Peter Obi now that will form the Igbo nation? The answer is no. So, Obi is a businessman who sees politics as business.”
Magnus Eze, Enugu
Chief Bounty Onuigbo is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State. He believes that former governor, Peter Obi as running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is no threat to President Muhammadu Buhari, even in Anambra State.
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He also decried the unhealthy rivalry between Catholics and Anglicans in the state.
Don’t you think that with former governor, Peter Obi, as running mate, Anambra will be a done deal for PDP?
No. I think that is even the best thing that will happen to APC because the Peter Obi you talk about is not liked by the real politicians in Anambra and in the entire South-East. Aside other reasons, the main politicians see him as someone who is coming to retire all of them. So, I don’t think PDP will even get up to 20 percent in Anambra State not to talk of South-East; a lot of things are going on underground that people are not aware of.
But Anambra is home of APGA, so you are not reckoning with APGA?
Who’s talking about APGA; a dead party? You can see what happened in their senatorial primary election; the wife of their leader; Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu couldn’t even make it, so that means that they are blaspheming the man. They are not real about what they are doing; a party that duped its aspirants and members, collected money for ad hoc delegates’ forms for each election House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate; they all paid through their nose, N10,000 per ad hoc delegate, yet they were not allowed to cast their votes. They used to say that ‘Nka bu nke anyi’ meaning this is ours; when they have sold the party to a presidential candidate from Benue State. So, the way we see it now, APGA is a scam; and nobody is reckoning with APGA today. Willie Obiano is going to be the last governor APGA will produce in Anambra and in the entire South-East. So, nobody is talking about APGA anymore. You cannot see any ongoing projects in the state; no new signposts of Obiano’s projects in Anambra, so the party is gone. Nobody is talking about APGA; that is why everybody is rushing to APC because that is the party to beat. The President is doing well; look at the federal roads in the South-East, we have work ongoing. Yes, a lot of people are complaining about hunger, but there’s hunger even in the UK. There is no how it will be easy for some of those thieves to be comfortable with the President. When I was President General of my town, there were some miscreants in the town who will always go for the community fund, when you fight them; there is no way they wouldn’t put back a fight. So, you don’t expect some of these people to be very happy with the President but at least when you come to the village today, every person knows that he has to work to eat. If you are not into fishing; you are into farming, or you have to look for something doing. It is no more business as usual when you go to somebody’s house and wait for him to wake up from bed before you borrow money to go and eat or do something; everybody is doing something in the village today; thanks to APC.
Don’t you think that the Igbo sentiment will be there for the PDP especially as they have running mate from the South-East?
You cannot be more Igbo than those of us who our fathers were pioneers in Igbo land. My father was the first mayor of Aba; we had properties in Port Harcourt that were confiscated as abandoned property. So, who can be more Igbo than the likes of the Onuigbos, M. I. Okparas, Obiohas. Is it Peter Obi now that will form the Igbo nation? The answer is no. So, Obi is a businessman who sees politics as business. He told us that the governorship in Anambra was taking his time that he was going back to his business. I am surprised that Peter Obi who said that if you are an Igbo man and you leave APGA for PDP or any other party that you need to be stoned to death, was the first to leave to join the same party he was campaigning against. Then, where is the honesty? So, you don’t bring Igbo sentiment here; this thing is business and politics.
Andy Uba will square up with his brother, Chris and out there you still have Nicholas Ukachukwu for APGA. How do you see this one playing out?
In politics, we have kingmakers; the real people and we have jobbers; people that come when they want votes, you will see them. When somebody dies or when there are burials, you wouldn’t see them, they cannot pick your call they are not politicians. Andy Uba has an existing livewire, he has an existing structured organisation; not an ad hoc thing; he helps people and fixes his people in positions. So, there is no way you can equate him with the rest; so, I think this race is between Andy Uba and others. Let me tell you, Andy Uba is the old Aguata’s candidate and any person attacking him is attacking old Aguata. I don’t want to mention names; people have right to contest and when you put out your list of supporters, when you bring out your team, we will know people that are supporting you; we will know who you are. So, I don’t think Andy Uba is contesting the election with anybody.
Are you not bothered about the agitation by IPOB for election boycott in the South-East?
One thing that I can tell you is that those people doing all those things are scammers and government should treat them as same. We cannot run away from the north because of the Boko Haram and come down to our country home and we continue the same run; it is not possible. We have started something; we have registered a movement called Voice across the Niger. We believe in one Nigeria; there is nothing like Biafra, there is nothing like IPOB; those people are criminals; I’m shocked that government is only allowing them. What is IPOB, where did we agree to have anything called Biafra, have we had any meeting, those people talking do they know the meaning of Biafra? I told you my father’s property was seized in Port Harcourt, which people seized it, was it the Fulani people? Was it not the South-South people and the Middle Belt people? The civil war, who were the people that fought us? All these things going on are politics and government is only allowing them. They are fighting Buhari because he is the only person that can attack that nonsense. So, if they are doing Biafra; you do it without disturbing the people. You have right to do anything you want to do, but by the time you begin to disturb people, we’ll resist it. I don’t know anything about Biafra and I disassociate myself and family from it. Any member of my family who is talking Biafra, I don’t think he is the son of my father, Chief B.C.I. Onuigbo.
One Nkoli Imo recently granted an interview on why she dumped Andy Uba; did you read it, if yes, what is your reaction to that?
I know her and I am aware that she used to be a staunch supporter of Andy Uba. Last time, the woman was trying to achieve reconciliation with Andy but Andy was too busy with his campaign and you know that there are a lot of people going about, that want to be noticed and the Andy I know doesn’t like distractions. She has the right to support whoever she wishes but I don’t advise her to run anybody down.
You were President General of your town union and at some point, you went for the traditional stool; what is the situation now?
Actually the problem we are having in Anambra is this dominance of the Catholic Church; the issue is still raging. If you are not a Catholic, you get nothing. So, Governor Obiano refused to extend certificate of recognition to me because I am an Anglican and the matter is in court and he is a defendant; we took him to court for him to do what the constitution allows him to do but while we were in court, he went and gave the certificate to another person. But, I have confidence in the Nigerian judiciary. I just pray that the Catholicism hasn’t permeated the judiciary. So, we are waiting for the judgment of the court to see whether somebody has right to be a judge in his matter because he is a defendant along with the Attorney-General.