All I want is an APC that will be rancour-free, because, if you allow division to continue, that will be the end of the party, especially when other parties are trying to come together to face us … that is why we need a personality who will not divide the party … we have a clean record of service. I am a true son of my father. My dad always told me to always draw a distinct line between public funds and private funds. And this is what I have done in public offices I have occupied. Donald Duke was my commissioner, Liyel Imoke, I sent him to the Senate, Florence Ita-Giwa to the House, the current deputy governor of my state was my commissioner of agriculture, the chairman, NDDC, was my personal assistant. I was able to develop a new generation of leaders. You cannot be said to be successful unless your generation succeeds.”
– Clement Ebri, APC chairmanship aspirant
Research shows that over 75 per cent of US Family Farmers, since February of 1979, have been driven into bankruptcy as a result of America’s failed agricultural policies. As the President of the Atlantic Bridge Tour, we were encouraged to contact our state governors to take the advantages of the experienced American Family Farmers availability. Those Nigerian state governments would at the end of the day, produce their own food, feed their people on a permanent basis after instituting new farm policies, procedures and agriculture programs.
The new farm programs would be paid for by the governors of the new states with their own budgets, and through means that have already been established by the Nigerian government. Also, loans and grants from the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other sources of creative financing would be used.
Equally, those new farming programs that were being instituted by the new Nigerian government, for the state governments, provided for private financial initiatives, by inviting foreign capital, and investors from America, elsewhere, to invest in the country, for which they receive a reasonable return on their investment.
With a stable government in Nigeria, that is able to feed its own people, it is expected that through this new farming program, Nigeria should develop as a leader in the African continent, by exporting the much needed food to other African countries. Having developed the ability to feed itself, Nigeria could then assume the much needed task of helping other countries in Africa to develop the farming ability to feed their own people. Such a realization would lead to more stability and security in the entire continent.
When it became apparent after the 1979 US farmers protest, that the message in the movement was falling on deaf ears in the government, many of the farmers began to look for answers regarding where they could apply their farm technology in the production of food as a means of making a living. Aware that Africa so desperately needed the farm technology, to help feed its people, I kept coming up with the answer that under the right circumstances, the farming technology, which appeared to be no longer needed or wanted in America, could and should be transported to help Africa build its own agriculture programs to help feed its people.
My suggestion was accepted later by the Board of the Atlantic Bridge Tour. The farmers have the unique and unparallel farm experience, know how, and technological capability to raise enough food to feed the world, and as such, should be invited to Nigeria to help set up the needed farm programs there.
This invitation to the farmers also presented them with the opportunity to help change the United States lack of policy for Africa, which has adversely affected business and trade between the greatest economic power in the world, and the mineral rich continent.
The major changes that have taken place in Nigeria are that each of the governors have their own budgets, and are free to work for the best interest of their states, without having to go through the national government. This will eliminate the red tape process, which has left Nigeria still one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world, and still unable to feed its people.
The Atlantic Bridge Tour was the first of its kind and our mission was serious. We were to visit with the governors in the states of Ondo, Niger, Kaduna, Gongola, Delta, Rivers, Lagos, Osun, Ebonyi, Enugu, Plateau and Abia States. Also, to Imo, Anambra, Cross Rivers, Kano, Benue, Bayelsa, Ogun and Kogi states, etc.
Of all the then governors we visited it was only H.E. Clement Ebri who embraced the Atlantic Bridge Africa program and called his cabinet to sit and listen to the representatives of the American Family Farmers.
In a jiffy, the governor appointed a committee to seriously look into the details of the proposals and while we were still in Calabar, he personally took his time to study the program and added his own recommendations. He ordered his commissioners to take my delegation to Obudu and to check on the Calabar, cement factory that was out of production. It was while we were at Obudu that the farmers thought of repositioning the Ranch and building it unto a world Tourist Farm Land!
There were calls from Obudu to fellow farmers in Texas, Alabama New Orleans, North Carolina, etc. The magic transformation of Obudu has been credited wholesomely to Governor Duke. But as H.E. Ebri has revealed, Duke was his invisible commissioner when I led the first American Farmers Union to cross the Atlantic and land in Cross Rivers. They had their plans and programs until the effervescent governor departed the government.
Clement Ebri, wherever he is now, I am sure, would not condone noise. All those bee siren whizzes that announce the perambulations of the present and retired Governors of Rome. H.E. Ebri would not live with such torture. He is a writer, a creator and would always prosper in a silent environment. Like every writer he would always cherish the silence of the Sun, the Moon and Stars.
Wherever is his present abode, you would not expect Idris’ men to guard his premises as he has told you: “I am the son of my father!”
He knows the difference between public funds and private funds and that is the major difference between him and these other candidates who are all disgraceful products of our unproductive politics. He has nothing to hide. APC under Oyegun is cascading down the precipice and nobody can predict where the ship is straying to. It may as well win everything but at the end, what is the essence of a political party when it has no instrument or vision to attract those few critical innovators to lead and manage a failing state where more than two regions are presently trampled upon by insurgents, and invaded by bandits and Fulani herdsmen?
For a new APC to emerge and meet headlong the problems the party needs the forthrightness of H.E. Ebri to stop Mr. Sherrif, Okorocha, etc. Mr. Sherrif should join the Red Cross, Doctors Across Borders, go to Sambisa forest and help in resettling the suffering refugees of Borno to return to normal life. His type that is responsible for this tragedy cannot play politics again.
Ebri as an Aba boy has the eclectic education (he is a Lion) and possesses the street wisdom to sit with IPOB and other “terrorist” freedom fighters to formulate a Biafran, Arewa, Oduduwa brief to negotiate a lasting resolution for the benefit of this stressing Federation.
At this time the APC is waging a costly internal attrition, H.E. Clement Ebri espousing a non-threatening personality, standing on the platform of uniting the various tendencies of the party and above all standing for his and this generationm is the next Chairman of the APC!