• Says ex-president should be blamed for problems
From Okey Sampson, Aba
Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has slammed former President Goodluck Jonathan as the harbinger of Nigeria’s problems.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Sun, at the weekend, Kanu described Jonathan as “weak and incompetent” president who did nothing for the South East, even though the region claimed him as one of their own. To Kanu, Jonathan’s wife, Patience, would have been a better president than her husband.
“Jonathan is my uncle, yes. I was one of those who said Jonathan’s tenure was more or less an Igbo presidency; it’s on record I said that. But, he knew I never liked his regime because he was weak and incompetent.
“I don’t support evil; if you do good, I will tell you, if you do bad, I will say it the way it is; I don’t curry favours.
“He was weak, I said I wish it was aunty Patience Jonathan who was in-charge, she would have done better.
“Look at where Jonathan dropped us today; he never finished building the East/West Road, but, he built railway line from Abuja to Kaduna, so they will love him. Who told you that if they did not love Zik, that they will love you?”
Regardless, Kanu said the North has produced good leaders, in all sectors of the economy. The Biafra leader, who said people erroneously see him as hating the North, singled out former Presidents Shehu Shagari and late Umaru Yar’Adua as two good leaders who are from the North and had made their marks in Nigeria.
“People think I hate the North; that’s not true, but the only thing is that I say things the way they are, I don’t know how to tell lies to curry favours. People do not know that I love (former presidents Shagari and Yar’Adua more than I love (former president, Nnamdi Azikiwe) Zik. I’m saying this because when we were young and were growing up, the only notable person that built any notable infrastructure I saw with my two eyes was Shagari. The Enugu/Igwuocha (that the white man named Port Harcourt) Expressway, was built by the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) government of Shagari and then you can travel with joy because it was smooth and very clean.
“Now, tell me who has ever done that since after Shagari, no, tell me. Which other infrastructure will you be proud of, nobody has ever done anything again.”
The IPOB leader described late president Yar’Adua as “a good and perfect gentleman. That was why you had the agitations cooled during the time of Yar’Adua. The man was a gentle man; he knew how to deal with people. I never met both men one on one, but these are good people. I’m not saying we don’t have other good people in the North, no, we have many of them, even in the judiciary, who are nice.
But the few terrible, horrible ones won’t allow them to emerge, that’s the problem.
Reminiscing on the conditions an Abuja High Court put forward before granting him bail, Mazi Kanu said denying him his fundamental human rights to speak and to freely associate when he has not been convicted, speaks volumes about the hopelessness of the Nigerian judiciary.
“Denying me of fundamental human rights which I have as a human being to speak, to talk and to freely associate, when I have not been convicted, speaks volume about the hopelessness of the Nigerian judiciary. That’s how awful it is, how uncivilised it is. How dare you ask somebody not to speak?
Have I been convicted of any crime? Is there presumption of innocence before proven guilty? If I am innocent under bail, why should you prevent me from talking?”
Kanu said he is heading to court to challenge what he described as the stringent conditions the court attached to his release.
He also said he welcomed the quit notice on Igbo in the North by Arewa youths and reiterated his call on the Igbo to return home before they are massacred like their brothers in 1966.
• Full interview on Wednesday.