Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Mr. Brady Chijioke Nwosu was the governorship candidate of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) in Imo State in the last general election. In this interview, the businessman and frontline politician insists that restructuring is the only way out of the impeding doom for the nation. He also bares his mind on topical national issues.
What is your take on the agitation for restructuring?
Let me tell you, if we had a Nigerian military, I would have suggested that they should take over power so that we can all sit back and discuss Nigeria. Unfortunately, what we have now is tribal occupation military.
Be that as it may, we need to discuss Nigeria. We must go back to the drawing board, how we started in order to get things right. Even the name Nigeria is not suitable. Restructuring is simply the only way out of our current mess. It will help as a push back on this ethnic agitation and separation. But as things stand now, the North is afraid of restructuring for reasons only them know.
We must go back to how we were before the first coup that disrupted our system. We must have the regions taking control of development and the running of affairs in their areas rather than a central government controlling everything. It is only then that every region will begin to develop according to their strength, ability and capability and choices. That is what is obtainable the world over. So, why can’t we have it here. The unitary system is not good and that is the brain behind the agitation for separation.
In Ibo land today, the agitation for separation has gone very far and the agitators have a silent majority that are still nursing the hope for the republic of Biafra. So my position is that, we need to restructure and we need to do that now before it becomes too late. There is no patriotism in Nigeria. That is just the truth. Our patriotism is to our regions and ethnicity and that must be respected for the nation to grow.
You talk about agitation in the East but IPOB has been proscribed, so what is your take on the proscription?
The proscription of IPOB is just out of ignorance. Nobody becomes a terrorist without guns or harmful objects. The agitation for Biafra is just simple and peaceful agitation by people who believe in what they are looking for. They are not terrorists. In any case, you can only make the pronouncements. You can not stop them from their agitation. The IPOB is still existing and the proscription is rubbish. The leader of IPOB is still there and he is the most feared human being to this government. He is making waves. He makes broadcasts all the time and Nigerians listen to him, because people believe in him and know that his agitations are genuine. In fact, people believe in him now more than ever. As it is now, an average Igbo man believes that the Igbo are being pushed out of Nigeria. Nigeria is moving without the Igbo people and it is not going to work. Right now, the only thing that is still existing about this country is the location. The country itself is far gone. So for me, the proscription is just an effort in futility. IPOB still exists and is even getting stronger.
How did you receive the news of Orji Kalu’s conviction?
Like I told you, Nigeria is a Bukaneer and fighting country. I look at Orji’s sentence as obscure and has the undertone of conspiracy theory. Why now? That is the first question you should seek answers to. This whole thing is coming now because of the agitation for Igbo Presidency in 2023, which for some of us, it is really just a scam. You have the former governors of Plateau and Taraba also in Jail because of religious and tribal bigotry. You have Dasuki in jail because of vendetta. So the conviction of politicians in Nigeria is based on vendetta, political, ethnic and religious bigotry.
What is your take on Omoye Sowore’s battle with the DSS?
You see, we are operating a different system of government under the cover of democracy. You recall that President Buhari worked under the Late Abacha regime and has been an Abacha apologist since then. So what happened during the Abacha dictatorship is what is happening today under the cover of democracy.
Recently, The Punch came up with a very strong Editorial which elicited mixed reactions. But for them to come up with that editorial, it tells you that there is indeed a whole lot going on. So, we are actually operating in a civilian dictatorship right now. So when there is dictatorship, there is no rule of law. That is why I don’t look at our so called democracy as democracy at all. It is at best a mere civilian regime. So for some of us, we are not surprised at the turn of events.
If Sowore had said his agitation is for a sectional interest, he would be very safe. Since the creation of Nigeria, we don’t have an idol, we don’t have a hero because nobody is interested in Nigeria as a country. They look at Nigeria as a working site. We all have very strong allegiance to our ethnic affiliation and not the nation. So, the idea now is that, if the courts have granted Sowore bail, then I really don’t see why he should be rearrested without a court order. It simply means the reign of impunity. There is no more rule of law.
What is your take on the hate speech Bill?
Hate actions begets hate speech. So you cannot address one in isolation. Hate speech started with one of the founders of Nigeria and an icon of the North, Ahmedu Bello. That is the first recorded history of hate speech, when he alleged that the Igbo want to dominate everywhere and over everyone and urged his people to resist such domination.
This was followed by the pogrom against the Igbo which was a hate action. Since the days that Zik was denied the premier of Western region through hate speech and hate actions, every other day in Nigeria is a manifestation of hate speech and consequently, hate action or the other way round.
So, if this regime decides to promulgate such a law, they should first of all imbue in it the consequences of hate action which causes hate speech. And then they should be prepared to jail a great portion of the population. Because you cannot be destroying me and still say I shouldn’t talk. You cannot be stealing our common wealth and mortgaging the future of our children and say we shouldn’t talk. It is not possible. They should stop committing hate actions and hate speech will disappear.
What is your take on the zoning of presidency in 2023?
In the real action of things, turn by turn presidency will never take this country forward. And that is one of the things that have destroyed this country. But since it has gone this way, I think the Igbo people have the right to the Presidency in 2023. But I don’t believe in it. All this promise of Igbo presidency in 2023 is mere scam. There is nothing to show. In fact, everything points to the contrary. How many prominent Igbo do you have in APC.
But that is not even the issue here. Whoever becomes president in 2023 will still fail just as this government has failed. Until we restructure and get things right, the presidency is inconsequential. Whoever goes there will fail, because the country is gone.
For me, I don’t even believe that there would be any election in 2023. I have a strong conviction that this president will extend beyond his four year tenure. They can simply amend the constitution to extend the tenure to six years. Whichever way it goes, anybody coming in 2023 without a restructured Nigeria will still fail.
What is your opinion on border closure.
Well, that is just a way of inflicting more pains on Nigerians. The only thing this closure has done is to bring more hunger and hardship on the people and to frustrate small businesses. If the government is sincere about developing local production capacity, then they should start with patronizing Nigerian made cars. We have a local car manufacturing company here that is producing good cars. Instead of wasting Billions on importation of cars annually for politicians, the government, beginning with the President should start patronizing IVM and ban foreign cars.
You don’t start your economic reforms with draconian policies that are targeted at the suffering masses. So in the end, whatever their reasons may be, the closure has only succeeded in inflicting more pains and loses on the ordinary Nigerian. The politician at the top there doesn’t have a problem. They are eating the foreign rice they have barred, they drink expensive foreign wines, in fact, everything they eat, drink, wear, and drive is foreign, including their furniture and carpets. So, what are they saying.
Why not close the border on foreign medical trips so that we can fix our hospitals back home? Why not close the borders on education abroad so that we can fix our system here? These are areas that concern them and you will never hear them say anything there.
How do you see the move by the federal government to secure a new loan to fund infrastructural development?
I must say we have borrowed enough and I just don’t know where this one is coming from and any monies borrowed now is just to service the existing debts and nobody is building any infrastructure. What infrastructure are they talking about. At the end of the day, it will end up in their private pockets. So, as far as I am concerned, nobody is interested in Nigeria.
People still have strong allegiance to their ethnic nationality rather than the country. There is no patriotism in Nigeria and that our so called leaders main concern is to enrich themselves and their families. So, nobody should tell us anything about borrowing for infrastructure. We have heard that too many times. The money will still end up in private pockets just as it has always been since the inception of Nigeria.
One of the cardinal focus of this administration is the fight against corruption. How do you see this war so far?
There is nothing like fighting corruption. In fact the so called war against corruption is the height of corruption itself. Check, for every single person they have jailed over corruption charges, there are serious political lining. Look at Nyame, look at Kalu, look at Dasuki. They are not fighting any corruption. It is just another way of stealing from others to enrich themselves. What happens to the billions upon billions that the EFCC claims it has been recovering? Why are they still interested in borrowing more money when we have recovered so much loot already? When the governor of Kano was caught with Dollars in a clear case of corruption, what happened; he got a pat on the shoulder for doing a great job. Contemplating going to borrow more money now to further impoverish this country is corruption. Taking all key federal projects to the President’s village is corruption. So what corruption are we fighting.