Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Chief Zeribe Ezeanuna is a Chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a governorship aspirant in 2017 in Anambra State. He was three times House of Representatives candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Accord Party (AP) respectively. He said that insecurity in the country is caused by lack of good leadership, just as he said that there will be no Nigeria without Igbo.
What could be the cause of insecurity in the country in your opinion?
The cause is simply lack of good leadership, the failure of All Progressives Congress-led (APC) administration under President Muhammadu Buhari to show good leadership and to bring people together, rather than treating people according to primordial sentiment. There is clear lack of intelligence, nothing is going on well not just in the area of security but all over, the economy, everywhere nothing is going on well. The economy is basically paralysed at this point, everything in Nigeria is paralysed. The current leadership under APC lacks legitimacy. It is not the voice of the people that is going on, they didn’t win the election, and APC didn’t win presidential election in particular. There is lack of hope; people no longer believe in this county, they no longer believe in the leadership, the leadership failure is amusing and unacceptable.
There is the allegation that it is the politicians that sponsor insecurity in the country, do you believe in that?
No, I will not believe in that but it is the type of excuse that comes from the leadership that has failed. They are looking for someone to blame for their failure instead of taking responsibility. The buck stops with Mr. President, he has failed the Nigeria people, and he has not provided us with the security, not now, not before. He simply doesn’t listen to anybody’s advice.
Recently, the army raised the alarm that there was plot to scuttle the May 29 handover, what is your take on that?
The army has become an extension of the executive arm of the government. As you can see the president has surrounded himself with his type only, people that share his faith with him, people that went the same school with him, people that are related with him by blood. These are the people he gathered together. So it is not Nigeria coming together to rule. The Security Council is basically Buhari and his family extension otherwise there is nothing going on, they are trying to blame everybody because of their failure, refusing to take responsibility that is a primary requirements of leadership.
Do you think that PDP has hope in the Presidential Election Tribunal?
Yes, there is hope because judiciary is the last hope of the common man. Our party ran to judiciary for help regardless of the fact that people literary call it ‘Buhari judiciary’ but in spite of that we are still counting that justice would be done. We are hoping that with the truth starring the judiciary on the face, they will pick up courage and become independent and interpret the law like it should be interpreted regardless of who put them there without fear or favour. And if that is the case definitely the stolen mandate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would be recovered.
Do Igbo people have any stake in this country?
Yes, we have a stake in the country called Nigeria. There will be no Nigeria without Igbo; there is no two ways about it. The reason you asked the question is probably because there is an APC government under the leadership of Buhari that thinks he’s elected to govern only the people he perceived voted for him, that is why you asked. No, we are part of Nigeria and without Igbo there would be no Nigeria.
Going by the intrigues in the National Assembly and plot to zone all principal positions of 9th Assembly out of South East, any hope for the zone?
My take is one, the APC government is not a Nigeria government, it’s a government that doesn’t believe in Nigeria, they are bunch of unpatriotic people, they do not understand diversity and they do not appreciate it. That is what they think that they can throw any Igbo man out, they are wasting their time. In a democracy, you don’t beg, we are not begging for any position. In 2015 we voted for President Goodluck Jonathan and we offered no apologies to anybody, in 2019 we voted for Atiku Abubakar and we offered no apologies to anybody. And I tell you, we are strong as opposition. It’s a pity that the government in power do not consider Igbo people within APC qualify enough for any position, position that belong to all Nigerians. So, we are not begging them, they are not our God, we will survive, we have survived various marginalisation and we will survive APC marginalisation.
I will continue to urge the leadership of PDP in the National Assembly to continue to dialogue with the APC lawmakers because at the end of the day, it is the members of the National Assembly that will determine who will be their leader.
How do you see governance in the state so far?
First of all, our constitution has messed up the whole system. There is no progress going on anywhere and there is no way of tackling it. The governors are mini emperors, they do whatever they wish and like. The raise security vote to the highest level and collect and pocket the money and share it with the traditional rulers and anybody they wish to compromise, at the end of the day they are not delivering on what they are supposed to do. The House of Assembly members are too weak to check their excesses and the entire system is set up for corruption anyway, even politicians raise money to vie for any election, it is very difficult because there is no system of raising money to vie for an election. So the governance is not doing well, I thought former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi set up a standard that subsequent governors are supposed to emulate in the state. But unfortunately that is not the case with the state. Instead of achieving more, the present administration decided to go back to Egypt that has been abandoned, where public money is not fully accounted for.