The President of Indigenous Igbo Youth Congress (IIYC), Chief Mayor Echefu has said that the time has come for a round table talk to negotiate the future of the country.
In this interview, Echefu stressed that separatist agitations from various corners of the country suggest that Nigeria is hanging on a dangerous precipice and may collapse anytime.
What is your view on the state of the nation?
What is going on in this country is very unfortunate. There is no place where people sleep with both eyes closed. Boko Haram has taken over Borno and other states in the Northeast; bandits have held the Northwest on its jugular, while armed Fulani herdsmen are ravaging the North Central.
Nigeria is hanging on a cliff and only God can deliver her. Borno State governor has been attacked twice and his security details killed. Soldiers are being dispatched to their early graves by criminal elements in the North. Economically, the country has collapsed; there are separatists’ agitations everywhere; socially, the nation is speedily grinding to a halt.
The best thing to do is to learn from the history of what happened in some European countries like Czechoslovakia, where the nationalities went their separate ways and each of them is making enjoying peace and making laudable progress. We should toe the same line. Let every group that is interested go its separate way. There is no need for another war or bloodshed.
Before, the agitation to leave the country was only in the South East by MASSOB and later IPOB and others, but right now, some Yoruba groups have joined and they want to go their own way and enjoy their resources and peace.
What is the solution to make Nigeria a working country?
There are agitations across the country. Igbo say they are fed up and want to go; Yoruba say they want Oduduwa, the Niger Delta says they want to go, likewise Middle Belt. So, what is keeping Nigeria to be one country? When a couple gets tired of their marriage, the solution is to dissolve it so they go their separate ways. Let this country be peacefully separated and each goes its separate way and enjoy peace.
Is restructuring not better than breakup because many think the bigger Nigeria is, the better for it to be the face of black race?
Nigeria has gone beyond restructuring where it is now. Nigeria is supposed to be a nation of equal partners, but a situation where one group lords it over the others, the country will always be on edge. Instead of war, the best is to peacefully disintegrate like Czechoslovakia. Do you know that the British brought together Pakistan and India and they were one country, but when they realised that they were never the same, they parted ways. Today, both countries are very strong.
You are talking about Nigeria being a strong nation where other African nations and the blacks all over would look up to, but Biafra is there. It was going to be the hope of every black race in the world, but was sabotaged by world powers but right now, it still has the potential of being the hope of the black man all over. What Nigeria was supposed to be for the black race, Biafra would do it better. They should allow Biafra to go and they will see the wonders of the black man.
As a way of making the country work, the National Assembly is embarking on constitution amendment, how do you want the new constitution to be?
NASS members are just there for money. When they induce them with money, they will do the wrong thing. Constitution amendment would not take us anywhere. Northern Elders kicked against it, the Afenifere is opposed to it. Various groups are already disenchanted with the way things are going in this country and so are not interested in the review. They are not going to achieve anything; each NASS has always come up with constitution amendment and has not achieved anything; this is just waste of time and resources. Let’s go our separate ways and if it pleases God, we may come back if we actually need one another to stay together. See how Nigeria is developing.
Yoruba in Kogi and Kwara states are agitating to be grouped together with their brothers in the Southwest; they will not keep quiet until that is achieved. So, there are problems here and there. It is not about constitution amendment, It is about giving the people what they want, which is freedom to determine their own destiny.
When Miyetti Allah set up its security outfit, it said it would operate in the 36 states; do you have any objection to this?
TheIndigenous Igbo Youth is going to set up its own secåurity to secure Igbo land and we have tentacles across the country to protect every Igbo person in other states outside Igbo land, which is information and intelligence. Ours is not going to be security outfit that bears arms, but it will be intelligence based and to have first hand information on the safety of our people.
The Chief of Army Staff, Gen Buratai threatened to declare state of emergency in the South East following attacks on some military men, do you support his position?
He is arrogating to himself the power he doesn’t have. If a soldier or two were allegedly attacked, as he said, I condemn it in strong words. For him to say he would declare emergency state in South East is a joke taken too far. Soldiers are being killed in their dozens in the North West, what has he done; military men are being massacred in the North East, what has he done? Soldiers are also killed in other regions of the country, has he threatened them with a state of emergency? Borno governor was attacked and over 13 soldiers and policemen were killed, has he declared state of emergency in Borno.
If Buratai thought that South East is a conquered territory, he is joking. We are consulting with lawyers; we are dragging him and others before International Criminal Court (ICC).