Chairman, United Berger Motor Dealers Association (UBMDA), Chief Don-Metche Nnadiekwe said former Lagos State Governor and National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu is a true friend of the Igbo people.
What is your take on the spate of killings, banditry and kidnapping in the country?
Yes, it is giving me concern and I believe most Nigerians are disturbed by the trend. Nigeria has never been divided like we are today and it is because of lack of cohesion among the ruling class. The government under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari should unite Nigerians by running an all inclusive administration to douse tension as he assume office for another four years comes May 29, 2019. We never knew that Nigeria has gold and diamond in large quantity in Zamfara State until recently when government came out to make the announcement. According to government statement, few individuals have been mining the resources and when they fallout their loyalists started killing themselves and other innocent Nigerians in those areas. So, I urge President Buhari to give all Nigerians, especially South-East a sense of belonging in the next dispensation.
They say charity begins at home, as an advocate of peace, the South-East is political disunited, what are you doing to call the political actors in the zone to order ahead of 2023?
That is a very sensitive question. I’m a leader and member of a lot of Igbo socio-cultural organisations whose aims and objectives are to unite Igbo, promote peace and development of the region. We are trying our best to call the major political actors together and ensure we speak with one voice ahead of 2023 and beyond. Like I have always suggested to political gladiators from the South-East, there is need to form or strengthen a political party through which we can negotiate the interest of the zone and except we do that, Igbo will continue be like sheep without a shepherd politically. We are blessed by the Almighty God beyond measure both humanly and materially, but we have being unable to harness these endowments for the growth and political stability of the region since the first and second republic.
There is call that Igbo should think home by bringing huge part of their businesses to the South-East, will that bring about unity in the zone?
Yes, that is part of the unifying factors, but those making the suggestion should equally realise that in localisation of trade and industry, the major factor you must consider include, nearness to raw, materials. So, because we are into commerce, we site our businesses mainly in places like Lagos because that is where the major sea ports are. Apart from that there is need to look inward and use part of our resources to develop South-East since the Federal Government seems to be care less about the region. Igbo thrive in business any place they found themselves including outside the shores of the country.
There is outcry by Igbo traders in Computer Village in Ikeja Lagos over the appointment of Iyaloja of the market by the state government, isn’t that a wrong step in a market dominated by Igbo?
Whatever is the reason that informs that is political. But I call on my Igbo brothers and sisters to be calm as discussion is on with the state government to see how the matter can be resolved. Like I said earlier, Lagos is the second home of Igbo and we cannot be lawless or try to be instigated against our host. The relationship between Igbo and Yoruba dates back to when the former President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe contested and won election into the Western House of Assembly. If you recall, most prominent Igbo businessmen which include the first Africa millionaire, Sir Louis Ojukwu all lived and thrived in Lagos. The greater part of investments of Igbo people are situated in the South West as such it will wrong for us to fight our host over position in the market.
They attributed the decision to appoint Iyaloja to Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu saying it may be one of the ways the National leader of APC wants to control the market, what is your take?
That is an assumption because it has not been proven that Jagaban wants to control the market through the appointment of Iyaloja. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to my Igbo brothers and sisters to appreciate the good gestures of Senator Ahmed Tinubu who have always come to our aid when we are in critical condition in the state. Tinubu has shown Igbo love and friendship even though we may differ politically, but in terms of cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba in Lagos, Tinubu has done us good. There are many times I took Igbo complaintss to Tinubu when he was the governor of Lagos State and even now that he is no longer the Chief Executive of the state and he listens and solved those problems, especially disputes between us and the indigenes. One of our brothers, Ben Akabueze who is now Director General in the Budget Office in the presidency was nominated by Tinubu as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for two terms with Lagos State Government. He hails from Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, yet some of us are abusing Tinubu. I appeal to our people to show some regards and love to Asiwaju.