From John Adams, Minna
A presidential candidate for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and security expert, Dr Valentine Iheukwumere Oparaocha, has said that what Igbos need all over the world is security for their lives and businesses.
He said when this is guaranteed, the Igbo man has no problem with either his host community or government wherever he finds himself.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo presidential candidate, who spoke to reporters in Minna as part of his nationwide tour ahead of the election, said security remains very paramount to the survival of Igbo man either in Nigeria or anywhere in the world.
Oparaocha pointed that this was what informed his decision to include security as part of his 3-point agenda to ensure the protection of lives of easterners, Igbos in particular, wherever they may find themselves globally, adding that he promised to pursue this if voted into power.
Oparaocha, a retired State Security Service (SSS) officer, said he joined the race for the number one seat of the apex Igbo organisation knowing what his people needed at this critical period and how to go about guaranteeing that if given the mandate.
‘What the Igbos need most is to be secure in any part of Nigeria and the world over, every other thing comes second,’ he stated.
Oparaocha, who holds the traditional title of Ochudo Ndigbo, said after serving this country meritorious as an expert, he decided to offer himself for service to his Igbo people because he knows and understands their pains and worries more than any other contestant.
He promised to work hand-in-hand with governors of the eastern states and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to ensure that the region is safe from all forms of criminal incursions while also not jettisoning youths in the region but encouraging them on the need to discover who they.
Oparaocha who said he believes on the indivisibility of Nigeria said the Igbos will be better-off remaining part of the country but will put his wealth of experience as a security officer in providing what the easterners has been yearning for over the years.
According to him, ‘managing the ESN is far better than trying to break up Nigeria or agitating for a separate country, Biafra. With kidnapping and armed banditry becoming an embarrassment to the Nigeria government, the network is certainly a good development that will help security agencies neutralise some of these security situations.
‘We have and I think that is working out very well in the east. But they must seek legitimacy because we cannot forget in a hurry about the Onitsha and the Bakassi boys and how the clash of interests. There have been many other difficult security situations solved with the help of such well organised regional vigilante groups.’
He said the likes of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), needed to be properly guided aright. ‘I see the IPOB composition as mostly young people or youth organisation that did not see the Nigerian/Biafran civil war. They’re equally being supported and sponsored. But they need to be guided.
‘People should not die for a course they believe in and I am sure you will agree with me that it hasn’t gotten to that level yet. I never liked this Egwueke thing set up to checkmate the IPOB. That thing could have been averted and this again is centred on the security where I will be displaying my wealth of experience as security expertise in protecting the Igbo and, by extension, the entire Eastern Nigeria.’
On the 2023 Igbo Presidency, Valentine Oparaocha said: ‘I believe that what good for the goose is also good for the gander. Since Nigeria’s independent about 60 years ago, the North has produced presidents of this country more than the entire south against this rotational presidency arrangement.
‘In southern Nigeria again, the South-West has had its slot, followed by the South-South in the person of the immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, though he did for one term after completing his joint ticket with late President Umaru Yar’Adua. What is bad if an easterner or Igbo man, in particular, becomes President of this country in 2023?’
For effective piloting of its affairs, Valentine Oparaocha said: ‘I will consolidate on the gains of my predecessors, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who has done his best to bring Ohanaeze Ndigbo to where we are today.
‘My priority if by God’s grace I emerge the next Ohanaeze President is to work for Nigeria’s next President of Igbo extraction in the next election. I will put all machineries to work because there is no way we can achieve desired success from outside the nation’s seat of power, Aso Rock and the National Assembly.’