By Henry Uche
The agony in the land is excruciating. Though some persons have seen better days in the past, probably when Nigerians were rated among the happiest People on earth. One of such persons who have seen better days is Dr. Christopher Ejike Ihenacho, who enjoyed Free Higher education in Russia to study Internal Medicine, from 1978 to 1985 under the Federal Government scholarship programme.
In this interview, he expressed sadness practising medicine in Nigeria among other incidents and proffered ways for the nation to get out of the woods.
What is your opinion on the evident economic hardship in the country?
It’s unfortunate. It ought not to be. Nigeria is one of the most blessed countries in the world. If Nigerian leaders are sincere, we shouldn’t be among countries who complain about poor welfare and other inadequacies. Nigeria had had better days in the past but things began to fall apart when the Centre could no longer hold -The oil boom. But Nigeria problems can be fixed beginning with one person. The sound governance today some countries enjoy were fought for by one man. But here, who will take the lead to restore sanity in governance? I don’t believe the beautiful ones are not yet born; the problem is when sincere persons rise to speak or act against maladministration and mismanagement, the government comes against the person with all manner of forces. Remember, the fish starts to rot from its head. I will leave it there.
Are you saying your potential is not maximized optimally, don’t you feel fulfilled?
Saying I’m not fulfilled is a direct way of expressing ingratitude to God. The thing is , I’m not where I ought to be because the system is horrible, my expectations in this profession has not been fully achieved, what makes us human is your empathy and compassion for others.
As one of those who enjoyed Nigeria’s free education from Nigeria, would you say you are a proud Nigerian?
No! Never! I’m just Nigerian by condition. It’s only those who are eating fat from the skewed system at the expense of the masses that can say they are proud Nigerians! If you are comfortable in Nigeria, but you don’t mind if others are dying of hunger or not, then you lack humanity in you. Aside the scholarship the Federal Government offered me by my dint of hard work, the government has done nothing for me. I provide every essential services by myself: I dug my pipe bore water, I power my house and hospital for electricity, I provide security, name it. When I returned from Russia, I was denied jobs in several government hospitals and establishments. My children were denied admissions in public schools. So what makes me a proud Nigerian?
So what do you think would be the best line of action for this administration to do urgently?
Many people have lent their voices with feasible and viable solutions but this government has refused to heed. Restructure the system- they said no; implement 2014 confab report- they ignored everyone; change key persons in strategic positions, they only changed the Service Chiefs & IGP reluctantly; appoint competent persons in Ministries, Departments and Agencies- they pay deaf ears; Call for dialogue especially with those gunning for Self Independence, Like IPOB/ Biafrans, they jettison dialogue and used force instead, but this government forgot that the more you oppress people, the more hardened they become. If we go back to regionalism, there would be competition among states. Look at Japan, Israel and many others, they don’t have oil yet they very strong economically. If Nigerian Political leaders can do one thing- that is to guarantee “Electricity” 70 per cent of our problem are solved. Today, Vladimir Lenin, Former Premier / Head of government of the Soviet Union of Russia is remembered by his Industrialization and Electricity Revolution movement” which brought about the positive change they People yelled for.
Do you think Nigeria can be better?
In our medical profession, if you are not a surgeon, you can’t enter the theater, to do what? If you are not a lawyer, you can’t stand as a counsel for an accused person or defendant. If other professions are strictly my competence, why can’t the elected political leaders appoint competent persons to administer and manage the economy? Must we allow cronyism and prebendalism to thrive? Hegemony in Nigeria is conspicuous. For God’s sake, leadership is not an all comers affairs? It is a divine calling. So, with the current precarious foundation upon which Nigeria was laid, Nigeria cannot get any better; all they do is amendment, year after year. If Nigeria politicians are sincere, they would quash that 1999 constitution and call for a collective design for a fresh one. All they are after is to grab as much oil and proceeds of oil as possible, because they’ are afraid- the oil may finish. You see, anybody calling for one Nigeria is automatically giving himself to slavery. Yes! It’s clear to everyone that Nigeria cannot work. But if those running the affairs of Nigeria would call for a discourse for Regional system of government, then we are talking. Would you like to be in a country where some persons feel that Nigeria belongs to them and they must rule over others while others remain their subject? Nigeria had passed the Stage of No Return. Not even the Army can hold Nigeria together because they too are divided. If time is not taken, it will be to your tent oh Israel, the world is watching.
How do you see the recent security outfit of South East Governors, the Ebube Agu?
It’s too late. Because the level of trust & confidence the Igbo all over the world have in Eastern Security Network ( ESN) is very high. The trust in governors of the South East is no more. How can we be begging the government in the South East to protect Life and property which is their primary responsibility? People don’t even trust the security forces. I don’t know when political leaders would learn?
Do you see the possibility of this administration supporting a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction?
Yes. But this administration would not hand over power to what I call ‘the People’s Choice”, they will hand over power to pushovers, men whom they can remote-control.
You are from Imo State, do you trust the ability of Hope Uzodinma to protect life and property , and restore peace in the state?
First, I don’t even see him as my governor, and would not address him as one. So, he has lost the collective love and support of Imolites going by the circumstances that brought him. As for protection of life and property, he has lost it in toto. Ebube Agu is an afterthought. What the common man calls “medicine after death”! Howbeit, the governor can call the ESN for a dialogue and harmonization of unity of purpose. These boys are his children. Inviting soldiers and being proud to say it, to kill them is not worth it. History would never forget it. So, the South East Governors should call both IPOB and any other group and collapse all into one new group for the safety of all.
How do you see the agitations for independent countries sprouting out of Nigeria?
Honestly, if we are balkanized into different countries, the economic exploitation by the whites against us would be unprecedented. They will marry us, because they have the technology. Already, they’re using our (African) resources to their benefits exploitatively.