Ikpeazu Was Imposed On Abia People – Ikoh | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ikpeazu Was Imposed On Abia People – Ikoh

Posted: Jul 7, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Chief Ndukwe Ikoh,  a chieftain of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) in Abia State and the party’s House of Representatives candidate in the last election, in this interview with  CHIBUIKE  CHUKWU speaks  on the governorship crisis in Abia State  and  other salient issues. Excerpt:

What is your take on the current political crisis rocking Abia State?

We expected it because of the circumstances that threw up Ikpeazu as governor of the state. I know Uche Ogah, he is my friend and just as I said, we knew this will come. When Ogah told me he was pursuing his mandate, I congratulated him and wished him well because I knew he had a case. Somebody like him without any god-father attached to his political journey is the kind of leaders we need in Abia to deliver the state. Ikpeazu’s situation is pitiable because he was not prepared for that position in the first place. He was imposed on the people even with those deficiencies in taxes. If he eventually goes out, he has my pity. Everything about his ambition was done in a hurry. He bypassed everything he should have done properly, aligning with the former governor who aided him into power.

 Many Nigerians, especially PDP members, have said that the current travails of Saraki and Ekweremadu have political undertone and accused President Buhari of not respecting the rule of law. What is your take on that?


There is no political undertone in Saraki and Ekweremadu’s case and there is no disrespecting the rule of law. The allegation to me is unfounded. I know Saraki and Ekweremadu are expecting the president to intervene and say; yes these are my people so court should allow them. But the president is allowing the due process to take place; if they have case to answer, they should face it and the president should not intervene and that is what Buhari has done. Nobody has hijacked Buhari’s government; it is just that the president is not intervening in a normal judicial matter, which is the hallmark of democracy. On the rule of law, if Buhari is the kind of Buhari we had in 1983 and 1984, he would since have removed the CBN governor over certain policies emanating from the bank. He would since have jailed some governors for misappropriation, including my former governor T. A. Orji. They would have been hounded into prison for stealing. Olisea Metuh and Sambo Dasuki would have been in Jail by now. Since 1999, Buhari, in my own assessment, has been the most organised president in terms of separation of powers. Remember it was the former president that appointed the CBN governor. If Buhari is what some ignorant people are saying, he would have forcefully removed him, but he is the man that respects the law, knowing that the CBN boss must serve his tenure. He even relegated the APC leadership position to other people in order to concentrate on governance even though he is the party leader. We should remember how Obasanjo and Jonathan combined both governance and party leadership, so the man is a democrat. Buhari has separated everything in terms of governance.


Many Nigerians have bemoaned the slur in the economy since the present administration took power, blaming it on the president for his inability to bring the necessary change. What is your view on that?

Change is a phenomenon that happens at the two extreme of situations; you either find it hot or cold. I am talking as an engineer. It is not what you get very easy. Nigerians thought that change can just fall on a platter of gold, they think as soon as Buhari assumes office; the wrongs of many years will be a thing of the past so soon. It does not happen that way. The change APC was talking as a party was the kind of change that we have desired since independence; the one that will lead us out of the myriad of problems and maladministration that has been the lot of the country since independence. Before you judge this administration on the change mantra, you must look at the level this country has deteriorated. There was high level of corruption, tribalism and stealing of public funds of the highest proportion. I know the change this government promised will happen gradually.


People have also said that there is high upsurge in ethnic agitation since Buhari assumed office. What do you think may responsible for that?

Ethnic agitation has always been there and the onus is to look at what the real causes are. See, even if Jonathan had won the election, I give you two years, the Niger Delta militants will come up again with full force. This time, they would have said there were not interested in the presidency but resource control. Nigerians have not come to understand the main issues behind ethnic agitation; people think Biafra agitation, for example, is all about secession. What they don’t know is that there is an idea, belief and the spirit that make the agitators believe that they are not safely living with other ethnic groups. There is a very big spirit and belief of non-trust and non-coexistence among ethnic groups in the country.

Take Niger Delta for instance. Right from time, they believe that they can be better off with their natural resources. But for some of the agitators who, through the fight become rich and preach one Nigeria, the agitation has always been resource control right from the time of Isaac Boro. Good examples are people like Asari Dokubo, Tompolo and a lot of them. They have become very rich through a genuine struggle of their people and abandon the agitation. I am not justifying creating an atmosphere of chaos but what I’m saying is that ethnic agitation pre-exists Nigeria’s present generation. It was and never is Buhari’s inability; it has always been there.


What is the current position of PPA, especially in Abia State?

We are waxing stronger even though presently, we are at the court over the senatorial re-run election, where our leader, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, ran against Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP and Bourdex of APGA. Our leader, Kalu, won overwhelmingly even though the result that was declared said differently, which is the main reason we went to court. We definitely will get justice from court and it will return the mandate that was freely given to him by Abia North people.I know the South East needs him for their voice at the Senate. He is passionate and willing because he has the clout and everything required. When we get the mandate back, PPA will have one senator from Abia and that will be fine.


But some people believe that Kalu lost the senatorial position to the politician he (Kalu) sent to the House of Reps in 1999 because of his cross-carpeting from one party to the other. Do you believe that?

Ohuabunwa couldn’t have defeated Kalu, not even in his own village. Kalu is a victim of Nigeria’s political system, where people who win elections are denied and pronounced defeated. Kalu was never defeated and that is the reason we are in court. He is going to the Senate because I know we will surely get justice. Nobody has ever defeated Kalu in any election in the state. Kalu has never been cross-carpeting. Between PDP and PPA in Abia State, there is a thin line. The two are almost the same.  He merely used PPA to run for election in the state because of certain leadership circumstances in PDP leadership in the state. The only major betrayal kalu has suffered in politics is that from former Governor T. A. Orji, which prompted Obasanjo to once said ‘if T. A. Orji can betray Kalu, then he can betray God’.