Monday, 6 February 2017

NNIA NWODO HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO LEAD AND UNITE OHANEZE NDIGBO, SAYS WILLY EZUGWU

Chief Nnia Nwodo

 National Coordinator of South-East Revival Group (SERG), Eze Willy Ezugwu, is of the opinion that the newly elected President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has what it takes to lead the Ohanaeze Ndigbo. He also speaks on the group’s leadership. Sit back and enjoy it.


 Recently, Ohanaeze Ndigbo elected a new leadership headed by former Minister of Informa­tion, Chief Nnia Nwodo . What is your view on his ability to lead the group?

I have absolute confidence in the ability of the new Ohanaeze President, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, to deliver on his new as­signment. For me, Ndigbo has gotten a true leader, who loves the Igbo speaking people of Nigeria. The South-East can now boast of having a mouthpiece whose love for Igbo culture and tradition is second to none.

This was very clear in his inau­gural press briefing in Enugu; he was straight to the point. He said nothing but the truth; Ndigbo are abysmally represented in the Mu­hammadu Buhari government and that is what most Igbo lead­ers have been saying since 2015, when this government started its lopsided appointment.

There is no Igbo son or daugh­ter in the inner cabinet of the Pres­ident. Or is it not true that no arm of the government, the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary is headed by the Igbo? Do we talk of infrastructural decay in Igbo land? Is there any railway in Igbo land? So, you can see that his inaugural speech x-rayed the true position of things in Igbo land. In that his inaugural speech, Nwodo extend­ed a hand of fellowship to all Igbo speaking people in the country and declared that the era of all in­clusive Ohanaeze has come.

This shows that he is a leader that can unite all Igbo speaking people. So, I thank the South-East governors for supporting him to get to the throne of leadership and I urge them and all Igbo sons and daughters, both at home and in the Diaspora to unite and stand with him because he will not dis­appoint them. I’ve known him long enough to predict him. Like a father, he accepted mem­bers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of Sover­eign State of Biafra (MASSOB) as his children and he made it clear that whatever is their problem is his problem. Their struggle is his struggles. How else can a man show leadership? Chief Nwodo is not a man who will go cap-in-hand to Abuja to beg for money or contracts and he cannot betray the course of the Igbo speaking peo­ple of Nigeria. He has also made it clear that he is for the restructur­ing of Nigeria.

Funding and lack of support by South easterners, particularly the governors, are major problems of Ohanaeze. How will Nwodo sur­mount these impediments?
I think one of the major reasons for that was lack of trust, but I be­lieve that the Ohanaeze leadership under Nwodo is one that can be trusted. He has proven that over time, and I think it is one of the reasons why the South-East gov­ernors supported his emergence as the leader of Ohanaeze. He will earn the trust of everyone in Igbo land soonest. I know that his leadership will enjoy the support of all Igbos, including those in the Diaspora. He would be supported financially and in many other ways. From his inaugural speech, you will realise that he has started well and he will earn deep trust of all Igbo sons and daughters.

Some people have gone to court to contest his victory. What is your take on that?
Those in court should be told that the era of using Ohanaeze as a meal ticket is over. This is the first time I am supporting Ohanaeze leadership and I am doing that because I know who Nwodo is and what he represents in Nigeria and the international community. He is known as a man of integrity. No Igbo leader will sabotage his leadership except those who don’t have Igbo interest at heart.

Enugu State governor, Rt. Hon. Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, recently set up a panel to resolve the communal conflict between your kingdom and the neighbouring commu­nity, Umabor. What is the level of progress made by the panel?
First of all, there is no full blown war between my people the Umabor community because I have vehemently refused to al­low my people to retaliate since the attacks on them began. The reason is that as a civil society ac­tivist, I wouldn’t want the people of my kingdom to take the laws in hand. So, I chose to follow the rule of law.

That was why we wrote to the Igwe of Umabor on two occasions to discuss and amicably resolve this matter though he has not been cooperative. But we thank the governor for setting up a panel of inquiry to investigate and make appropriate recommenda­tions on resolution of the crisis. But unfortunately, the panel did not begin sitting until now be­cause of the Fulani herdsmen crisis in Nimbo community and other security matters at the time it was instituted.

At a recent meeting, the gov­ernor promised to mobilize the panel to begin work and we pa­tiently waited until they started sitting recently and we are happy that, finally, justice will prevail at the end of the day. I still call on the Isamelu village and all the villages in my kingdom to continue to maintain the peace and allow the panel set up by the state govern­ment to do a thorough job.

Though they are still in pain, I urge them to patiently cooperate with the panel as the governor is a man of his words and will do everything possible to resolve the matter in the interest of justice. (Authority)