CHIEF Mbazulike Amaechi spoke with KODILINYE OBIAGWU in Ukpai, Nnewi, Anambra State, his country home. The nonagenarian First Republic Minister of Aviation, who recently celebrated his 90 birthday, blames the governors of the South East states for the Fulani incursions in the zone. He believes that Ndigbo can still produce the president in 2023, but only if they unite and listen to good advice.
IS the South East doing enough to handle the moves by the Fulani to set up a vigilance group and a colony in the South East region?
The plan to set a colony or a vigilance group is all part of the grand plan to Islamize the country. It is easy for them to start with Igbo land, because they expect the least resistance and regard the Igbo as a conquered race. They can’t go to Yoruba land and say such a thing. They can’t go to the South-South and say it. The South-South boys will take up guns and other weapons, whip them and blow up the place. It is only in Igbo land that they can attempt such because the Igbo, lack leadership now.
And the governors are very vital here. We have governors who are supposed to our leaders, but they are so myopic, self-centered and individualistic. They are not interested in the future and collective interest of the Igbo land; they are interested in the money they are grabbing to build houses in Dubai, America and so forth. Not one of the governors, as far as I know, is interested or thinking about the collective. If there is anyone of them thinking like that, others are not collaborating.
What I tell the Igbo is that we are not cowards. Igbo young men should get ready; they are disarming them, but it doesn’t matter. We fought the Civil War with weapons made in our backyards but if they provoke us again, we are going to defend ourselves. Ndigbo should get ready to defend and protect themselves and not allow this to happen here.
Do you think that the Federal Government can find any solution to this impunity?
The Federal Government is behind what is happening and so they cannot be the solution. There is only one solution: Nigeria has to be restructured, there has to be a constitution that brings out true federalism, not a federation where one side will lord it over other sections or any side seeing itself as the ruler and the other sides as servants. Nigerians must come together and write a constitution for themselves. Outside that, there will never be peace.
Why is it difficult for Ndigbo to get credible leadership?
Leadership will appear either by itself or it is groomed. You have to be in a position to give leadership, but actually, one doesn’t need to occupy an elective position to aspire to lead. Those in positions as governor, senator, a party chieftain could emerge as leaders. When you stand out, people will follow you.
What role do you see the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) playing currently in Igbo land?
I have always said that the Federal Government should listen to them. It is wrong to kill them because they feel aggrieved with the poor treatment they are getting from Nigeria and want out. IPOB is saying that ‘we have been in this country but you don’t want to treat us as Nigerians. Allow us to go.’ It will be the fault of the Federal Government if at any stage IPOB goes violent. Government should listen to them.
If they want plebiscite give it to them. What’s wrong with it. Are you sure that if there is a plebiscite in Igbo land today that the Igbo will say that they want to go? They might even vote to remain in Nigeria. They really don’t want to leave Nigeria but it is the action of the Government that is pushing them out.
If Buhari doesn’t respond favorably to IPOB or Ndigbo today for instance, all hopes are not lost. Buhari has only three years and some months left. Someone else who might be reasonable enough to listen to people might come.
How can Ndigbo produce the president of the country in the absence of a leader?
You cannot be president by merely wishing to be president. You don’t become a president by talking; you have to organize, mobilize, and strategize to be president. And there is the possibility that they will still be president. Together as a united Igbo front, we can find out how we can be president. There is possibility the Igbo can be president in 2023 if the Igbo will sit down and be honest to their purpose and listen to those who know how it can be done. Am not talking about the president under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or the All Progressive Congress (APC), it could be any political party.