BreakingNews 24/10/13 - Chuks Ibegbu Talks On Various Local And National Issues

[ Masterweb Reports ] – Chuks Ibegbu, a well known social commentator, poet/writer, President–World Igbo Leadership, Educational And Cultural Council and  President–Movement For Justice And Equity In Nigeria, in this interview by Igbo Information Network looks into various local and national issues.

Q The President recently acquiesced to the National Conference many Nigerians have been calling for. What do you say to that?

A Its a right step in the right direction. Its long overdue and I hope it will bring about the desired result. 

Q Some people day that its a diversionary and escapist move by Mr President to keep Nigerians arguing among themselves why he perfects his self-succession bid as past rulers of the country did. What do you say to that?.

A Well , people have the right to their opinion but I think its still better than nothing or  the present drifting to the abyss of the country. Whether Jonathan is sincere or not on the Conference , the critical thing is that Nigerians can sit down and talk to each other . The National Assembly has been talking but to themselves and their pockets. If the National Assembly as the representatives of the people have been living up to their responsibilities, there may have been no need for the Conference but all they are interested since 1999 is their pockets, constituency allowances  and committees to chair. Tell me one single bill these so-called Distinguished and Honorables have passed that affected the lives of Nigerians since 1999. None, but they have squandered more than five trillion naira of state funds since 1999. So you see that what Mr President did is better than nothing.

Q What do you think the Conference should address?

A The Conference should look into our nationhood in totality. Do we really want to continue living together as a people.How can we live together in peace without the kind of violence and killings going on everywhere in the country.How can Nigerians be ruled with social justice, economic justice and political justice. How should power be distributed equitably in the country. I think these should form the bedrock of the Conference. There must be no no-go-area. Even those who think we should break up must be asked why they think so. Nobody should muzzle anybody.

Q How would the decisions of the Conference be implemented?
A The decisions should be subjected to a plebiscite or taken to the National Assembly for ratification.But ofcourse the Conference should also discuss the present system of government we are running which is the costliest in the world and the status of the National Assembly, its size , and composition.

Q Some people believe the structure of the country at present is unjust to some parts of the country?

A That is what am saying . All these issues should be discussed at the Assembly. We must discuss the present structure of Nigeria which has been deeply unjust to some sections of the country.
Q How do you see the opposition parties , the crisis in the PDP,  and the rumoured ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015?

A Opposition parties are necessary features of any viable democracy. The coming on board of the APC  is commendable. It will make the PDP  to sit up.  As for the PDP internal crisis , I believe it will soon be over. Its all about who controls the lever of power in 2015.They will soon solve their 'family' problem. On the rumoured ambition of Mr President, I think Jonathan has the political right to contest in 2015 . What am still not sure is his moral right. May be if he is able to address some fundamental issues in the country he may also earn the moral right. You see we have been for long running a turn-by-turn Presidency instead of Presidency by merit. If we are to go by this policy , its even the Igbos that have a more superior and moral right to clamor for the next Presidency of Nigeria. . They have been tolerant enough, but it looks as though if Jonathan address these problems am talking about , the Igbos may support him in 2015 and thereafter succeed him. Well, lets look at how it plays out.  Personally , I do not think those clamoring for power shift to the North are fair to the Igbos or the South South.

Q What do you say about the recent killings at Apo village in Abuja?

A Some years ago some Igbo traders were killed by the Police in the same Apo area and those that should have shouted kept mum may be because the victims are not from their place.  Now similar thing has occured in the same area and there is the argument whether they are BOKO HARAM or innocent people. I am not in the position to state whom they were but my position is that the culture of impunity is much in this country. Security agents kill innocent Nigerians at random and those that should do something keep quiet. Mr President has the constitutional duty to protect all Nigerians. I think there must be a thorough investigation into that killing. We must ascertain whom those victims were.You see what happened at EZU RIVER in Anambra state. Has Mr President and the authorities gotten to the root of that matter. Has it not been swept under carpet. You see, as long as we fail to address the culture of impunity in this country , the more this kind of horror will continue to happen.  Our security agents must stop extra-judicial killing going on all over the country.
Q Chief Fani-Kayode made other claim against the Igbos insisting that they should be grateful to the Yorubas for giving them a base in Lagos over the years which the Igbos have not reciprocated?

A Again it shows how his petty mind works. Lagos owes its status tody to the Igbo industry and energy and the oil from the East. Igboss are explorers and developers.  Lagos and the west should thank their God that the Igbos have spent their fortune to develop Lagos. Now let me tell you , nobody can lay claim to Lagos anymore. It may be in the west  but its a Nigerians commercial centre developed by the effort of all Nigerians.Lagos status can only be contested if Nigeria breaks up but nobody wishes that unless the Fani Kayodes think so so that they will reap where they did not sow.
Q What do you advise the Igbos and the Yorubas who pitched themselves against each other following the deportation saga and Fani-Kayode's outburst?
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