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Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu

Why Obasanjo visited Iwuanyanwu – Ozichukwu Chukwu; Says ‘Imo will overcome’

Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu

Former National Vice Chairman and Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South East geo-political zone, Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, granted some journalists an interview on the recent visit of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to the Ohanaeze President General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.

The political leader, who is now a member of the Imo State Elders Council, also spoke on the second term in office of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State which starts next week and on the Imo Charter of Equity, among other issues.

Here are excerpts from the encounter.    

(Q). Former President Olusegun Obasanjo visited the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu recently. How would you describe the visit?

(A) A great gesture. An enormous sacrifice. Quintessential leadership. It is not surprising. Baba is known for consistency, always marching words with action. His love for Ndigbo and wish for peace and harmony in Nigeria are unrivalled. His empathy is public knowledge.

(Q) What are the reasons for his visit?

(A) You mean for his coming?

(Q) Yes.

(A) Well, I think outside his annual routine of visiting friends and hot spots to wish them the best of the new year, diffuse tension and calm nerves, he uses it as an opportunity to build-bridges, and make peace. His reasons for coming included all those, as well as to carry out environmental scanning and psychic surveys; to receive feedbacks, compare notes, and discuss roadmaps on issues of mutual interest.

(Q) Does it have anything to do with the planned release of Nnamdi Kanu? or has it anything to do with the unity of Igbos?

(A) I don’t have all the details but both issues are on the front burner in most of the discussions of and on Ndigbo. You will recall that in his time as president there was a tragic incident involving MASSOB which led to the arrest and detention of their Leader Chief Raph Uwazuruike. I was then the National Vice Chairman and Chairman of PDP South East. The Igbo Leadership, irrespective of political party, met in Abuja and appealed to Baba for his realise with assurances of good conduct. Baba granted the request and released him.

(Q) What actually were discussed at his meeting with Iwuanyanwu?

(A) The papers carried them. They were surely things of common interest – equal rights and justice, good citizenship, healthy political participation and inclusiveness, among others. The place of Ndigbo in contemporary Nigeria and the critical success factors for a New Nigeria of our collective dream.

(Q) The issue of Charter of Equity in Imo State, is it actually a reality or does it mean anything to the entire Imolites politically?

(A) I think it is a very welcome development. It’s not unique to Imo State. I believe it has come to stay. Whatever sustains our arguments and quests for Nigerian President of Igbo extraction reinforces the foundation of Imo Charter of Equity.

(Q) Governance of Imo State has remained in the hands of Orlu zone for many years now. Do you think the Charter of Equity will correct that by making power to shift to Owerri zone as claimed?

(A) A journalist must always see himself as a teacher and a healer. Always try to put history in perspective. Good diagnosis leads to fast and permanent healing. You have forgotten that the APGA ticket that was voluntarily exchanged between Owelle Rochas Okorocha and a very prominent and popular Owerri son is responsible for what we are experiencing today. Or have you forgotten the criminal contra-culture of the false allegation of Gov Ohakim slapping a Priest, the attendant declaration of BLACK FRIDAY and other travesties, abnormalities, ambiguities, absurdities and adversities? Uzodinma’s emergence is a necessary interlude, to force Imo to a retreat and a rethink, to reinvent the storyline through memory lane. At times it takes bitterness to be sweet in a bitter society. When you blow the piper, you must be prepared to dance to the tune. Society is dynamic. Forgiveness and restitution are somehow intertwined.

(Q) The second term of Gov. Uzodimma will begin next week. What advise would you give him?

(A) Four years is not eternity. He should move on and focus on the future as a way of thanking Ndimo for an unprecedented record of 27/27. In short, I think Hope holds a lot of promise. However, the future will depend mostly on how much the people will hold the government accountable in a very mature and responsible manner, not through confrontations and hateful litigations that will be generating heat, and occasioning harm with avoidable scars. I think the Governor may consider as top priorities the conduct of Local government elections; unlocking the industrial potentials of Imolites, breathing life into the creative industry, challenging the spirits of innovation and enterprise, helping refocus our youths, recreating hope in them and motivating them to drive their skills with zeal. Every government reflects the quality of its followership and understanding of its responsibility; and of course the content of the opposition and the context under which it operates, the environment not withstanding. Let him maintain his open door policy, and stop at nothing to make Imo peaceful and safe, the youths are the cornerstone for the future. Do everything to enforce the Imo Charter of Equity.

(Q) Assessing his performance in his last tenure, how would you score him?

(A) I think the outcome of the November 11, 2023 election answers this question. Again to rightly do a political performance audit of Hope’s tenure, you must do a review of the Political Balance Sheet, the debts he inherited and the burdens he had to bear. Bear in mind that beyond compliance and conformance, environmental, safety and systems management audit and the likes of adequacy, process or quality and effectiveness are the questions of continued improvement assessment, making allowances for reasonable margin of error and socio-political deductibles.
You have to excuse my limitations in terms of milestones and insight. I will score him excellent on the 4Cs – Confidence, Commitment, Concentration and Control levels in his government.
Generally I can say in politics he has eyes for details, consistently goes above and beyond producing astonishing results.

(Q) On the Charter of Equity and the demands of OPOCA?

(A) The Elders Council is on it. Politics is dynamic. In Okigwe strategic stakeholders are expressing concerns in subdued tones. They argue that if things continue the way they are being extrapolated, after twenty-five years, the zone will be forgotten and consigned to oblivion. Negotiations are ongoing on harmony of objectives and convergence of values. In our last meeting, the Charismatic Chairman of CAN, Dr Eches spoke and added some very tasty tonic. It was resolved in a manner characteristic of Elders that, “No good war and no bad peace.” Imo needs to not only beat its chest on the outcome of the gubernatorial election but must as of necessity win the peace.
For the good people of Orlu, I can only plead with them John Milton’s Paradise Lost: “Freely we serve, Because we freely love, as in our will To love or not; in this we stand or fall.”
Franklin D Roosevelt counselled:
“Neither human kindness nor self respect has ever weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of any person or people”. I think it’s Peter Marshall who advised: “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please but as the opportunity to do what is right.”
I can assure you, Imo will overcome.

About Global Patriot Staff

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