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INTERVIEW: Igbos Demand For President In 2023 Justifiable -Hon U.S.A Igwesi




(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Hon. U.S.A Igwesi was a member of Federal House of Representative in the 5th National Assembly, before his emergence to the green chambers; he was the Majority Leader of Enugu State House of Assembly and subsequently elected the Leader of the same House by a special motion that dissolved the offices of both the Majority and Minority Leaders position. In an interview, Chief Igwesi spoke on several national issues including the issue of Nigerian President of Igbo Extraction.

Question: – Sir, your comments on the issue of insecurity in Nigeria 

Answer: – The worrisome issue of insecurity in Nigeria ranging from Kidnapping for ransom, Armed Robbery, Banditry, negative activities of criminal herdsmen and generally terrorism all over the Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria is a keg of gun powder waiting for explosion. 

The country is indeed in a State of Anomie, anarchy, and precipice. And the primary responsibility of any government is to protect lives and properties. So the ruling government should rise to their mandate, worst still is the inflammatory utterances of some of our so called religious leaders, some of them has constituted themselves to religious bigots and war mongers drumming stubbornly the sounds of war which is not only inimical to good conscience but one capable of igniting another civil disturbances. 

The ruling government should as a matter of emergency admonish the new service chiefs to completely decimate the insurgency and come up with an executive bill amending the relevant sections of the constitution that centralised the Nigerian police force and retain same in the exclusive list. This therefore brings to bear the issue of state police. Power devolution is key to the problem of insecurity. Nigeria is a federation and should be able to allow its federating units to deal primarily and sufficiently with the issue of insecurity in their various states. 

The attacks are perpetrated in the states and as such those states should be able to be empowered to face these criminals head-on without recourse to the federal government. 

This constitutional amendment can be achieved in months provided the various stakeholders demonstrate the will and willingness to do the needful. 

All that is required is to have executive bill or private member bill on ground. But prior to this initiate, both the leadership of National Assembly, the President and his relevant team, the Governors and Speakers of State House of Assembly or in addition the majority leaders whose job is to lead debate on executive bill in their various Houses in good conscience and faith agree primarily to have the bill passed into law and accented to. This can be achieved in good time and we will see The Security architecture working effectively for good and Nigeria will once again have peace. The police as presently constituted do not have enough manpower, capacity and technical know how to deal with this hydra headed menace posed by terrorism. The problem is not only to increase the population of the police but to decentralise the force for it to be able to be ubiquitous. Proximity is the key and central to the fight against crimes and criminalities. This arrangement will now give the State Governor the taunted powers as Chief Security Officers to deal with the situation and also to appropriate funds in their various State budgets as a matter priority. So funding and procurement of State of Acts equipments will no longer be an issue, because it can be handled by each State. The second version of it is that there is hunger in the land, an empty stomach does not understand the language of peace and co-existence.

The government should create wealth by empowering small and medium scale enterprises, they should invest on human capital development and poverty reduction related programmes. Once the youths are kept busy and engaged in good condition, crimes and criminalities will definitely reduce to the barest minimum. This aspect is in addition to tinkering with the constitution to save our nascent democracy and her citizenry. If we have special situation in our hand, we should as well develop special arrangements to deal with it. Every state has a peculiar problem and should be able to develop its own home-grown solution or arrangement to deal with it.

Question:  – Is it proper to give repentant criminals Amnesty or to re-absorb them in the military?

Answer – In our local adage, there is nothing you can do to stop a purported healed madman from murmuring. It is despicable and wrong to give amnesty to the so-called repentant criminals and terrorists who have unleashed terror, maimed and killed innocent souls. The truth is that if he is caught, he should face the law of the land. Giving him or her amnesty is encouraging the business. What will then serve as a deterrent to intending culprits. What will simply happen is that you will encourage more youths to embrace the business after all at the end instead of being sanctioned they will be rehabilated, pampered and given amnesty. Nigeria authorities should stop joking with fire. This can be a conversation in animal kingdom and not where human beings are in charge. A criminal is a criminal any day, crime is crime any day and those who live by sword should also die by same.



At times they are some issues that are not worthy to be national conversations because of its watery nature. A criminal who has taken several lives should have his or her own life taken in a more dehumanising manner and not to hobnob with the persons, because if you are in booming business that is very attractive you cannot abandon that business in the face of a less attractive one. I agree with Mr President who have said though late that no criminal is qualified to be given amnesty and also commend the Kaduna state governor, Mallam El Rufai who have also lent support for punitive measures instead of Amnesty. On the same vein I totally condemn those state governors and leaders who are advocating that amnesty should be given to terrorist and call on the authorities concerned to not only review the mental status of such individuals but to take necessary actions against them for demonstrating the height of unpatriotism and for trying to mislead the government of the day.

Question:  – Do you support the Nigerian President of Igbo extraction?

Answer: – No reasonable Nigeria who have been following the political trend and power equation that will not support such immaculate project. This is the best and acceptable project for the emancipation of the country from lopsided and clueless leadership since the return of democracy. If you examine power sharing arrangement since independence of the country from 1960 and the leadership table vis-a-vis geopolitical zones, you will not hesitate to insist that a president of Igbo extraction will do the magic. It is popularly said that he who comes to equity should come with clean hands. In fairness to Nigerian, South Easterners should be allowed a grip of the plump job. Equity, fairness and justice demands that the next president of Nigeria should come from the South East to assuage the notable imbalance in the political engineering of the country and to establish a solid based technically oriented economy. Moreover, douse pockets of agitation for secession and incessant cry for marginalization and injustice meted on the Igbo’s since after the civil war. It is not wrong to believe that Igbo’s escorted other ethnic groups to the country Nigeria. It is only South East that has five states while other zones have six states simultaneous, no reason have been adduced for such imbalance and injustice. This is unexplainable. If we believe in the sermon of re-integration as one of the cardinal R’s taunted after the civil war, the Igbo should be re-integrated in the mainstream.

The Igbos are the most peaceful zone in the country with lots of enterprising spirits. They are not only resilient but technically endowed to reposition the country to a standard that can be equated to what is presently happening in China. Every average Igbo man is creative, innovative, resilient, enterprising and technically strong to navigate the trouble waters of governance in the country. We need a creative mind with good spirit to return past glory of Nigeria and who will be able to churn out policies that will move the country to the next level.

Countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia etc were once like Nigeria but with good leadership and creative ingenuity of their leaders they were able to return faith and good governance to their country. What is happening at Aba, as an industrial hub of the country is a typical example of what an Igbo man can do given the support and necessary opportunity to replicate same at a larger scale. All the great economics of the world were driven by technology, entrepreneurship and technical know-how and Nigeria cannot be an exemption. The Igbos themselves have to come together and do the necessary lobbing, exchange hands of fellowship and should above all have a streamlined master peace on how to go about it and should ensure that all political parties field an Igbo man as a candidate.

Question:  – Recently the media have been awashed with stories of kidnapping of school children in some Northern parts of the country. What is your take on this ugly development?

Answer: – It is dehumanizing, wicked and worrisome that crimes have moved to a point where innocent and harmless pupils and students were been taken away forcefully from their schools to the bush by some hoodlums. You can imagine the mental and physical torture these students will be going through in the hands of their abductors. The safe school initiative launched in 2014 to promote safety of pupils, students, teachers, and facilities in the schools should be reviewed and implemented. This has exposed the government of the day of their inability to provide security to these harmless pupils. The insecurity of Nigeria has degenerated to the level of packing our children like goods in their various schools unchallenged, then the country is doomed. This will reach a time where parents will be afraid to send their wards to schools and you can imagine the rate at which the country will witness out of school children and the subsequent social repercussions.

This will definitely create more troubles for the country in terms of crimes and criminalities. I enjoin the government at all levels to do everything possible to confront the criminals head-on and create a safe environment for the pupils to go to school. We should have police stations not police posts in the vulnerable schools and other security apparently to always wade off these criminals. A situation where criminals will always have a field day and will move away these pupils unchallenged does not show the presence of a serious government at any level. This is an insult to the sensitivity of our security architecture and something tangible need to be done to put a stop on their nefarious activities that is constantly embarrassing the government before the local and international communities. This is why I strongly believe that the call for state police will definitely help in this direction. If a government cannot protect school children who are harmless and innocent, then the citizens will not have a future. This is an emergency situation, and all hands should be on the deck to arrest the menace.

Question:  – Senator Adeyemi’s remark on Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and the controversy following it.

Answer – Member of the National Assembly should embrace what is called “Diction Management” given the irrefragable fact that the electorates look up to them for precise and good leadership. An elected member of National Assembly should lead with honour and dignity and must at all times exhibit that in their carriage, leadership, utterances and by example. For a Senator of the Federal Republic to veer out from an entirely different debate and sarcastically call a sitting Governor disparaging names capable of exposing the said governor to oblique scorn and ridicule is to say the least unfortunate. It is derogatory, embarrassing, dirty and condemnable to smear another person’s image or reputation because you feel you are enjoying certain degree of privileges. This is unwarranted and medieval. Discussion in the Assembly should be issue based and not the other way round. The leadership of National Assembly should in addition to their standing rules of debate, instill decorum and decency to members during executive session because the world is watching and is a global village some of the Gladiators were trivializing the issue on party basis, but it should not be so, because once you are elected as a member of the Assembly, your party affiliations becomes secondary, because you are indeed serving the country and not your party as the case may be. Moreover, it is the image of National Assembly that is collectively on trial.

Question:  – How do you react to the threat of food blockade from the North to the South?

Answer: – This will definitely resuscitate the enterprising and the resilient spirit of an average Igbo man. It is going to be a wakeup call and a challenge to ensure food security and sufficiency to a technically endowed region like Igbos. It will always remind the Igbos that what they need is not to go out of Nigeria but to establish and make the region very attractive, economically, technologically, and infrastructurally. As the Catalonians did in Spain when they realized that Madrid will never give them independence, they decided to turn inwards and develop their region, technologically, economically and infrastructurally and now they are the economic power of Spain. The same thing is with Bayern in Germany, Bayern had a choice to stay out and be a country of its own like Austria did, instead it opted to stay within a greater Germany and become its best. Today Bayern is the most technologically and economically powerful region in Germany. And it is Germany’s biggest market. The same thing with California in USA. Now it is not only the biggest economy in USA, it is also the 6th largest economy in the world. We can name several of them. The South East governors should come together and agree on a comprehensive template on how to grow the economy of the region to the envy of other regions because they have what it takes to do that. A strong region should be self-sufficient and can exist on its own when challenged so instead of asking for independence, we should stay in Nigeria and become independent technologically, economically and infrastructurally to the envy of the rest of West African region, this will make us indispensable.    


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