Peter Obi: Biafra Agitation No Longer Necessary, says Ezeife, Ex-Anambra Governor

  • Election eye-opener a new Nigeria is feasible
Chukwuemeka Ezeife Photo
Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Former Anambra State governor

Elder statesman and former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife is upbeat about the overwhelming support Nigerians gave the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls, stating that he is now reinforced in his view “about the feasibility of one Nigeria”. Ezeife, 85, said following the election in which Obi from the Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria, caused some political upsets, especially in Lagos, stronghold of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC some of his kinsmen who believed that they were rejected, are thinking differently now, stressing that “the future for Nigeria is brighter by far”.
Suggesting that with the outcome of the election, the agitation for a separate State of Biafra may no longer be necessary, the octogenarian former governor said “I am grateful to God that this happened. I will go and renegotiate with my youths; the youths of Southeast, and open their eyes to see that this thought of being rejected, it doesn’t exist now.
“Nigerians consider every Nigerian a Nigerian, and it is no longer necessary to look for anywhere else to go. I think we have Biafra inside Nigeria, same type of Biafra we had during the time of Okpara, Awolowo. Both Biafra and Oodua, all kinds of groups, can now, with restructuring, belong to Nigeria. What I am saying is this; that from the time of Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Azikiwe, Okpara, Akintola, Awolowo, it was like having your own country or nation inside Nigeria. And that we go back to that; the problem will be settled.
“I appeal to Yoruba, to Ibo, to other groups to stay together. Let us work out a system because we know each other enough and we shouldn’t allow any break-up of this country, otherwise this INEC really means Nigeria should break up. The way INEC went about this election is just to say goodbye to Nigeria, but the truth has come out the opposite – welcome new Nigeria, and I want to thank you people for giving me the opportunity to thank Nigerians”.
Giving his assessment of the election, Ezeife, thanked God that the election revealed so many things to Nigerians and similarly thanked all the foreign powers who commented on the election “and condemned the integrity of the election”. According to him, “I thank all Nigerians, especially, for the way they treated the Labour Party; I am very grateful. In fact, I am happy to know how the Southeast, the Labour Party is taken, from the result of that election; not the result announced by the INEC which everybody knows is fraudulent. But what we saw, Labour Party winning Lagos; winning across the country, getting meaningful votes across the country. Some people who believed they were rejected are thinking differently now and the future for Nigeria is brighter by far”. He however opined that “I do not believe that Tinubu my friend would be sworn in as president. If that is done, it would be disaster”.
Asked the way forward amidst agitations for cancellation of the election by other aggrieved candidates, Ezeife said a distinction must be made “between the election as conducted, and the election as reported”. He said though some foreign countries were calling for cancelation, “For me, I do not think that that is the only solution because it costs money. How much did we spend on this election? What do we have to do? We go back to the documents. We go back to all the systems we used and look at the results that came out especially those which came out before the problems arose, if there is any problem; or before the stoppage of uploading. We look at it and declare results on the basis of those genuine results”.
He insisted that there is no point going to waste more money because “we owe a lot already. So, I believe this election has given hope for one Nigeria. Of course, how it is managed is the most important factor. If we do not abandon immediately conscienceless, bullion van, bandit politics, the country is gone”.
On the role of ethnicity and religion, especially the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC on the election, Ezeife said “My reading of the election is that Nigerians are one; that Nigerians believe in the future of the country, and that the new Nigeria is coming, and it must come. It just gives me hope in the new Nigeria, not in the conscienceless, bandit, bullion van politics of the past. Yes, you look at the voting, and it is yes to competence, yes to production instead of consumption; yes to integrity, yes to being true to ourselves.
“The man, Peter Obi, I thank God for bringing him. It’s not a Peter Obi affair nor is it Igbo affair at all. This is Nigeria. Our prayers have reached the heavens, and God has answered us with a resounding yes to a new Nigeria. Whatever else anybody thinks is alright. I see it as success for one Nigeria, but that success must not be on the platform of my brother and friend, Tinubu being president of Nigeria; it will not happen”.
Ezeife is pained by the image Nigeria had projected to the world with the kind of election conducted by INEC. He said “I am ashamed as a Nigerian that we exposed ourselves to all kinds of countries knowing that we can be very bad. Russia that does not seem to have conscience; look at what it is doing in Ukraine. China, America, UK, France; all developed countries, condemned the organisation of the election; condemned INEC. They saw our nakedness; that is one of the worst shows by Nigeria. I forgot to mention that as Obasanjo gets older, he seemed to become more and more valuable to the nation. And so are many others. There are some people who you wouldn’t think have developed enough to be saying that the truth must be said. And now, many people are saying the truth must be said. Look at Ekiti people protesting against the victory of Tinubu. Look at the voting pattern in Lagos; look at Kaduna, the voting pattern there”.
Betraying his distrust for the judiciary when asked of his expectations, Ezeife retorted “My expectations are multiple. Of course, some people will go to court. In fact that is a good thing. Maybe this will provide the justice system in Nigeria opportunity to come back to justice because we have lost confidence in justice. But this may provide opportunity for a new Nigeria justice system to emerge”.

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