The Special Envoy of Global Movement for Igbo Presidency ( GLOMIP) 2023, and the Igbo World Assembly Chairman , Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze spoke with correspondent on a wide range of issues including on plans by Ndigbo to take over Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Dr Anakwenze who is also the leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Diaspora was emphatic in his thanks to the Convener of GLOMIP 2023, Comrade Kennedy Iyere for championing the move to ensure an Igbo man becomes Nigeria’s president. Excerpts:
Do you have someone in mind who you feel if given the opportunity can deliver as presidential a candidate?
We have a lot of qualified highly skilled people who are made already in different positions. When we are talking about this, we need people who have experience, who everybody knows in different states in the zone who have done well in the Senate , as a governor , as a House of Representatives and have performed well. We know. I don’t need to be specific because it’s going to be counterproductive.
However, we’re going to screen them, and from the screening, we are going to eliminate people who are not good. But just think from wherever state you come from in South-East who have done really well and their state is proud of them, those are the people we can assemble.
So, are you planning or doing it in Alliance with the five states in the Geo political zone and other top politicians not governors only as Comrade Kenney Iyere explained earlier?
Yes! We have to engage all the different factors and groups. We have to engage our lawmakers, we have to engage the governor, senators, we have to engage those in leadership position, we screen and pick out the best. It will be good thing. I’m the leader of Ohanaeze in diaspora, I’m the head of Igbo world Assembly, I’m used to doing this. The organizations around , you will never hear any fighting or going to court and killing each other, we don’t, we’ll bring out the best from all Igbo state and no Igbo group is fighting each other, but will know how to run it. We can run Nigeria with all the levels if different groups, making them work together and we can bring the best out of our people. We will not allow Agboro conductor to lead us or lead Nigeria, we will not allow them.
Is Nnia Nwodo as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo aware of this?
Yes! Yes! I’m under him, I work with him , he’s a great man and fantastic leader. One of our best leaders so far ,I work under him. I support him , I’m under him, he’s the spokesman for all the Igbo people . He’s doing an excellent job.
2023 politicking for presidency isn’t going to be a push over. It is not going to be a small war. It will as well involve money and you know that there are capable Igbo sons and daughters. How to you intend to do this?
You know that everything involves money, even in America they are spending, I think more than 2 Billion each, it’s cost money a lot. It’s the same thing if we have a project that is good that will benefit all Nigerians, Africa, we will put the money. We have the money. Our people are very well established. They are very successful. We have the money to support it if we bring the right candidate.
Let me ask, have you made any moves to reach out to candidates in diaspora to see how they can support GLOMIP?
Nobody will bring money to something he or she doesn’t know how it will go. Once we get candidates that are good, money will come out. We have the money. Another thing I haven’t said is that , we want all the Nigerian political parties to zone their candidates to South East or at least the top 3 political parties and once this is done, we’ll let them compete like in a soccer game and let the best win.
We will support APC, PDP , APGA depending on the agenda, and program and who the party fields. We are encouraging Igbo people to join political parties and ensure the presidency is zoned to the South-East.
Depends on who they bring, if you bring a third we’re not going to support you. Igbo people should joined both parties and support the best candidates.
You know Ndigbo very well, once you say a position belongs to Igbo race, everyone will want to be the president. How will we be able to checkmate this?
I said it already all the political parties should zone it to the east, especially the two top ones, that’s what I said and I redefined how we are going to separate the wheat from the chaff. It’s going to be based on your past performances. Nobody is going to just come from anywhere and stand spending money up and down and distributing rice and beans. But if they give you the rice and beans, you should eat. Our support has to be based on the job you’ve already done. When you have the opportunity to be nominated, we have to ask you as a senator, what did you do, as a governor, be it House of Rep, what did you do. It cannot be you just have somebody walk out from the bush and say this and that. It will be based on your past experiences, we have very good people that delivered on their mandate and we have many that failed their people. Those ones that failed are not going to be there. We are going to discern you and the ones without education, we are not going to allow iti, an uneducated man to come and lead. He should go to night school. Don’t you have night school for people who don’t go to school. You ought to have job experiences even though it’s civil servant, Nursing, journalism or whatever that you’ve done and you say I have been journalist for 10yrs. That’s history.
Ndigbo cannot do it alone. Have you started talking to other groups in the country concerning the zoning of the presidency to Ndigbo and are you getting their support?
As part of Ohanaeze group, we’ll always believe in alignment in working with other ethnic groups. We are not going to get presidency by ourselves even if all the Igbo vote, we’ re going to fail . So we’re working with the Yoruba people, South-South people, core northerners and middle belt. We have to work with everyone, we are not excluding anybody. We just want to raise Nigeria to a very high level, higher than we have now. We have the players already. Our young people are already intelligent. Just giving them the opportunity to do what they can do. We don’t need to Lobby for people. Nigeria youths are more intelligent than every other country.
We want an Igbo man to be president comes 2023, supposing this project fails, what will the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and of course Igbo world Assembly do?
Hmmm, hmmm, We will do everything to make sure it succeeds. But in life, every time you tried, chance have it that you might not succeed, but we will do everything to make it work. But if you don’t succeed, you try again and again and again. But don’t need to start war, but if we talk to other Nigerians and they say yes we can, then a lot of other groups have also taught us in the past because they are even afraid of igbo domination. Inside their mind, they think when we get to power we will dominate them. If you have 10 positions , we take 10 positions, we need to educate them because we are not like that, what everybody will do, think it’s our share , that’s what we want. What we want is Nigeria that’s not faulty. Igbo people are Business men, Entrepreneurs, if Nigerians is working, NEPA people is working and train is working and the Air too is working, that’s what we Igbo men needs. If the economy is working, light is working, rail is working, business is working, we will do well than any other country. We just want what will be good for everybody in Nigeria. So that we can go and conquer the world.
Does your group have the intention of reaching up to Nnamdi Kanu, putting the cards on the table to weigh the advantages and disadvantages or rather than continued agitation for Biafra?
In Yoruba land they have the OPC and they are asking for Oduduwa republic, in the south South they have the Niger Delta pushing Niger Delta republic, in the south eat you have IPOB and other groups that want Biafra. You can’t control everything. The focus of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the purpose of the people like me, I want a restructured Nigeria , equitable to everyone . That’s what I want but I’m not God , I can’t stop other people from having their way.
Onowu Abagana, maybe you would like to talk about the Nigeria youth?
Training the youth with special skill acquisition as future of tomorrow is sacrosanct. The young people are those we are to focus on. There is a mismatch between graduation and job opportunity, so you end up with young men who do stealing, doing robbery for pot of soup and you have women who are doing prostitution, so they are troubled and worried and not happy. We have to do things to train them, if not everybody didn’t need to have government job, fix a skill, whether is fishing , whether is snail, whether is making basket.
In America the government employee is less than 45% , most of the work is entrepreneurism, that’s the basis. Everything is not getting job, we need to set a stage for people to go out there and do something, make it easy for you to set your own newspaper or television station. The government there in America, their job Is to provided facilitates including water, electricity etc and for government to give job to everybody, it’s not going to work. And private Enterprise is more efficient and dedicated than government. Usually the government in America, everyone takes their time and work 9-5am and go home.
We work 12hours a day just to make sure we succeed. We can’t be depending on the government. The government should make citizens have access to bank loan. They trained people who want to be owners of business. If you want to be dealer in spare parts, electrical appliances, there are people that will train you for free and they will give you the loan. That’s what we are going to do. Our youth must be focused, because of the way that they feel , that’s why we have crisis in Nigeria. They have come to a point when they can’t take it anymore. I think recently, I came back in Abuja, they wouldn’t let me come to the east because they say the young people are rioting and fighting everywhere.
It’s because of bad leadership of Nigeria leaders. They are not taking care of the youth, that’s why youth are erupting. It’s not abnormal that they’re rioting, it’s normal. We have to restore sanity to Nigeria, you have to give the young people a chance. I also see that Nigeria police, some of them in my villages are very poor. They live wretched and in rags. They are not paid well. If you have somebody carrying a gun and he’s not paid well, they will start taking bribe and shooting people.
Do you think Nigeria government have done enough in regards to the youth request during this EndSARS, do you think their approaches were good?
Odogwublog.com: I’m yet to see really what they have implemented. Have told you initially because, it’s not just talking about dissolving SARS, you need to do something economically to give the youth opportunity to grow . Sars did a bad job and they are been abolished, which is good. But it’s not enough, we need to do something like give chance for young people to go to school and you pay for it. You do something to give them skills , give them loans and training on what to do. Everything is not government job, you have to do something. Even if it’s growing hair, we gave a lot who do it in America, having their own thing. Even makeup , nails, that’s business. You have something you do everyday, get your money and pay your tax. And whatever they have done, it’s not enough , I need to see. The next thing is to create opportunity.
Lastly, I am doing a lot to promote they youth, I have one of the best water bottling company in Eastern part of Nigeria . Quincy crystal, that’s the name of my company. We also have fishery, we have more than a million fish in Abagana, we grow cassava along Aguleri and we are going again into plastic . And all the people that are doing it are 20-45yrs . The water is beautiful. I create the opportunity, build the facilities. I also give a lot of scholarship, assist people everywhere from polytechnic to university level.