Dr. Sampson Nzeribe is a fiery activist from the foremost Nzeribe political and traditional dynasty of Oguta Ameshi in Imo State. This Russian trained political pundit and public affairs analyst spoke to EVEREST EZIHE on contemporary national and state issues.
What is your assessment of the present administration of Nigeria led by Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress, APC
Honestly, the leadership of Nigeria as it is presently constituted and administered, I feel tired and disgusted to discourse. Why do I say so? From all intents and purposes and as a patriotic Nigerian, I have nothing personally against President Muhammadu Buhari, because he is our President. However, it is important, I tell you the truth because at this verge of his administration, it is only few patriots that can have the boldness to tell you that they were against him from the beginning. In 2014, I was vehemently against anybody who said he wanted to vote Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, Mai gaskiya.
Because I know, abinitio, that Alhaji Buhari has no capacity to rule Nigeria. I have said it and I will defend same any where any time.
In 2014, when people were being deceived to buy into Buhari Presidential ambition by saying Sai Buhari, I knew he was not the messiah Nigerians needed. I knew he has no capacity and capabilities to rule Nigeria and fix the country.
Why do you think in all sincerity that General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) does not have the midas touch to rule Nigeria, considering his administrative pedigrees and antecedents?
Buhari was like late Major General Muritala Mohammed who came in as people have gotten tired of the antecedents of the previous governments, thus anything goes, anything will be better than the previous one. So in 1983 they were touting for somebody better as military government, so then Buhari after a successful coup detat saddled the nation’s leadership with Brigadier General Idagbon (Rtd). Nigerians then did not have the opportunity of knowing who Buhari is and his governance antecedents. Recall their administration was short-lived but people clanged onto WAI (War Against Indiscipline), which was a landmark programme of the military administration, the essence was orderliness and discipline in private and public conducts. Let us tell ourselves in the gospel truth, in a normal society, is WAI a yardstick to measure an administrative efficiency and competency? Yes he came in then and locked up all the former politicians he perceived to be corrupt. Guilty or not guilty, they were all locked up Chief Alex Ekwueme, as Vice President to Alhaji Shehu Shagari was detained in prison while Shagari as a Moslem and fellow Fulani was under house arrest in Sokoto, his home State.
Sincerely speaking, Buhari did not start his injustice against the Igbos today. He is a clannish and petty leader. He has the natural instinct of being tribalistic, he first and foremost sees himself as a Fulani man before being a Nigerian. He has never being patriotic when it comes to Nigerian issues. Put side by side Nigeria and Niger-Republics interest, Buhari I know will choose Niger-Republic. It is imperative to remember that Nigerians got tired of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration due to one reason or the other, thus recall that the man who had honour, respect and integrity for something as little as WAI which in a normal society, you don’t use WAI as an indexes of good, visionary and purposeful governance. I boldly told Nigerians in 2016, that they will forever regrets choosing Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari as their President. WAI is not enough yardstick to endorse the administrative capacities of Buhari ruling Nigeria of today.
Recall that in 1984, a Nigeria, one Mr. Peter Onu was Vying to be the Secretary General of OAU (Organization of African Unity) and another man from Niger- Republic, was in the same contest but simply that Mr. Onu is from South East Nigera, Buhari despite every persuasion voted for the Niger-Republic man simply because he is of Fulani ethnic nationality and a Moslem. Buhari threw nationalism to the dust bin of history in appreciation of another country. Other African leaders then like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania were shocked and surprised. Buhari just supported the man because of his tribalistic and religious belief. This tells you that Buhari never believe in Nigeria as a country even as a Head of State of Nigeria, he sold out to a Fulani man from another country; he sold out against his own citizen. This is unheard off. If Nigeria is a country that respects patriotism and good governance, this issue would have been good enough to disqualify him from the 2016 election and any subsequent political office holding.
President Muhammadu Buhari has served Nigeria as a civilian President for over 5 years now, in all the interactions so far, you have hit his administration below the belt, can’t you point out some area’s the President has patriotically done well
Honestly speaking, i don’t want to be economical with the truth. I would like to sit down with anybody who will tell me and convincingly prove it to me that this is the area or areas, this President has done well. You know, he came into power on the mantra of wiping out corruption, fighting Boko Haram insurgency headlong and reduction in the nation’s inflation rates. Today, this country is five times more corrupt than Buhari met it and under President Goodluck Jonathan. Under President Muhammadu Buhari, corruption in Nigeria has grown wings and becomes a norm. it is not hidden, the nation’s judiciary under Buhari APC government is an embodiment of corruption. The nation’s judiciary is under cage. So my brother, were do you want to compel me to say that Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari as the President of Nigeria has done well? His administration has failed in all indexes of developmental and transformational assessment.
Back home, as a native of Imo State, what is your assessment of Governor Hope Uzodimma having celebrated one year in office about a month ago
You are aware that towards 2015 elections, I wrote something in an online newspaper, were I painstakingly advised Chief Hope Uzodimma to run against Chief Rochas Okorocha. I said it point blank then, that if he runs, he will win. Unfortunately, he chickened out thinking it was a herculean task to unseat an incumbent Governor, but I knew, if he had tried it, he would have won. However, the way he came into governance in Imo State in January 14th, 2020 according to him, he came in through “the Ben Johnson way.” Honestly, I don’t know if the Ben Johnson way is good or bad for politics and governance in Nigeria, but the Supreme Court which is the apex court of the land declared him Governor of Imo State and I have no capacity or reason to query the Supreme Court judgment and decision as they are the last arbiter of justice.
The implication is that whether he is doing well or not, it is left for the citizens of Imo State to judge.
As a citizen of Imo State and political elite, what then do you think
My thinking is based on the fact that I was recently in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, every office I want to enter; they were under lock and key, even the state Assembly complex and the State Secretariat. I don’t know what actually is happening. I need to reach out to the Governor to ask, Onwa Oyoko, your Excellency what is actually happening in Imo State? Definitely I need to know what is happening before I know what to tell him.
In view of the challenges at hand, what is your message to Imolites and Nigerians at large
I will be the last person to keep on asking people to keeping on praying and hoping in God, because it seems to me that Nigerians believed so much in prayers than taking their fate in their hands. When it comes to governance, there is a saying in international relations that there is no morality in international relations, what comes first is the interest of the nation, every nation in international arena has their national interest and that is what they vigorously pursue with sanctity of purpose. Here, morality does not come into it. Methinks, Nigerians have prayed enough. We must take our own fate in our own hands. One of the lessons of the #Endsars Protest is that you cannot be beating the people all the time, yet you asked them not to cry. One day, definitely, they will cry and when their tears become so big, it will turn into a flood and it will erode everything on its path and these includes those in authority.