The 1999 Constitution Was Kept a Secret by Those Who Decreed It Until After Obasanjo Was Sworn into Office as President – Reveals Nwodo
This is one of the most consequential live interviews that the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndiigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has granted in recent times. The Arise TV crew drilled their guest on various topical issues that ranged from the much-talked-about Igbo presidency during the 2023 Nigerian general elections cycle to the ongoing Covi-19 pandemic’s impact on the citizenry. The articulate and erudite statesman and Igbo leader did not only stand his ground but also he used to opportunity to provide some jaw-dropping revelations that have made this interview a must-watch for all.
Some leading Northern politicians were said to have urged the Igbo political class to begin to reach out more to other ethnopolitical entities within Nigeria as the surest means of getting the necessary support to achieve an Igbo presidency, which no one can exclusively set aside for any particular interest group, including Ndiigbo. Chief Nwodo noted that the Igbo are the most widely dispersed ethnic nationality in Nigeria. Wherever one goes to within Nigeria, the Igbo constitute the next most populous residents after the indigenous inhabitants of the area. The Igbo engage in wealth-generating economic activities and also invest heavily in societal infrastructure like schools, markets, churches, industries etc. The likes of Tanko Yakassai have nothing to lecture Ndiigbo about reaching out and closely interacting with other Nigerians because that’s what the Igbo do as second nature.
Chief Nwodo remarked that the agitation for Biafra by dome Igbo youths is an inevitable expression of frustration from decades of targeted marginalization of the Ndiigbo by the political alliance that prevailed during the Civil War. The youths perceive the recriminations that have followed that war to suggest that the Nigeria/Biafra War (1967-70) has never indeed ended. He specifically fingered the disinvestment in coal which the Eastern Region relied upon for electricity generation before the ascendancy of oil and gas. The central government took over all the assets of the coal industry in Enugu and liquidated them, thereby ensuring the electric power shortages that are commonplace today. He also noted that the natural gas from the Owerri gas deposit, which is the largest in Nigeria, is currently being tapped to feed pipelines to faraway Lagos as well as the Trans-Nigeria and Trans-Sahara Pipelines to Northern Nigeria and North Africa, respectively, without any hookup, whatsoever, with destinations in the eastern half of Southern Nigeria.
He was explicitly asked if he would prefer to have a turn of Igbo Presidency actualized before any further deliberations over Restructuring, the Ohanaeze boss offered a response that must have shocked his interviewers. As far as the Ohanaeze Ndiigbo is concerned, the choice is not a close one at all. Nnia Nwodo asked for an immediate Restructuring because any further delay places the country into a greater quandary with each passing day. At present, Nigeria spends 70% of its foreign earnings in paying loan interests alone on debts without touching the capital. This means that future generations are going to be burdened with the payment of debts incurred by their parents’ generation. Furthermore, immediate Restructuring shall restore sanity and order to the runaway insecurity that has become normalized in many parts of the country.
The object of the Restructuring should be aimed at returning the country’s geopolitics to what prevailed in the First Republic. Just like political pundits from other parts of the country, Chief Nwodo prefers the parliamentary system as defined by the 1963 Constitution because the current American-style presidential system is costly to operate and highly susceptible to corruption. The status quo enabled by the imposed fraudulent 1999 Constitution makes it possible for all the Police Chief allocated to the Igbo states to be non-Igbo. The local inhabitants regard the security agents as a mere occupation force deployed for intimidation and extortion of Ndiigbo at road checkpoints that are situated only a few kilometers apart on well-traveled roadways.
Responding to a poser on why the Igbo have not given equal focus in developing Alaigbo as they’ve done in other parts of the country, the Ohanaeze PG announced the recent formation of the Alaigbo Stabilization Fund (ASF) which is being put together under the leadership of Mazi Osita Ogbo. The Ohanaeze Ndiigbo, under the Nwodo leadership, envisions the ASF to become the tool with which to make Alaigbo the Catalonia of Spain or Bayern of Germany.