Interview with Onovo: Release of Nnamdi Kanu’ll douse tension in South East


Chief Martin Onovo is the 2015 presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP). In this interview, he speaks about various issues, especially the situation in the South-East geopolitical zone.

How do you see the rising insecurity in different parts of Nigeria?

Rising insecurity is one of the consequences of illegitimate, unpatriotic and failed regimes in Nigeria. The evidence is clear. The perversion of public morality, injustice, inequality, corruption, unemployment, social exclusion, mass poverty, weak educational systems and impunity perpetrated by successive failed regimes in Nigeria led to rising insecurity. The rise in insecurity is also exploited by international criminal organisations to unlawfully mine minerals in Nigeria particularly in Zamfara State and in the North-East.

In this situation, it is expected that government will take comprehensive actions to address the issues but unfortunately, the ruling party lacks the moral authority, the competence and the political will to address the issues as corrective actions may affect their party members and supporters. So, corruption remains endemic and no system can work without integrity.

Are you not worried about rising insecurity in your geopolitical zone, the South-East?

We are worried about the rising insecurity in Nigeria but we are more worried about the root cause of the insecurity, which is the failure of successive illegitimate and unpatriotic regimes. The case of the South-East may be the simplest as it is partly because petty criminal terrorists have taken advantage of the lawlessness and impunity of the ruling party that has not obeyed the court order for the release of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Given recent development in the South-East, who do you think is really in charge of the geopolitical zone between the unknown gunmen, IPOB and government, considering how the sit-at-home order of IPOB and counter-order by state governments has led to violence and killings in the zone?

The state governments are incapacitated by their lack of direct control of security forces but they have managed to maintain some control with the support of the people and the cooperation of security agencies. Some of the terrorists have been arrested and even some of the bad eggs in the security agencies have also been arrested.

Why has it been difficult for the government at the federal and state levels to curb the activities of IPOB and unknown gunmen?

IPOB has a philosophy of non-violence. Their activities are peaceful and they have the support of their members. There is no reason to plan to curb the lawful activities of IPOB. You can see that the courts have discharged and acquitted Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB. The governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has in addition offered to be his surety.

The lawless Federal Government of Nigeria has no reason to continue to detain Nnamdi Kanu with impunity.  The unknown gunmen are simply diverse petty criminal terrorist gangs that can easily be curbed by a responsible government, using a robust ‘Security Management System.’ Unfortunately, the unpatriotic, illegitimate and corrupt rulers of Nigeria are incapable of running a responsible regime.

There have been different views on the release of Nnamdi Kanu. Some are of the view that he should be released, while others believe that he should still be kept by the government. What is your position on the issue?

It is all because of the lawlessness of the illegitimate rulers of Nigeria. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been acquitted by the courts. The Anambra governor has in addition offered to be his surety. I insist that the lawless government has no reason to continue to detain him with impunity.

Do you think the release of Nnamdi Kanu will douse the tension in the South-East?

The release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will expose the petty criminal terrorist gangs that are using his detention to cover their acts of terrorism in the South-East. So, his release will surely improve the security situation in the South-East.

Some people are of the view that the South-East should copy the regional security architecture of the South-West – Amotekun. What is your view on that?

The idea of a regional security organisation is helpful but the same challenge of not reaching a consensus in the South-West that currently constrains the performance of Amotekun is the same challenge that constrains the formation of a regional security organisation in the South-East.

There have been several demands and calls for state police in Nigeria; do you think that state police will address the security challenges being faced in different parts of Nigeria?

State police will generate more complex and dangerous challenges. We have seen how state governors have turned state legislators to their personal staff, so the abuse of state police is very certain. We have also seen many state governments owe salaries of civil servants.

It will be dangerous to owe salaries of young armed individuals. We have seen conflicts between some military and policemen both controlled by the Federal Government. So, I believe that there is the risk of a conflict between state and federal police. 

How would you assess President Tinubu’s administration in the first 50 days of his government?

I prefer to call him Alhaji Tinubu or Jagaban Tinubu pending the outcome of the election petitions against him. His administration has been totally tyrannical, unpatriotic, reckless and incompetent. He needs to review and understand the “Fundamental objectives and directive principles of State policy” in the Constitution of Nigeria. He apparently thinks that government is for his selfish and unconstitutional ‘Emi lo kan’ purposes.

President Tinubu is expected to name his ministerial nominees very soon; what kind of personalities would you expect him to appoint as ministers?

We expect Alhaji Tinubu to appoint the old, failed and recycled champions of corruption in the country. It seems clear to us that he will only appoint unpatriotic sycophants who are amenable to his ‘Emi lo kan’ purposes.

What is your advice to the President and state governors on how to make Nigeria better for the common man and deliver dividends of democracy to the people?

My advice for Alhaji Tinubu on how to make Nigeria better for citizens is to confess that he lost the election woefully and get the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the authentic result of the election. That will also be better for Alhaji Tinubu as he will save himself from a legacy of unlawful and undemocratic usurpation of public office. He will also save himself from displacing General Muhammadu Buhari as the worst ruler ever in Nigeria. He will also save himself from the humiliation of removal from office.

For state governors, they need to control corruption, then improve infrastructure, education and health. Good roads will reduce travel time, increase productivity, reduce vehicle operating and maintenance costs, reduce stress on travellers and thereby grow the economy.

Source: The Sun

Rachael Aiyke
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