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Obasanjo betrayed us – Ohanaeze leader

Posted by By GODDY OSUJI, Enugu on 2007/05/07 | Views: 937 |

Obasanjo betrayed us – Ohanaeze leader


Former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and retired Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Ezebuilo Ozobu, has accused President Olusegun Obasanjo of betrayal in the way he has dealt with the Igbo in his eight-year administration.

Former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and retired Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Ezebuilo Ozobu, has accused President Olusegun Obasanjo of betrayal in the way he has dealt with the Igbo in his eight-year administration.

The renowned jurist lamented that the Igbo who played crucial and leading roles in the fight for Nigeria’s independence had been sidelined while those he said played no part were made to hold key poitions in the country.

Ozobu spoke with Daily Sun in Enugu, against the backdrop of perceived conspiracy to exclude the Igbo from the helms of affairs at the topmost level.

The attempt to disqualify Abia State governor, and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, from contesting the presidential election and the manipulation of the polls to deny him massive votes particularly from the Eastern block are seen as part of the persecution and marginalisation of the people.
Justice Ozobu expressed disappointment at the situation regretting that: "Those who have ruled the country were those whose father never played any role in the independence of Nigeria, while those who played major roles were sidelined when the food is cooked and ready for eating."

He, however, opined that the in-coming president would reverse all that Obasanjo did to Ndigbo and lead them into the mainstream of Nigeria "and give us our own dues."

The former Ohanaeze leader wondered if Ndigbo were part of Nigeria at all, judging by perceived iniquities between them and other sections of the country.

"Take for example the number of states in each zone, out of the six zones the rest have six states and we have only five states. What is the justification? Igbo is the only group in Nigeria that don’t have an access to any international airport in any Ibo land, we are land locked…
"The money that was given to the oil producing states was not given to Owerri and to Abia State. You can go on and on and each time I reflect on this, I say is an Iboman a Nigerian based on the things I see on the ground? That is one of the reasons I give my salutation to Dr Orji Uzor Kalu. He made the name of Ibo to be alive and living. If he hadn’t interest in the presidency, no Iboman will be taken seriously.

"Another area whether an Iboman is really a Nigerian is in the area of demography, the figure given to them by the National Population Commission as compared to the figures given to other areas like the North. And to my disappointment the Ibos did not come together to raise a protest, so that you will be able to tell the incoming children that this is what you were able to do in the circumstance.

"There are no indices about the population commission how they arrived at the figures. And from the figures they brought out the reverse is the case because where water and vegetation are available the population is higher than where you have arid land; there is not much population there. There are many authorities on this to prove the theory."

The jurist expressed worry at the squabbles within the Ohanaeze believing, however, that the crisis rocking the socio-cultural group is sponsored by non-Ibos.

"I feel worried and betrayed by the problem in Ohanaeze. When I was there as the president general and Prof. Ben Nwabueze as the secretary general, there were some element of respect for the Ibos in Nigeria. I think we should preserve the honour.
Leadership

Those who are in governance are rogues. You see men whose fathers did not join in getting the independence of this country, he becomes a leader overnight, how he became a leader is questionable. He comes from a family where they eat rice once a year, and then he will have 30 houses and send his children overseas for education.

Many people who served this country are not getting their pension as and when due. I am a victim of this situation. You go and create an artificial centre in Abuja, it does not actually depict development in Nigeria nationwide.

Look at the restiveness in Niger Delta; it is because of these imbalances in development in Nigeria. How can the youths in this country allow a man to drive out in three jeeps and Nigerians cannot drink good water and one decent meal a day, you cannot do it in advanced countries. It is a betrayal…
"Look at the number of governors Anambra State has produced, is it not a shame. How can anybody explain it? God gave Anambra highy educated people, unique manpower; the problem of Ibo people came more from the state.

"There must be something wrong with the Iboman, they might have offended their gods and it requires spiritual purification. They must go back to God and beg him to forgive us. There must be something the Iboman did to his God to push him away after fighting for the independence.
Obasanjo’s promises

I believe in the observation that the promises made by President Obasanjo when he was seeking for Ibo votes to dredge River Niger, construct the Onitsha-Owerri road, International Airport and dry port were not kept up till this time he is vacating office.

He gave his friends jobs. He wasn’t addressing the interest of the Ibos. He betrayed us, and if ever he did anything in his term they were done by the Ibos. The secretaries of PDP were Ibo and Soludo is an Iboman. He did what his (Obasanjo’s) brother former governor of Central Bank Sanusi could not do in re-capitalisation of the banks.

Look at what Mrs Oby Ezekwesili is doing in Education and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala did in Finance and a host of them. So he never really looked for the Ibo’s interest in Nigeria. That is one of the reasons why I was talking whether we are really joint owners of Nigeria. I am disappointed in him and feel so bad by the way he handled the Iboman. He is a betrayer, he didn’t show any respect that we belong to the country.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.