Igbo Not Ready For Presidency in 2015, Says Governor Obi
Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi at the weekend took a critical look at the quest for Igbo presidency come 2015 and said Ndigbo are not sufficiently prepared for the battle. Speaking as Guest Lecturer of Otu Oka-Iwu, an umbrella body of lawyers of Igbo extraction, Obi said the Igbo are yet to forge a common front that would give them a fighting chance at the presidency.
According to Obi, there are currently so many disparate voices and tendencies among the Igbo, with the result that several groups and individuals are pulling at different directions. His words: “The Igbo are not speaking with one voice. I cannot tell you here that I am in support of Igbo presidency. I am in support of we organizing ourselves first than Igbo presidency, otherwise we may go out and embarrass ourselves. I prefer what you all (lawyers) are doing here – first organizing yourselves in pursuit of common goals. That is the way the Igbo quest should go.”
Speaking further, Obi warned that the quest for Igbo Presidency might throw up persons who may ultimately sabotage the Igbo cause, adding: “Our problem is not Igbo Presidency. There is need for us to build that cohesion from home. My reading of the situation is that we must first organize ourselves.”
He noted that medals are handed out to competitors not spectators, warning that unless the Igbo put their house in order, they would continue to pick the political crumbs at elections. Giving insight into the protracted crises within the Governors’ Forum, Obi said the root of the debacle was the derailment of the forum’s constitution. He noted that the forum adopted the Constitution of the United States Governors’ Forum whereby the chairman was elected by consensus for two years, with the vice chairman automatically succeeding him afterwards.
Obi however observed that at the end of former Governor Olusola Saraki’s tenure, he was side-tracked from assuming the chairmanship of the forum due to a gang-up along party lines, leading to the emergence of embattled Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Further, though Obi nominated Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliu as vice chairman, and against prior understanding that both the chairman and vice chairmanship must not come from the region, the governors endorsed Obi to continue as the vice chairman.
Obi, who spoke on “Electoral Reforms and the Descent of Values,” noted that the political space is largely occupied by the least qualified in the society, urging the elite to show more interest in politics. He decried a situation where most of the political office holders are either drop-outs or individuals who cannot lay claim to any measure of success in their personal lives, warning that this has tended to exacerbate greed, corruption and waste.
“The problem of Nigeria is that the level of greed is too high and unsustainable. When you create a society where people celebrate sycophancy and wrong values, you are bound to have issues,” said Obi. “We have created a society without values; everybody you meet is focused on transaction rather than how to do things right. The level of sycophancy is intolerable.”
Speaking on the menace of kidnapping, Obi who was given a standing ovation by the lawyers after his extempore speech which lasted over an hour, noted that his administration has solved every single case of kidnapping in Anambra State, adding that while virtually no state is spared the menace of kidnapping, the youth are being meaningfully engaged to shield them from negative influences.
The President of Otu Oka-Iwu, Zik Obi II commended the Anambra State governor for the lecture, noting that it has become urgent for Nigerians to address the issue of values towards improving the electoral process.
Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) thanked Governor Obi for the lecture, noting that he is reputed for his humility and frugality. He urged him to galvanize the South East Governors Forum of which he is the Chairman towards ensuring sustainable development.
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