Awka – A First Republic Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi has called on the Federal Government to act quickly in implementing the recommendations of the Southern Governors meeting held last week in Asaba, Delta State Capital.
Chief Amaechi disclosed this in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, with TNC correspondent in his country home, Ukpor in Nnewi South Council Area of Anambra State.
Last week, the Southern Governors met after which they issued what is known as the ‘Asaba Declaration’ containing a ten-point resolution.
Prominent among the resolutions were the ban on open grazing in the region, call for restructuring, call for establishment of State Police, among others.
Some quarters especially from Northern Nigeria, have condemned the governors for the decisions taken, saying they are unpragmatic and nepotic.
But according to the Amaechi, anyone who opposes the recommendations of the Asaba declaration, is the real enemy of a united Nigeria, as they hold the answer to the numerous socio-economic challenges of the region and the nation.
He said the Federal Government should be quick to implement the resolution or risk being seen as giving impetus to the insecurity that is ravaging parts of the country.
“The meeting of the Southern Governors at Asaba is good although it is coming late. Other regions have been meeting so why the big fuss now that the South decided to meet. The meeting was to rescue the region from the hands of those who do not believe that their people will live and prosper as God has destined them. Government should act quickly on the governors’ recommendations or exhibit a culpable blindness to the rapid drift to the disaster and precipice that stare us in the face or give credence to the reality of the feeling that the present administration is pursuing the policy of the colonization of Southern Nigeria and Benue State. In my younger days, I took active part in the fight against British imperialism, it is now the turn of the present generation to liberate our part of Nigeria from local imperialism and exploitation,” he said.
The elder statesman who also spoke on the security of the Southeast region, blasted the governors of the Southeast for being jittery and not acting timeously to set up a regional security outfit.
“When the killing of the Igbos became too much and unbearable, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, rose to the occasion with the Eastern Security Network, ESN, to protect Ndigbo from armed Fulani herdsmen and trained militia sent from the North. Until there were attacks that touched the hearts of some of the governors, that was when they woke up and formed Ebubeagu. But the two organizations are fighting the same cause so there should be synergy among them. They should not attack each other and but should work to achieve their main goal of protecting the people of the Southeast from the invaders,” he advised.
Amaechi posited that it was injustice to have proscribed IPOB in the first place, saying IPOB was neither revolutionary nor armed when they started.
“They were a group of young who could no longer tolerate the marginalization, exploitation and the killing of their people. They said ‘if you don’t want us in Nigeria, please let us go away’. You can’t beat a child and ask him not to cry. If Nigeria doesn’t want the people of Southeast, they should allow them to decide whether to stay or not. Proscribing IPOB is the most unpatriotic thing to do, for which the perpetrators will have to pay the penalty to God,” the former Minister said.
The elder statesman described as cheap and blatant falsehood, the rumour that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB or any other Igbo group is planning to attack Lagos.
In his view, such thought is idiotic as its actualization negates the efforts of the Igbos at establishing themselves in the Western region.
His words; “This is a cheap and idiotic falsehood. Igbo property in Lagos is so many, so scattered and so high in value for any Igbo group or organization to think of igniting any evil. The amity and understanding between the Igbos and the Yorubas is so deep, fundamental and sacrosanct that they are sealed with the blood of two great heroes, General Aguiyi Ironsi and Lt Col. Adekunle Fajuyi. When the Northern soldiers went to arrest and kill General Ironsi at Ibadan in 1966, the Military Governor of Western Region, Col Fajuyi told them that Ironsi was his guest and stood up for him and we all know the story. If anybody thinks they can drive a wedge between the Igbos and the Yorubas or kill the solidarity of the South to liberate themselves from the programmed enslavement by any external force, that person is day-dreaming.”
The former Minister suggested that Nigeria reverts back to the 1963 Constitution which he noted, all Nigerians sat down and developed.
“The present 1999 Constitution” he said “was written by the Military, composed mostly of Northerners. They imposed the 1999 Constitution on the people in order to foster their imperialistic and exploitative tendencies.”