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IPOB: How I prevented war in my State –Ikpeazu

From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja

Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu believes his government, contrary to claims in some quarters, is building some enduring legacies and is transforming the state.

In this interview, the governor explained reason behind some decisions taken by his administration, the recent invasion of South- East by the military and issues relating to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Why did you decide to take the made-in-Aba products campaign abroad when some people feel that the government is yet to do what is expected of it in Aba to make the city a business hub?

I don’t think the issue is to make Aba a business hub. Aba is a business hub naturally and nobody can dispute that. The only thing we are saddled with is to enhance the business environment, open up access, do something about security and ensure that there is steady electricity supply. One has to think about strategy. When I became governor two years ago, the greatest challenge by my analysis was putting made-in- Japan, made-in-Taiwan, made -in-Dubai on the articles they produced and I felt that it was a fallout of some complex, inferiority complex. So you see along the spectrum of economic development, industrialization, promotion of small and medium scale enterprises, you have issues with the manufacturers themselves and you also have issues of infrastructure.

But the most difficult is the social issue which is the psyche of the manufacturer. It doesn’t matter what you do, if somebody is not motivated, if somebody feels he is inferior, the person will hardly be able to market his article. So we decided, strategically, to begin to carry development from two fronts: one, do something about the basic infrastructure in Aba. We have done 23 completed roads in Aba as I speak today. We are doing the first ever interchange or what they call flyover in Aba today and as I speak, fallout of our efforts in terms of the campaign of the made-in-Aba thing has attracted direct sales of about N1.3billion.

Remember the 50,000 pairs of shoes for the military, remember our campaign to the customs, NYSC and all that; the direct impact from the Aba economy is that those shoe makers, those leather makers, those bag makers have seen an inflow of about N1.3billion direct to them. Beyond that we are building an industrial cluster which is purposely built for leather and garments.

Once again I am excited that the federal government and almost every Nigerian today are listening. The perception about Aba today is no longer a no go area. People are better known today for their creativity and what they can do with their hands and that is the façade I crave for when it comes to our youths. I don’t want people to see our youths as criminals and bandits.

If I want to be a little more specific or so, we have been able to bring the Vice President on two separate occasions as he launched the first MSEM clinic, an interface with licensing agents, standardisation agents, all agents that are concerned with the growth and promotion of MSEM in Nigeria. They came first time face to face with each other and today, the average Aba business man knows that NAFDAC should be an enabler, a promoter of business, not a stumbling block or a barricade.

Now if I want to answer your question directly why did we decided to take this made in Aba thing to New York; first of all we started in Abuja, the first made in Aba fashion show was held in Abuja and on that day I remembered vividly the American embassy sent 30 delegates to come and see the kind of leather works, the kind of garments, the kind of bags that Abia people have produced and had on exhibition and it was very successful.

Some people asked me also that day, why not hold made in Aba fashion show in Abia state? Abuja is the melting point that brings both the licensing agencies, the controlling agencies, the funding agencies, government, the diplomatic family and everybody together; so rather than wait for them to move to Abia as they say, let Mohammed go to the mountain and that announcement led to our seizing the opportunity of the Abia family meeting in New York where the entire Abia people in New York come annually for a convention and we decided to begin to also make that statement there.

Power infrastructure is very critical to the industry. Yes, to a large extent, the federal government provides that. How are you tackling that issue too?

Yes, we take it quite seriously. When I came in, I inherited the geometric project which is a private sector driven project to provide light for the Abia university area and I took up to speak with Emeka Ofor who is the EEDC boss and the Enugu DISCO who has the licence and franchise for distribution, the idea is that that thing has generated electricity but you cannot distribute because somebody else is holding that end of the stick and then we brought them together and we encouraged the federal government and they reached an agreement and they at a point where money needs to change hands now and one of them will take charge and Aba will begin to enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

But beyond that, the problem was to raise the money that would change hands ultimately, so I had to be also part of a team that included Pascal Dozie, Prof. Nnaji, Gen. Omayi (rtd) to Afrixim bank where we met the President of Afrixim bank in Cairo and the elements of our discussions was also to see how they could provide the resources to fund geometrix.

And I did not rest there, I also visited the Minister for Power and his own solution is the one we are test running now. He got us together with the rural agencies in charge of rural electrification and today they are unbundling. What I mean is that if you have an industry or a cluster of industries, they will do some survey and then begin to provide electricity specific for that area. So they have tested power there for two weeks now, some parts of Ariaria have enjoyed uninterrupted power for two weeks and they are trying to expand now and see how we can capture the entire Ariaria shoe plaza where they produced shoes and leather and all that.

Can you please share your recent experience of the activities of the military in the south- east especially Abia state where you are the governor and the classification of IPOB as a terrorist group by the federal government? What role did the south- east governors play in that controversy?

Fundamentally speaking, I think that if the questions we ask in this country today are whether there are inequalities, there are gaps, there are people who don’t feel that they have been fairly treated either as an individual or as a family or as a geopolitical zone, the answer is yes.

There is agitation in the north east, there is a agitation in the south west, of course there is agitation in the south east but I dare say that there is no other ethnic group in this country that has as much faith in Nigeria as a country, one united country than the people of the south east, that is why they are in Sambisa. You can count how many big businesses belonging to the south westerners that are in Aba. You can count how many big businesses belonging to the people from the north east, north- west, north -central that you can find in Owerri, you cannot find a four storey building belonging to somebody from the north- east anywhere in the south- east.

But if you go to Kano, you don’t count three hotels before you count that of somebody from the south -east. What it means is that we are the people that have demonstrated faith in the united Nigeria. Post war experience is that everybody started receding and then we started moving everywhere and then at the end of the day, our people are beginning to feel that we are not being trusted enough with certain strategic positions despite the fact that we have demonstrated in particular times that we love Nigeria more than anybody, we have faith in this country more than anybody. That coupled with the fact that there is huge potential energy within the youth community in Nigeria that is unused because the problem of unemployment in Nigeria for me as a biochemist, I look at it as mismanagement of energy; people have too much energy they can’t use it anywhere. If you have a two year old child in this house today and that child doesn’t go to school, he doesn’t go anywhere, before you go out and come back, you will discover that somebody with a lot of energy is residing with you here. So the idea is that all these agitations bottled up and all that created what you call IPOB.

And then, the federal government over time started watching from the sideline because IPOB was getting money from elsewhere, setting up radio stations, indoctrinating people, all that went on. But while that was going on, at a point, the leadership of the south east through Ohanaeze, through the governors started engaging Nnamdi to say, we know that there are issues. Can we find alternative channels to discuss them? Can we make studied and intellectual presentations and confront the federal government with these arguments? But he felt that his own strategy was better and all that.

So, I think it got to a point when the federal government began to feel that the red line was threatened and unfortunately some of us as governors were not taken into confidence as to the details and plans and intentions of the federal government and it is the irony of this thing they call governors as chief security officers; a chief security officer but you are not controlling the Commissioner of Police, CP, the soldiers around you, the navy around you, you cannot tell them to stop, you cannot tell them where to go and all that. So that clash came up on us in Abia State and I was confronted as a leader to make a choice between the oath I swore, what was politically expedient and what was right and I think what -was right was for me to do everything to protect the lives and properties of Abians and those that are doing business in Abia. So all that I did, the press releases, my actions, all that I did was geared towards fulfilling my mandate which was to protect lives and properties of not only Abians but of everybody that was within Abia doing business. I did not wish for one soul to die, whether IPOB or a Fulani man or a Kogi man, I didn’t want anybody to lose his life or for us to begin to spill blood in my state.

Like I told some people, my mother told me that everybody should do everything to make sure that war does not ensue in his mother’s kitchen because the pots will break, the plates will break and after the war, with what are you going to eat? So, I do not want a war in my kitchen. If there must be war, let the war go elsewhere not in my kitchen. And then I thank God and I give Him all the glory that he gave us the wisdom to take the steps we took.

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6 Comments

  1. Ezekiel Okeke 17th October 2017 at 7:18 am

    The war has just begun as far as God given Republic Of Biafra of the five south east states is concerned which the said Ikpeazu etc. rather caused by their failure to respect Democracy. As I already said, Democracy has won. Democracy has come to stay in Democratic Biafran Territorial Sovereign State. Any who do not respect Democracy will be crushed in this Democratic Revolution. On the other hand, the said Ikpeazu etc. should be ashamed of themselves as illiterate cowards. Illiterate assholes from far north entered Igboland attacked, killed, and the illiterate asshole coward call Ikpeazu etc. has mouth to talk? Biafra is now a Democratic Sovereign State with interim government. Biafra will feed the enemy with conflicts till the last enemy vacates Democratic Biafran Territorial Sovereign State, the whole of south- Niger Delta Republic of south south, Oduduwa Republic of south west- dead or alive. South feed north- it is over as far as Biafra, Niger Delta, Oduduwa, are concerned. Democracy has come to stay in Democratic society of south and must be defended with whatever it takes. The enemy- illiterate military circle of north led by the fallen caliphate in the name of nigeria must be crushed in south, must be struck down in southern coordinated operation- all northerner in military, police, dss, custom, civil defence, immigration, road safety, ndlea etc. till the last enemy vacate south- dead or alive. God Is With Us!!!

  2. Ezekiel Okeke 17th October 2017 at 7:42 am

    The illiterate word “My State” of the illiterate coward asshole call Ikpeazu is what make these common individuals in the name of governors etc. to be so stupid and foolish. Is the state his property to use the word My State? The state is God given property of the state’s natives, and only the majority natives of the state has absolute right by law to decide everything about the state, no illiterate asshole in the name of governor etc. has such right, not to talk about making reference as his state- in the sense it is his property, no longer just a common servant serving under legitimacy by law given to him by the state’s natives in which he is under obligation and duty of accountability to the state’s natives, and the state’s natives has absolute power to throw him out of the office and replace him- democratically and otherwise- which will happen in this Democratic Revolution to any who do not respect Democracy- which is decision of majority, as far as Democratic Biafran Territorial Sovereign State is concerned. God Is With Us!!!

  3. Eclat De Bullet 17th October 2017 at 7:54 am

    Warning ! ! ! To All Nigerians.
    Igbo Politicians Are Not IGBO Leaders for those that are believe their Talks in Front Of Newspapers.
    My fellow Biafrans, i great you in the name of our God, The creator of the whole Universe.
    My name is Popularly known as Eclat De Bullet and i have some understanding, and observation which i have concluded these period of Nigerian crisis and I wish to share it with my fellow Biafrans to understand with me on what our problem is all about from my Gathered History.
    This History and the Observation goes this way:
    During the Amalgamation of Nigeria in early years of 1914. I can observed that the Britain Borrowed or loan finance from the Islamic Organisation which might be Citizen of Britain as well but Muslim.
    This finance is being used by the British through Lugard to institute infrastructures like building those Schools, Hospitals, Roads, Government Quarters and rest of the colonial buildings and others.
    I can understand that during the handover power by colonial master, those Muslim Organisation insisted that they will provide the leader in the Estate as people that finance and will only trust their Muslim brothers to take care of their contribution while Britain continue with their colonisation and wealth of the Estate.
    I can observed that it happened in these way::
    the Muslims went and regroup all there Fulani Muslim in their already concard nations like Mali, Guinea Conakry, Sudan, Somalia, Chad, Nigel and others because the Fulani’s are the Tools the Arab Muslim British use to spread their jihad Crusade in all part of African nations. I also understand that the Fulani’s lost their Nation decade ego by these Arabs/British invaders of which their Nation up till now where not know because they closed down the Nation and chase the remaining once out.
    These invaders now use them as tools, share them in different location of Africa by fixing them any country and to use them now penetrate any country of their interest.
    This are combine force use by both British and Muslim which their leader then are those Urtman Danfodio, Queen Amina and the rest of them that come in and killed and slaughtered the king and village chiefs of the Northern Nigerians, and take up their land and communities.
    Northern Nigeria was targeted and used to penetrate into the region because they are free in well coming strangers and somehow timid in reasoning and that is while up till these day, they are being used by the Fulani’s in every of their political marathon.
    In fact, no body will doubt me on these statement because right now, Buhari is trying to use them to again to curse problem in Anambra state by trying to agitate that Northern Christian is demanding there right to vote in Anambra.
    When did Northern Christian started living in the South East? all the Hausa’s that live in the East, are they not Muslims? Which Church in Igbo land has any body identify an Hausa person being a Christian.
    They know their Hausa Muslim can not have sit with us, now they are bringing these tools called Northern Christian. So that if they succeed, they will change them with Muslim and the Christian will go back to the North after using them to terrorise the Anambra indigenes.
    Back to History, in all the wisdom and intelligent of Namdi Azikiwe, he can not be made incumbent President rather Secretary Of State is what they give a founding Father of a nation while Prime Minister was given to Tafawa Belewa. Deceiving Ndi Igbo by calling him Ceremonial President, Otherwise what is ceremonial there for.
    After the corncard and centralise the New Estate Garden for British Harvest inform of Nigeria, then hand over power to those foreigners they used to invaded the North since northern Nigerians then are not Muslim.
    Due to the courage and concard word given to them by this colonial masters, the regard nobody any more to an extent first started the Hate Speech by one their leaders by using a word to caged them so not to know their future.
    The North do not stop at Hate speech but show it by action by killing our people injusticely. Cut off our sisters Head in front of his Husband and police finally release killers.
    Then i do not see any stand for any Biafra Or Zoo Estate Garden For British Harvest citizen to open his idiotic mouth to condemn Nandi Kanu for speech what so over Otherwise any body that say such against Namdi Kanu is total ignorant, mentally sick and foolish.
    For those Igbo favour seekers, born by mistakes, PHD holders in timidity, hypocritical Element. You should stop glamouring around in Zoo Government because it over.
    The Hausa Fulani indulge their selves in many occultism and abominable act to secure the sit handed to them by the British Muslim invaders by in rolling these Pocket Rich Future Failure Politicians, Mental Slave Politicians from each region to be use in time like these to terrorise each of their regions like South South they are there, South East like Orji, Rochas, Ohaneze and the rest of other South East Governor because they are zombies and caged fake Educated monkeys.
    *Our Elders said in Proverb that No Palace you will put a Monkey for him not to look for a Tree* No matter any Fake Certificate this Igbo politicians will hold, they will still show their timidity and Fake life.
    If the ordinary man that live borrowed wisdom of education can know up to these level that Nigerian Government do not have portion for Biafran, and can understand it as the reason they kill us on daily bases, and for 57 Years No Road, No School, No Water, No Security, No Housing Estate for Citizen,No Electricity and others.
    The Supreme Highest Order Of The Truth Justice General which has made it open to every reasonable human that these foundation Estate Garden For British Harvest has no portion of good Consideration to Biafrans .
    Base on accusations against Igbo politicians, South East Governors more especially, the former Gov.Orji Uzo Kalu and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo. Nia Nwodo on what Our Leader Namdi Kanu said.
    Does it means that some Zoo politicians are being caged with these Guy practice which originated from Hausa land and it already has name there to show you it belongs to them and they called it DANDAUDU. This abominable act is for this Pocket Rich -Future Failures to be loyal to them.
    If so, is that the reason after lamentation of Restructure from South East Governors more especially Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo/ Nia Nwodo and Ike Ekweremadu but on meeting Buhari face to face, all we heard is to build Road,
    Infrastructure and Niger Bridge are their demand forgetting Restructure.
    How can such a nonentity, hypocritical Element that accept intimidation by Fear will protect their people they represent.
    Is that the reason even when the Hausa Fulani killed their people injusticely, they will not talk rather they will be against their people that are killed because of fear and favour as well caged by Guy practice.
    Upon their age, their fellow Man used them like Woman, they cried in the Bed when fucking them by the Hausa Fulani in Abuja guest houses.
    This also for them to be loyal to and extent accepting to go and kill in their various region for their Ritual and occultist reasons.
    Some of them are directed to be bringing their virgin for Rituals in their various communities.
    In fact, all the South South and South East the Fulani headsman camp and killed people. Any state they tell you the Heads man has invaded and camp in the bush.
    How can some body will come all the way from North and camp inside bush in the East. What type of bush they will know better than indigenes of the states. Why would not the Governor to order military to go and spell them out but order military to shoot the innocent citizens that are lamenting how they are suffering.
    Let me tell you my people, they are in all the South East and no way, i mean impossible such killing will be happening there without the interest of person or group in that State.
    One thing these PHD Certificate holders that called their self politicians forget is that, everything has an End. As long as their atrocities has been publicly known, so their stay in power has been publicly destroyed.
    We the Biafran can not accept such Nonentity of people, Fearful Elements, Confused and Mental Slave Men, Women in the hand of their fellow Men, Useless Thinkers to think any Biafra or reasonable person to continue with that zoo Estate called Nigeria.
    If i may ask again, can any Biafran Citizen be able to say 1or 2 things that will motivate him to go for any election, more especially these Anambra election.
    Those Anambra Citizens that are glamouring around that Obiano for me money. How many days will that money last because i can quote that the money will finish under 1 week depends how much you carwordly Salle your generation.
    We the Biafrans has no reason to listen to all this pocket Rich Future failures politicians, they are not our leaders, and for that reason, all their effort to stop the Biafra agitation has failed because we the Biafra can not accept any Good Advice, Good Gift and Good brotherhood from any body that associate it self from the Zoo Government.
    Lastly, any Biafra or Igbo that is talking negativity against Namdi Kanu or IPOB by condemning their speech or what ever blame he or she has by foolishness should soon be stone to death because he or she is agent in our mix.
    Zoo People ! !!, we are assuring you once again that we Biafra/Igbo as well Anambra people will not and will never accept to go for any vote AGAIN, hear it NOW! ! !
    You should conduct it and vote for yourselves zoo politicians that regard non of the citizens you are governing.
    Once again, NO ELECTION IN ANAMBRA STATE and ENTIRE BIAFRA LAND ! ! ! ! ! Biafra is going.
    The Estate Garden For British Harvest Army should produce our Leader Mazi Namdi Kanu Now !
    Exs: Eclat De Bullet

  4. Peter Okeke 17th October 2017 at 10:02 am

    The problem with this country is that with everything going haywire and wretchedly poor the ruling class are living in denial. Nobody wants any war to start in his kitchen but someone unjustly and mischievously brought the war to your kitchen. That someone could invade and befoul your kitchen space with war is a sure sign of the skewed power structure that confers on the federal government unrestricted powers. Nnamdi Kanu is not an Oracle that the governors and those who have hidden their ostriches necks in the sand while Rome is burning are waiting to consult as to the direction and the position they will adopt on issues of fundamental importance that borders on change in the political structure of this country that has been long overdue. They waited and suffered in silence all these years as they wait for the likes of Kanu to manifest and come to round table to discuss with them where obviously there are many Judases of our time. For a governor to admit that being the chief security officer of the state without control of the of the security instruments is to underscore such a decay in the root of the political structure. They attend governors and other ‘powerful’ meetings and pretend to represent the interest of the people but it never occur to them to strongly question such sundry issues that need to be corrected in the skewed polity as people’s representatives and they are waiting for the Oracle Kanu to appear in the firmament for consultations and deceptive deliberations. May God save us from this dilemma of power pretenders.

  5. Ezekiel Okeke 17th October 2017 at 11:45 pm

    As I already said, war is what happens if democratic decision of majority is not respected, war is legitimate instrument to defend democratic decision of majority. Those cowards who do not want to defend their existence securities and freedom with whatever it takes- even war, are the ones consumed by war. Sovereignty of the political name Nigeria is illegitimate by law. Anyone who rests his or her existence securities, hope on the political name Nigeria without legitimate Sovereignty by law, is like one who rests his or her existence securities, hope on former Yugoslavia in its last hours. God Is With Us!!!

  6. Ebuka Amaechi 19th October 2017 at 9:17 pm

    The problem with the renegades who were imposed on Ndi-Igbo by the avowed enemies of Ndi-Igbo as State Gov,National & State Legisltors.Is their morbid assumption to impunitively retain, unabated their foisted & questionable leadership positions on the Ibo Nation.Forgetn that with unity of purpose & collective resolve by patriots, the youths, respected & real Sons/Dotas in Ibo land. We shall definitely over come our traducers & known enemies, wtin & outside Ibo land. No Condition is permanent in this vanitious earth.Let the sabos wtin & outside the shores of Ibo land, Beware of Ides of History.As whoever, who betrayed his Kinsmen Warrior to the enemies in the battle field,shall live to live wt the consequencies of his/her abominable acts wt their entire generation!

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