The Parliament Diary

Interviews EXECUTIVE




Chief Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, is a seasoned politician; Former Governor of Anambra State is a man to listen to at any time or occasion. In this exclusive interview, he speaks his mind on some key national issues


Sir, you are the Okwadike Indigbo, the Garkuwa Fika and the Akinfengbile of Yorubaland. You served as the Executive Governor of Anambra State. What can you point to as some of your legacies as Former Governor of Anambra?

Well, it’s a long time I left Anambra State, but I know that what I liked most is breast feeding. I made a new rule on breast feeding so that mother stays longer with the child before resuming work. For me this is very important for the mother and child. Other legacies are Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Oko Polytechnic, both of which have been taken over by the federal government. There are roads we constructed, but most of them are bad now, so there is no need to talk about it. I laid the foundation which successive administrations built on.


Looking at some of these sterling leadership qualities which you possess, would you say that your successors in office have lived up to your expectations?

Many of them. Yes, Peter Obi did well and Chris Ngige did very well for the short time he spent. Those two did very well.


Politics in Nigeria today seems to be more problematic, especially for our politicians given the non-chalance and unpreparedness of those who occupy political office now. As an astute politician and a selfless leader, what advice will you give to our politicians so that they can leave a better society for the incoming generation?

Well, something has happened and unless we pray God to change it, there is no hope. We lost conscience. All politicians, especially the traditional politicians have lost conscience. What takeover their conscience now is comprehensive corruption in every direction: in the Church, trade union, political parties, every aspect of society there is corruption. So, we go back to God to pray to help us, it will be there, no progress until the country breaks up in pieces.


What is your comment on unending security challenges bedeviling the nation? Do we need foreigners to step in to assist the country?

The insecurity is a result of corruption. When people do things without fearing … we have come to a stage where we don’t feel the blood of human beings is worth anything. So, people are killed like cats and dogs and even the people who killed are not even pursued by the government. Let us see how it ends, unless the people of Nigeria take over their country. And it is not easy.


Do you think we need foreigners to come in and help?

No, we don’t need foreigners. It is who caused the problem; it is us who can mend it


Nigeria is over sixty years as an independent nation, yet we have been indisputably unable to achieve the desired dream of our nationalists like other nations of the world. What do you think will be the better solution to revitalize this country and make her join the country of technologically developed nations across the globe?

In a short period before the coup, the World Bank said parts of Nigeria were growing faster than the rest of the world. Today, Nigeria is said to be the poverty capital of the world. What has made the difference? The Military who ruled Nigeria from 1966 almost to now ruined Nigeria by the Military heads favouring their geographical areas in all kinds of things: creation of states, local governments, positioning of House of Representatives, Senate, etc. Unless we go back to structure that works, the structure that was regional government with federal government, and federal government was federal, not what we have now, which is unitary; doing everything and obstructing everything. Yes, we know where the problem started, that is why we talk about restructuring; taking back the structure of government to that period when Nigeria was growing faster than the rest of the world.


Thank you very much for your time. It’s there anything you would like to tell Nigerians which we have not asked you?

Yes, what is on the ground now is zoning or not zoning of presidency and one of the parties, the PDP, not only agreeing with the rest of us on zoning and rotation, but has it in its own constitution. But right now, when it is the turn of the South East they are changing and saying no zoning. And the South Eastern people are saying should they continue with no zoning and the South East does not get the presidency in 2023, they will consider alternative geographical or political home. It is a very bad thing happening. The other thing is the killing of the young girl, Deborah Samuel is indefensible everywhere. A Christian can blaspheme against Christian doctrine, a Muslim can blaspheme against Muslim doctrine, but not across religion. A Muslim cannot blaspheme against Christian doctrine and a Christian cannot blaspheme against Muslim doctrine. So, it was wrong. And if she blasphemes, there is a procedure to deal with it in the various religions. I think hunger is causing serious problems in Nigeria. When this thing happened and people were arrested, young men went in rampage, opened all the stores carting away property of people. I think that is poverty and hunger, not blasphemy.


I don’t understand what you mean by South East considering alternative geographical or political home if it cannot get presidency in 2023.

If the Igbo does not get president of Nigeria in 2023 they will take it that the rest of Nigeria has rejected them in Nigeria and do not accord them citizen rights. Therefore, they take them as slaves. For them not to be slaves, they have to look for a way to avoid being slaves.


Your Excellency, what then is your advice to the political parties?

The two major political parties should bring out South East presidential candidates, both of them. That is the only way out.

Thank you sir.

About Author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *