Eze (Prof) MAC Odu, an avatar in estate management, politician and erudite professor has seen it all at age 75.
Prof Odu at present is the monarch head, Nze Okokpa Ngurunweke kingdom in Mbaise, Imo State. He said he had hopes of a great Nigeria, but was disappointed by the injustice projected in the system to destroy the Igbo.
He told Sunday Sun that Nigeria is still standing on a cliff given the hidden agenda of those running the country, particularly the Fulani.He did not mince words in expressing his strong views on the Nigerian condition, touching on insecurity, the way forward, among other critical issues. Excerpt.
Looking at Nigeria today, let’s know some of your random thoughts on issues?
I had great hopes for our country based on our diversity of people, but I have lost it. We just have to go our separate ways because the Northern Hausa-Fulani people have not decided on the nation they want and they don’t have the capacity to contribute to this particular nation in truth, spirit, justice and fairness. So, there is no point hibernating with them any further, we just have to split into different ethnic groups and pave our way to success in our own indigenous ways. Federalism has to come on board now, even if we have to fight for it because other parts of the country have their problems of accepting the contributions of Ndigbo as pertinent to national progress. We cannot manage the future anymore, we just have to split and go our own way, let others go their own way and if we have common services we will discuss and negotiate it. The National conference has set the agenda for this development, but nobody took it seriously. President Goodluck Jonathan goofed and refused to implement the terms of that national conference, we lost an opportunity there and he should blame himself eternally for that. The rest of my life is dedicated to ensuring that there is true federalism. For now, we are simply what appears to be a wasted generation. We cannot speak out in the face of all injustices that are being done to some sections of the country by another section that feels it can lord it over others. We are no longer coming together with the way we all assumed we should and things are gradually falling apart.
How do you look at the suspended Ruga settlement programme?
If the president does not stop it he will set this country on fire. It’s a long term thing, I have seen through it, they do not want to contest with anybody the power to rule this part of the world. Some of us can see beyond the ordinary eye and we know that what is happening is a hidden agenda, but I like it because it will hasten the realization of our demand to go our separate ways.
You seem to be stamping as truth what former President Olusegun Obasanjo raised as an alarm that there is a secret plot to Islamize and Fulanize Nigeria?
It is confirmed and no joke. Many people don’t know that we have war in our hands with what is going on because if any group will tolerate it, but from the actions and responses we are getting they will not, but assuming they do, the Igbo will no longer, any further tolerate this mess. I think it’s time to say enough is enough. It is only a tree that you will want to cut down and it will remain there and still be standing until you cut it off not human beings. Our lives are threatened in this present union and the centre can no longer hold. Unless we are deceiving ourselves which I think is what those in authority would want us to believe. Obasanjo is a latecomer to the realization because he helped to build the North; we should have broken up the nation into disparate parts so that we can now develop individually. It’s been errors all the way and this is the time to call it off.
Recently, legal luminary, Olisa Agbakoba said Nigeria leadership has failed to manage our diversities well and called for the implementation of the Aburi Accord?
I know Olisa Agbakoba, he is a very brilliant lawyer, but if we are going to manage this diversity in my own thinking, each ethnic group that wants to group themselves should have the opportunity to do that. If the former East will come together we will go with them, the West will go, the Middle Belt will come together, if they like they can join the Southeast or any region they think their interest is better protected, but let it be the decision of the indigenous people of Nigeria.
Don’t you think this country will be better off as one big Nigeria than the balkanization you are suggesting?
Well, it’s a personal opinion, but the signs in the sky show that we are better off as distinct, separate people with different goals and different time chart for achieving such goals.
The Southeast, your zone seems to be complaining, especially that the presidency has always eluded the area and should be allowed to have it in 2023?
President of what? Where? I am telling you that there is no basis for national unity as it is today. There is fear in my people and that fear is very palpable.
Do you think Biafra is feasible?
Well, we have to test it, we came through Biafra and they won, we are suffering it, we have suffered it for a whole generation that is enough. Now, we want to go our separate ways and the United Nations and other institutions are aware that we have been patient. If we have to bleed now that our children may be free, this is the time.
But even the Biafra dream of the Southeast does not appear to be properly coordinated, with different voices speaking or you think otherwise?
At this time we have failed to galvanize Ndigbo and I think it’s a challenge before Nnia Nwodo leadership as the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo; it appears he is a bit too old now to see what the youth want. We should just vacate the stage for younger people to battle this thing out with our neighbours. We are in a technological age, nobody who is analog can run it and it will be effective. You have to be current, hitech, to be a leader at the age that we are now.
Do you think if we have had the right leadership these things will not be happening?
We sol d our portage, we sold our rights in preference for personal gains and that has to stop, leadership has been aberrant in our own area, they have been pursuing filthy lucre leaving things undone that should have been done. They are half-baked people any way, so we have lost the crème’de la crème of the leadership.
Some have argued that your generation did not pass a good leadership baton?
Well, we fought and put down the conditions and the new generation were lost in their recovery from the war. They were victims of the war the spirits that reincarnated after the war are those that suffered the trauma of war, so their prerogative, preference is to fight for their stomach. Those are the people leading us now. They are not properly equipped with the history, none has been written. I just finished my autobiography and it has been published. The story of Nigeria is well captured in the book where we went wrong.
Do you share the view that leadership in Nigeria has become transactional?
Well, in the hands of inept leaders it is a reality, but there are few who are acquainted spiritually with our mission in this part of creation. We will not take it because you cannot distort the truth, shed blood and still be correct as leaders. There is only one part to great leadership, which is truth, fairness, justice, equity.
Are you saying that there is nothing good that will come out from what we are having today, particularly from the political parties like the APC, PDP, and others on the ground?
I have not seen anyone for the past decade who has espoused positive principles for co-existence of this country because they are no longer equipped with the psyche and history of Nigeria, everybody is transitory i.e. let’s take what we can and carry on as if the nation will end after they die, but I know that generations will still come behind us, but what matters is what we do now.
You don’t believe now that the preferred candidates of the party (APC) are in charge of the National Assembly there will be harmony and other things will fall in line?
Their views there are also warped; there is no power that can change their rottenness in this country.
Let’s come down to your state, Imo and your take on its governance?
We are looking at Emeka Ihedioha as the choice of the people, but he has to bow to superior opinion in other to take us to a higher level. It is not just politicking, it is technocracy now, it has to be production-based, our people are surging with human resources, but there is no guardian at this time. So, we will eat ourselves if we don’t produce. He has to take us there, if he doesn’t we are all doomed in the East. We have a problem of vision and action in the Southeast, so we have a problem in Igbo land. I don’t see a sharp defender of the common man among them.
But do you think that the youths are ready for leadership?
The youths should be given a chance because they belong to this generation, they are more at home with it, what they do with it, we can take the blame for not mentoring them well, but this is their time, we must yield to them progressively.
What is your take also on the government’s efforts at fixing the economy?
The economy is in ruins already. The long-term plans are jinxed by intent to move money up North to let the nation crash if it wants. Agriculture has not fared well because the North wants to dominate the sharing of resources, so the Middle Belt and the South have gained nothing from the past administrations. They just want to impose leadership on the rest of us, I mean the North because they are in contact with Saudi Arabia.
The Southeast tried Biafra before and failed, you think that road will be easy for Ndigbo?
It is no longer whether it is easy or difficult, it is the position of nature that once evil grows it has to resolve itself by cancellation and we have to create an atmosphere to resist all evil. Is that not what our Lord’s Prayer is? The devil is here with us in Nigeria now planning for how to destroy good people and position bad people, but I can assure you that the agenda will fail because we will resist it.