Publicity Secretary of Njiko Igbo, Brady Chijioke Nwosu has said the president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction is to emerge in 2015 on peaceful negotiation.In an interview with Daily Sun, Nwosu, a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant for the 2011 elections in Imo State, reeled out strategies the organisation is employing to bring to fruition the aspiration of the Igbo race.
What is Njiko Igbo?
Njiko Igbo is a fledgling socio-political organisation set up to mobilise and bring every Igbo at home and in the Diaspora under one canopy and then reach out to other groups and regions towards the realisation of the political dream of the race to produce the president in 2015. It also comprises people, who either of the parents was or is of Igbo extraction, including sons and daughters in-law.What we want to achieve is to bring all these categories of Igbo under one canopy.For the project in view, we don’t want to work at cross-purposes because it is better for every body inside the house to be peeing outside than one to be peeing from outside to inside.We have realized that the inability of the snake to move in pack or group is what leads to their untimely death, so, we want to move together and speak with one voice so that the rest of Nigerians would listen and key in to our demand. A broomstick you know can easily be broken but a bundle of broom is very hard to break. We want to be together, our differences had robbed us our relevance in the past.If we unite we can easily win the hearts of people of other zones for the project.
In the past, we were seen as the beautiful bride by other regions and in this vein, wholeheartedly supported the North to produce the presidency that is, in the first and second republic. Remember the NPN/NPP accord that helped Alhaji Shehu Shagari to form the second republic government. It was the same in the first republic of Tafawa Balewa’s government.
We also supported the emergence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to emerge as the president even when his people of South West turned their backs on him in 1999. In 2011, the South East zone gave President Goodluck Jonathan the highest percentage votes, higher that his South South region. Remember when Jonathan was sidelined when late President Yar’Adua was in Saudi hospital, it was an Igbo minister that shouted and shouted before Jonathan was allowed to function in acting capacity. One good turn we are told deserves another and this is the pay back time for other zones to reciprocate the support and sacrifices that the Igbo have made to them.
Even though we are scattered and sizeable everywhere, we know that it is not only the votes of the Igbo that will give them the presidency and that is the more reason we are forging a common front to reach out and present our agenda before every Nigerian.
What is your strategy towards realising Njiko Igbo’s dream?
We are plain; this is not the time to say that we would not play our cards on the table for all to see. There are two ways of getting power – peaceful negotiation and coercive diplomacy. We have all these options on the table but what is not in out agenda and would never be is coercive diplomacy or violence.We have tried it in the past and would not repeat it even though the Niger Delta employed violence before attention was given to them and they got the presidency. With the violence through NADECO and of course, OPC, following the annulment of June 12, 1993 elections, they were listened to and a special arrangement was made for them to produce the presidency. Political pundits believe that the violent activities of Islamic fundamental group, Boko Haram is politically motivated to pave way for the North to produce the presidency.
We are not considering violence, we are employing peaceful negotiation by reaching out to other regions and stakeholders and some of them are buying into the idea and are waiting to see how far we go before they come out openly to lend their support.
Nigerians are very reasonable and very godly and religious. We always talk of equity, justice and fair play because these are the tenets and cardinal principles of our religious beliefs or faith whether as Christian, Muslim or Traditionalist. That being the case, it is certain that the North has produced the presidency or heads of states, starting with Tafawa Balewa, Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Mohammed, Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Abdusallam Abubakar and Umaru Yar’Adua. These add up to over 35 years of our 52 years of independence. The South west produced Olusegun Obasanjo and Alex Shonekan, both spending over 11 years in the presidency. The South south by 2015 would have occupied the presidency for five years, while the South east just had a stint at it for only six months.
If we are not hypocritical about our faith, which hinges on equity, justice and fair play, it presupposes that this zone that has occupied the presidency but for only six months should be given the opportunity to do so.
We know power is not given on platter and violence is not on our table, that is why we are reaching out to other zones and stakeholders putting these arguments before them and like I said many are buying into it. We have found out that Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the manifestation of an Igbo as president. Igbo are the most believers of one united Nigeria and that is the more reason you see them in all parts of the country contributing to the socio-economic development of the area. You can’t say that of other ethnic group.Another strategy is for all Igbo to drink, eat and even go to bed with the project. Every Igbo man, woman, boy or girl has friends, associates and business partners from other ethnic groups, through this; we would get across to every body in the country. Is there any Nigerian from other regions who doesn’t have an Igbo friend, associate or business partner? I had said our sons and daughters in-law are members of the group, including those either of the parents are of Igbo origin. So Njiko Igbo is a mass movement.
Is the organization not parallel with Ohaneze Nd’Igbo?
It is not. We are all working towards Igbo interest; actualizing the Igbo dreams. There is also Aka Ikenga and C21; it is all about Igbo relevance in the Nigerian polity.
People say Njiko Igbo was set by former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu to actualise his presidential dream?
It is not true. Members of the group are in various political parties. The discordant tunes that have made the Igbo not to be politically relevant has been a source of worry for Kalu and so he wants to bring all Igbo under an umbrella so that we decide our destiny not others determining our destiny or shaving our hairs in our absence. When the time comes, the candidate may emerge. Credible Igbo abound who can take the nation to its Promised Land.
If President Jonathan wants to run, what would your organization do?
For now he has not declared. Until he declares then we know what to do. Mind you, the president is also a sticker for justice, equity and fair play and I would not be surprise that he could also be making a case for the presidency of Igbo extraction.
Why is it that you don’t criticize Jonathan’s government?
We are not political party to assume an opposition stand and besides there are many Igbo in the government, who are the fulcrum of the government. It doesn’t make sense to criticize for the sake of criticizing. The head of the Economic team is an Igbo just like the oil minister by virtue of her marriage. It doesn’t make sence to begin to pull them down and like I said we are not a political party. Our leader is presently not a member of any political party, what is uppermost and primordial to him is to arrest the discordant tunes by Igbo when it matters most. So attacking the government is not part of our agenda.
Kalu recently offered to mediate between Federal Government and Boko Haram. Are you in support of it considering the risk involved?
I support him very well. This is borne out of his love for the nation. That is what true leadership is all about, finding solution for crisis. Kalu has this Midas touch, what ever he is involved is always successful and I think the ice would be thawed if the federal government gives him a chance. This is what only very few Nigerian would accept even if appointed or commissioned considering the great risk involved. Kalu is on ground in the North, like we know he schooled there and have numerous followers, friends and also has business interest in that region. The government should give him the go ahead to stop this senseless killing that has tagged us terrorist nation.