Biafra agitators are right,....But I've always wanted a One Nigeria - Orji Kalu
|Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu|
Below are the compelling stories, the interview was too long, so we decided to cut it short.
When asked about his opinion on what the DG of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said that the protesters should forget Biafra, that it is dead.
Kalu said: I cannot say The people who are asking for Biafra have the right to ask for Biafra, but I believe in the largeness of the country. I believe that Nigeria should exist. I believe all Igbos should be in Nigeria. But we must be in Nigeria with security; we must be in Nigeria with fair play; we must be in Nigeria that would give us true federalism; we must be in Nigeria that would give us justice; we must be in Nigeria that treats everybody equally; we must be in Nigeria that does not recognize Christian or Muslim, Buddhist.
This is the kind of Nigeria I would like to see. Biafra is a metaphor. It would be a recurring decimal to the end of my life and to other generations to come. Attacking them (protesters) is a wrong strategy because they are without arms. You can only attack people that have arms.
The law is very clear: they have the right to protest; they have the right to say they are looking for the State of Biafra as long as they don’t molest any Nigerian. As long as they don’t cause any damage to any public property, they have the right to say they want Biafra. It is allowed everywhere in the world. But for me, Orji Kalu, I want a united and stronger Nigeria.
Do you think that the South-east got a fair deal under former President Jonathan? Former Vice President Ekwueme said it didn’t.
I cannot also say that, because I remember one time I was talking to President Buhari about our roads. I jokingly said, ‘Sir, if you want to contest in 2019, I would like to see you build Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-PortHacourt, Arondizogu-Okigwe, Umuahia-Cross River roads.’
I was just joking with him. He said, ‘Look, you had people in government that could have done it (the roads) – the SGF, the minister of the economy, the deputy Senate president, the deputy Speaker – why didn’t they do it?’ He said he would try to put them in the budget.
That was a big eye opener for me. I have never gone to Mr. President to ask for anything personal from him. I’ve always gone to discuss the collective problem of the Nigerian people. Like when they were talking about Nnamdi Kanu, I know all the discussions I had with the president.
Do you think Kanu’s prolonged detention is justified?
I cannot say anything about that. You know the case is in a court of law. I cannot condemn Kanu or agree with him. The matter is before the court.
But Kanu thinks the Igbo political elite have betrayed him and that is why he is suffering today.
Kanu cannot say that. This thing is not what you get on the road. If a young man comes and sees what elders have seen and thinks the elders are keeping quiet, he should ask the elders what is happening.
He feels betrayed…
No, no. He cannot say that.
But you are part of the Igbo elite that he is looking up to; that has betrayed him.
He is like my younger brother. I made Kanu’s father the traditional ruler of their place. I’m very close to the family. I am very close to the father. I’m very close to the mother. So when somebody will sit down and wouldn’t ask elders what is at the community square, whatever the elders have seen, you will see too.
I am very sure, we would negotiate his release; I am very sure of that. President Buhari is not as hard as he looks; he is a very soft man. You know, leadership is a burden; people can be inside the room, people take decision for them and they don’t know.
I believe there must be extra things, from what I hear from the security agencies, that Kanu did, and that is why they are holding him. They got him on video, how he was counting how he would kill people and the number of people he would kill, etcetera. I don’t know whether it’s true or false I have been able to ask and this is the recurring decimal.
The security kept telling me that he plotted to kill people, including me, including many other Igbo men, including President Buhari, including any other person you can think about. I don’t know whether it’s true or false, but I still feel he holds a British passport. He could be released to the British ambassador and (they can) let him go to Britain.