– A former governor of Anambra state Chukuwuemeka Ezeife has condemned federal government attitude towards economic development in Nigeria
– Ezeife also said that the current recession in Nigeria was caused by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration
A former governor of Anambra state Chukwuemeka Ezeife has condemned federal government approach over economic development in Nigeria. Speaking in an interview with Vanguard, Ezeife said the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration plunged Nigeria into the current economic crisis. He said the attitude and statements made by the federal government scared foreign investors away. “If the government of the country begins to say the government is broke, they (investors) have nothing to doubt. That accounts for so many exits from Nigeria,” Ezeife said. He also the federal government flooded the media with reports of Nigeria being bankrupt: “They took over and within a very short time they started making negative statements about the economy. This is not a matter of blaming anybody. You just look at how many companies have quit Nigeria. I know of a friend who brought in some expatriates to co-invest with him here.” “They were just about to get started when the first salvo from government was fired that the country should not be invested in, because that is what it means; that the country is broke, that it is a poor economic decision to come here. So, the foreigners ran away and the man is still struggling now to get new partners,” he said. The former governor and elder statesman cautioned the government on the now trending blame game among public officials. Ezeife said, blame game by President Buhari and his minister over the performance of past administrations is the most stupid thing to do and a waste of Nigerians time. “If it was the fault of the last administration, let him take us to all the things as they were during that administration. Let him take us to the price of rice that was obtainable before he took over; take us to that petrol price; take us to the exchange rate; take us to the market as it existed; take us back to what it was when you took over,” he said. Speaking on restructuring, the former governor said there is no basis for disagreement. He said restructuring should unite Nigerians rather than divide them. He also denied saying that restructuring is political.
“Indeed, it is more economic than political. We are concerned about improving the welfare of ordinary Nigerian people. It is not a matter of the rich. Those who are against it may be feudalists, who do not care very much about the welfare of the ordinary people. What am I talking about?” he said. On the break up of Nigeria and agitation for Biafra, Ezeife said he is one person that does not see a break up. He also said that Igbo’s are a gift to Nigeria, with the believe to develop and mend were ever the dwell.
“People like me don’t even think of any division at all because I believe that nobody in his right mind would want Nigeria to break up and the people, who seem to be pushing the break-up, the Fulani, are the least well-placed, if we were to break up because they would lose the most from a Nigeria that breaks up. “The Igbo, somehow would manage to survive and thrive; the Yoruba are already surviving; South-South, God blessed them; Middle-Belt, well, they might have problems, being the closest people to the Fulani but the bottom line is that Nigeria is better off with the same people it has now and that there should be no break-up if we think about the long-term interests of each group. “Let us look at the Igbo, they feel the most rejected at this stage. What is the problem? The Igbo come to a place empty-handed, he might even carry faeces on his head to make small money and gradually he gets a kiosk, eventually, he builds a palace in the place. Unfortunately, without knowing it, he would sit in front of his mighty palace and appear to ooze more confidence than the original owners of the land. And, if the Igbo is from Anambra, he may even insult some people without knowing it when he is boasting. Therefore, jealousy would set in and from there to hatred, then the next thing is blood-flow. This is the problem we have in the country. But I am pleasantly surprised at Nigerians.
In spite of what I have just explained, you find some people writing that Igbo are needed in Nigeria. I mean, these are people who can see. The truth is that Igbo are a gift God gave Nigeria. Look at anywhere you are talking about. Ijebu-Ode, go and count the houses. Go to Lagos and even in Abuja here or Kaduna, count the houses. Another Igbo principle is, “where you live, you mend it”, that is, you develop it. But we have over-done it and people are jealous of them and those who are jealous of them sometimes forget that they did not steal money and those who are Igbo forget that they can get a lot better by studying the people of the immediate environment, giving help and making friends with the local people. “The best thing is to restructure now; the earlier we restructure, the tighter the federation.