Chief Tobby Anumaka, Patron, Okpoko Igbo, a Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that South-East agitation should be geared towards actualisation of president of Igbo extraction in 2023 and not Biafra.
He also spoke on agitation for power rotation in Imo State among other issues.
October 1st has come and gone and Arewa Youths did not carry out their quit notice threat, what is your take?
I’m not surprised because they had earlier withdrawn the order asking Ndigbo to leave the North. I knew that the order won’t fly because Nigeria is bigger than any individual or group. Even though the President said Nigeria’s unity was not negotiable, I believe that Nigeria has outlived its present structure and need to be restructured if indeed we must remain as one united and indivisible country.
Most Igbo especially the youths does not believe restructuring is the solution, with the launch of “Operation Python Dance” by the military in some parts of the zone and the proscription of IPOB, are you in support of military solution?
It is regrettable that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu did not heed the advice of Igbo leaders some of who surety his bail. As I speak with you Kanu has violated his bail conditions. To worsen matters, he formed his own army and security outfit in a sovereign nation which amount to treasonable offence.
However, instead of IPOB to focus its agitation towards realizing president of Igbo extraction in 2023, the group was talking about Biafra. But I am opposed to the use of force because the situation was not out of the control of the police, so, I urged the federal government to thread with caution as dialogue remains the best way out.
Also, restructuring of the country will take care of agitations as it will accommodate all interests and only when this is done that tension will be doused. Restructuring is the best option to correct the lopsided system. Nevertheless, I believe in one indivisible Nigeria where peace and justice reigns.
You recently threw your weight behind Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume as the next governor of Imo State in 2019, what about your other kinsman and former governor of the state, Ikedi Ohakim?
They are both my brothers and are qualified to govern the state. We have tried Ohakim and he did his best and now it is time to give Ararume a chance to bring to bear his wealth of experience. Stakeholders in lmo have decided to support Ararume to continue from where Governor Rochas Okorocha stops in 2019.
Therefore, the entire Okigwe zone have unequivocally endorsed Senator Ifeanyi Ararume’s candidacy for 2019. He has paid his dues and has maintained and continued to oil the wheel of his political structure in the state since 1999.
As an experienced lawmaker, a successful businessman and philanthropist, the response for his governorship ambition has been overwhelming. I assure you come 2019; Ararume will be the next governor of Imo State.
There is every indication that Ohakim may run, how come Okigwe people have been unable to resolve the dispute between them so that one will step down for the other?
Like I said earlier, both are qualified, but Ararume has 88 per cent chances. He has a formidable structure which cut across the 27 local government areas and he has the resources, the fear of God and well prepared.
If he has all these qualities, why did the former President, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo discredited him before Imo people in 2007?