Chief Emeka Charles Kalu, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, is Director General, Global Initiative for Good Governance. In this interview with EJIKEME OMENAZU, he spoke on the ministerial allocation to South East, attack on former Deputy Speaker Ike Ekweremadu by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany, among other issues. Excerpts:
How do you see the ministerial allocation to South East by President Muhammadu Buhari compared to those of other zones?
What will I say, Jump up? Well I answered that question in a penultimate week interview. The constitution prescribes that representative must come from the 36 states to form the kitchen cabinet that will work with the president. If there were not such laws in Nigeria, I doubt if he would’ve considered anyone from South East, considering his open love for the people of this area since 2015.
Also to confirm what I just said now, all the ministers from the South East are junior ministers who are answerable to higher person. So what else do we need to know to prove South East is shortchanged?
We’re used to his methods.
Would you say that those ministers who were reappointed, or retained their positions performed well during their first tenure?
This is a technical question that’ll answer with another question so that we can find the answers together.
“If they all performed well, why did the Senate adopt the awkward method of TAKE A BOW AND LEAVE?”
I said it before, the screening time of would be ministers is the time Nigerians get the opportunity of assessing these men based on their experiences and find out where they fit in. We were not just denied that opportunity, we were given names without portfolios attached and like I predicted then, we ended up having round pegs in square holes. Someone shielded the old ministers, so let’s agree with them.
What do you think South East should expect from this administration?
I wouldn’t know. But I think we should accept what we get, even if it is nothing. What did we get during the first tenure? The high way from Enugu to Port Harcourt that started Goodluck who did one side, the one side that was continued by this administration has remained under construction since 2015, yet to reach Aba. All Federal roads in the East are death traps. What do you expect us to expect?
How could South East present its desire to produce the President in 2023 if it is to be seen as serious by the other zones to warrant their support?
First is that South East is part of this project called “Nigeria” and they fought so hard for her independence, so it is paramount that they’re given the opportunity to contribute like others have.
The way the East will achieve this is by building bridges and forming a united force in purpose. South East have qualified men that can turn the fortunes of the nation around. All they need is to reach out and liaise with other zones for the Presidency Dream to materialise.
How do you see the recent attack of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, by IPOB members in Germany?
Ekweremmadu is my brother and very good friend. I received the news of his attack with a rude shock. In our IGBO culture, we respect elders and have reasonable ways of expressing dissenting opinions, that method was not part of it.
For crying out loud, it was this man that stuck his neck out to secure the release of Nnamdi kanu, it didn’t make sense to me why the same man he saved would other people to attack him.
The attack is a national omen that every sane Nigerian should condemn, and have condemned.
Would you say that Nigeria needs a revolution for proper democracy to take its roots? If so, what form should such a revolution take?
I hope you wouldn’t accuse me of calling for overthrow of government because that word “Revolution” has been misconstrued possibly because of where we’re coming from.
But I think revolution in already under way in Nigeria. That was why we supposed Atiku as the man with ideas to steer Nigeria aright.
Any time Nigeria decides to sit together to discuss and reconcile our differences, forgive each other and decide how to co-exist, our problems will varnish overnight.
Democracy has already taken its foothold, what we need is consolidation and that can only come with dialogue and true send of patriotism and national consciousness. Nothing more.