Chief Okey Nwagbara is a chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) from Abia State. He has never failed to voice out his dislike for what has been happening in his party in the state of recent and by extension the nation.
In this interview he spoke about the recent visit of the Minister of Information and Orientation to Abia and the controversial high rating of the state in the development index of the country. He also spoke about the re-entry of the former governor, Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK), into PDP and many more.
Recently the Minister of Information and Orientation visited Abia and rated the State Government high in infrastructural development and good governance, what’s your reaction?
I was actually astonished to see a man as experienced, as intelligent and as exposed as Labran Maku, coming to praise what was shown to him, not what was done. One of the embarrassing aspects of that tour was the appearance of traditional rulers, waiting for the minister at every point he stopped, to welcome him. That made me to contemplate surrendering my chieftaincy certificate to the Eze that gave me the traditional title because I realised that the values of traditional institution in my Ngwaland in particular has been reduced to nothing. That will not happen in any other part of the country.
We are not doing good to ourselves that the Minister of Information could visit the state and instead of showing him bad roads, of which we have many, they went and showed him some little pictures that Abia State has good roads, they don’t lack bad roads.
If Maku is serious with what he is doing, let him without the consent of the state government, come down to Abia State; we will show him these roads and after that he would be able to realise that there are so many roads, that Aba as a city has no roads.
When we talk about building roads, it doesn’t mean when you patch a junction that got deplorable since the past one year and when you patch it, you claim to have built a road; no, that is not building road. We were here when the late Chief Sam Mbakwe, former governor of old Imo State, built roads, not when you resurface an existing road, you say you are building road, that is deceit.
Look, let me tell you why I like OUK. When he was in power, he liked constructive criticisms and he always made amends but now it’s a different game. But we can not stop criticising because we want our party, the PDP, to be the best in Abia as it is in Akwa Ibom, Rivers and other states where their governors are performing.
The former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, was recently re-admitted into the PDP, what’s your reaction?
You call him the former governor of Abia State but I see him as future president of this country. Orji Uzor Kalu’s re-entry into the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is a very wonderful development; it’s going to make PDP healthier. As a democrat and one of the registered members of PDP in Abia State, I’m too impressed with his re-entry.
It’s going to make PDP in the state like I said earlier, healthier and, in fact, working. The party in the state has not been working all these years but Kalu will bring in his ideas, his manner of carrying people along, his pure democratic practicality and his open-door way of doing things that made him a successful businessman, acceptable by all the presidents in the world.His re-entry into the PDP will bring a very good advantage to my party in the state because he is going to make the party more acceptable in the state because the way the party is being run in the state, people no longer like the party. But his re-entry into the party will bring a lot of dividends to the PDP in the state.
I laughed when I read in the newspapers that some people from the state went to Abuja to block Kalu’s re-entry into PDP.
Kalu is one of the founding fathers of the PDP and you do not expect some people to like his re-entry into PDP because some of them were brought into PDP by him.
What do you have to say about the alleged harassment of party executives in Igbere Wards A and B by the military over the PDP registration card given to OUK?
By virtue of the constitution, the military and particularly the army’s responsibility is to defend the territorial integrity of the country. They have no right to delve into the internal matters of any state. They were invited to the state during the kidnap era, but the army in Abia State are trying to delve into other areas that are not their responsibility and it is our duty to bring this ugly development to the notice of the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of defence staff. They should caution the army to stop the harassment of innocent citizens of the state.
No matter the amount of harassment, I want to use this medium to thank the chairmen of Wards A and B of the PDP in Igbere for doing what is right. They should not be deterred and God will protect them, as they have done the right thing.
I read the other day in one of the national dailies where the PDP chairman in the state stated that the PDP card given to OUK was fake and I said to myself, could people bring themselves so low because of politics? Could people, because they want to remain in office at all cost, forget yesterday? I know very well that Senator Emma Nwaka had a very short-lived tenure in the Senate and he was once a commissioner during Kalu’s administration. From this brief history, you should be able to know that he was made by OUK.
Are you in support of the formation of Njiko Ndigbo and the call for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction?
I am not only supporting the formation of Njiko Ndigbo and its ideals but I’m also calling on well-meaning Igbos, both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, to come out and support the efforts and vision of OUK and fight for the presidency that is the right of Ndigbo, right now. It is not given out free; you have to fight for it.
Igbo man should be supported to be the next president of this country. Look, let me tell you something, Igbos are the most widely travelled people in the world. It is an Igbo man that will restore the pride of this country. If it will be possible to give Igbo man the presidency of this country for only 30 days, you will see miracle. You see Nigeria as a very large country, yet it is very small if you have the brain on how to manage Nigeria because the resources are there.