Igwe Alex Nwokedi, Press Secretary to the Head of State during the military regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is the sitting Uthokoneze and paramount ruler of Achalla Kingdom, Anambra State. The 79-year-old former Chairman, Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers and erstwhile Chairman, Eastern Nigerian Traditional Rulers Forum, spoke to Sunday Vanguard on the calls for Biafra and threat of secession by Afenifere among other things
What is your perspective on the brewing agitation for Biafra in your part of the country?
General Yakubu Gowon, in one of his published interviews, spoke well when he said he was surprised that people could be talking about Biafra over 40 years after the matter had been resolved. Owelle Rochas Okorocha, a respected governor of the people, of course, has also spoken like a patriotic Nigeria when he counselled that Igbo should stop hating other Nigerians. That comment credited to him gives a good perspective on the Igbo people of this country. Igbo people are loving people but we should talk about what unites us than talking about what divides us.
I have read a lot about the so-called agitation for Biafra and I even read something about people who said they wanted to secede from Nigeria and become Oduduwa country. Biafra and Afenifere are no threat to the unity of Nigeria.
So, as far as I am concerned, we should talk more about what unites us than what divides us. I am more concerned about the need to develop all the regions of Nigeria. I am concerned about the need for government both at federal and state levels to collaborate and bring physical development to all parts of the country. It is sad, for instance, that Enugu-Awka-Onitsha Road is not motorable.
As a matter of fact, when I was coming to Lagos, I drove through the old road to link the airport and that road, so narrow with narrow bridge, is very dangerous. I have read so much about how contractors handling that road complained that they have been owed for over three years, a situation they said had led to the retrenchment of many of their workers including the expatriates and that they were now considering folding up. I appeal to the Federal Government to look into the issue and come to the aid of the people of that area by paying the money owed the construction company so that they can fix the road in good time. The road facilitates the movement of goods into and out of the South-East to other parts of Nigeria and, if properly fixed, falling and breaking down of vehicles plying the road will stop and, also, it will boost the economy of the nation from that axis.