February 17, 2020

STATE OF THE NATION: Blame leadership failure not Buhari — Odimegwu

Leadership, Odumegwu

.Buhari can’t stop restructuring if…

.Amotekun, MASSOB, IPOB, others ‘re symptoms of a failed federal structure

Former Chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC, Eze Festus Odimegwu, in this interview shared his thoughts among others on the state of the nation, why flames of insecurity is flickering and the way out.

What do you think about the security initiative of the South West called Operation Amotekun?

The most important thing President Muhammadu Buhari should have done if he was coming really to be the saviour of Nigeria and the father of modern Nigeria the way he was showing the zeal to be before he was elected, is to start the restructuring of Nigeria.

But he is treating restructuring now as if it is a non-issue. So, the real issue is that the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be in reality because reality is one. Reality is not divided. You cannot say something is a federal republic in name but not federal in reality.

People do IPOB, MASSOB, Civilian JTF, Hisbah, Niger Delta Avengers, Operation Amotekun, and you fight all of them. That is what fools do. People that are intelligent don’t do that, you solve the problem.

The solution to all these and more is to restructure Nigeria. The 12 sharia northern states can do Hisbah legitimately according to the constitution they will give themselves. They can become the Islamic Republic the way they like and still be part of Nigeria.

But that will be what they love to do, that is who they are. Their worldview is there; their way of life is there. The way they eat and dress is there. The air they breathe is there, that is who they are. What they are, what they know, what they are doing will be consistent in that worldview.

Then the northern Christians called Middle Belt, including Southern Zaria, Adamawa and all the places you have Christians in the North can come to the North Central and then arrange themselves the way they like according to Christian ethics. That is who they are.

The Yoruba can do their Operation Amotekun and arrange themselves the way they are. They have a way of resolving that being a Christian or Muslim is not important because they live together under the banner of Oduduwa. You allow them to do that and progress. That is who they are.

And the Igbo who are the original republicans and democrats in the whole world will do their own. Igbo republicanism and democracy started four million years ago. That is why in Igbo cosmology every Igbo man and his Chi are the same. Every Igbo man technically speaking is a god.

You cannot subdue such people. They believe in that, it is their being. They didn’t inherit it, they are born into it. You allow them to be the exceptional people that they are, stop envying them.

The Federal Government will be the orchestra master and harness these potentials and create a civilization that can challenge any civilization ever created by man.

So, Nigeria can lead Africa and the black race to become relevant in the convergence of cultures before humans will begin their migration into space to occupy it in search of eternity.

Infinite immortality as life is possible. Immortality, in reality, is possible as a scientific project work.

Ndigbo should not talk about IPOB or MASSOB, the Yoruba should not talk about Amotekun. There is no need to have Boko Haram in the North East and we don’t need to fight over Hisbah in the sharia states. People from the North should tell their politicians – governors and National Assembly members – to go out there and get Nigeria restructured or don’t come back home.

But the president’s body language seems to suggest he is not sold on the idea of restructuring

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Buhari has no capacity to stop it if these people vote in the Senate and House of Representatives tomorrow that they want restructuring and they send the bill to him, if he refuses to sign it into law, they will return the bill and override his veto and he will do restructuring tomorrow.

So, the problem has nothing to do with Buhari per se. It has to do with complete leadership failure across the length and breadth of the country. People who are talking don’t know what they are talking about. The people who have the knowledge and the strategy to make Nigeria a great country, many of them don’t have time for the type of discussions that are going on.

So, when you are treating symptoms and you are jumping up and down, you are not honest, you are hypocritical.

I heard some people say they are discussing Amotekun with Buhari. So, they will now do a political solutions. The Yoruba will now say, Buhari you know we are supporting you in APC, allow Amotekun, but you know the Igbo are not supporting you, so don’t let them be.

You don’t solve problems that way. Justice for one is justice for all. And there can be no justice without equity and freedom and equality of people.

The concept of justice didn’t originate from literature. It originated from the cosmos. In the cosmos, you have universal laws, you have conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, which overwhelms space and time as factors in the quantum realm. And that migrated down to the evolution of life and to the evolution of man. All men are equal.

It was the American founding fathers that handled it first in a better way in the history of humanity. But it applies to all humans, even Western science is on a wrong footing because it started from their concept of dualism.

Reality is none dual. Reality is one. The Igbo cosmology knows that it is one. That the Igbo man and his personal Chi are the same. That Chukwu is the aggregation of all the Chis of the Igbo. That every Igbo is a Christ. It is there in Igbo cosmology, four million years ago.

By the time it migrated to North Africa under Hermes Trismegistus when he propounded his Hermetic principles, he stated that reality is one. Everything came from it. When Thales of Miletus who was a Greek, the first to visit Egypt to learn philosophy when it was called naturalism, went back to Greece, which is actually Asia Minor, he told them that essence is one until the stupid Plato came and brought duality, mysticism and confused the West.

One of the problems in Western Quantum Physics today is that they have not weaned themselves from the idea of dualism but there is nothing like dualism. The march of the logos of the rhythm interacts at the intercept at the point where it meets the horizontal line. That point of interception of singularity is the point of the essence which is one.

All problems are like that. When you have a problem and you have evolved, look at the point where the thing is tied, untie it and you see order. What is enfolded will unfold into order. Because when you enfold it wrongly, it is frictional, it is generating heat, it is wriggling like a monster. That is what you call devil actually. When you untie it, it goes to its natural space-time forms and you have order.

Operation Amotekun, MASSOB, IPOB are all symptoms of a failed federal structure and people are trying to survive by just fiddling. They should forget fiddling and face the real issue. The ethnic groups of Nigeria should come together and face Buhari and the people in his government and challenge the National Assembly and all the politicians representing them to restructure Nigeria or don’t come back home again.

And it can be done in one month and all this storytelling and jumping up and down and hypocrisy and people talking nonsense will stop.

Why do you think restructuring is the answer to Nigeria’s myriad problems?

You cannot put yam and goat together and say they will form a unity. The yam will form a unity in the stomach of the goat.

The six regions of Nigeria are fundamentally different in their culture, where they are in the maturity grid of epistemology. That is what culture means. Culture is evolutionary. Some people are still at the belief stage.

Some people are at the reasoning stage, some people are at the science stage while some are at the high tech stage. That is where the Igbo are, solving real problems with real actions, not praying or hoping or reasoning.

When you put them together with people who are still at the medieval ancient antiquity age, those people feel threatened and feel like nothing. And rightly so. So envy always generates violence.

Where the Nigerian ethnic groups are on the epistemological grid is different. You cannot jump it. You have to go through evolutionary development. You have 13 million children out of school in some states, you don’t have that number in Imo State.

Imo State has the highest number of professors and Senior Advocates of Nigeria. You cannot compare it to states that don’t have any. So, let everybody grow at his own pace.

In some ethnic groups in Nigeria, people believe in egalitarianism. In my state, I believe that my brother who is a gateman can be bigger than me tomorrow and I will be helping him to really do that. And depending on what he decides with his Chi, his future will be determined. I cannot determine his future.

In some other places, the big man thinks his gateman will finish and his son takes over as gateman until the 20th generation.

The outlook is different. And because I believe in progressive attitude, as the leader in my area, I will teach my people, educate them to believe in themselves.

But the one who doesn’t believe in that will also hold his people down. You cannot put us together and tomorrow your scumbags will come and kill my progressive people. Let everybody stay in his area.

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So, when people tell you, oh, what is restructuring, maybe they know what restructuring is but they think talking nonsense is the way out. Politics is not about talking nonsense.

Politics is the process of taking decision in governance that brings about development. You need the knowledge to do it. And many people in the Nigerian public space are blind. Their minds and hearts are dark. You cannot lead from darkness. You need light.

People who know it should show the light to those who don’t know. People who have blind hearts and minds will fall inside the gutter.

And when they are there, they will be asking what happened, let us hope, let us pray, it is the will of God. It is never the will of God for nonsense to happen.

On this, religious leaders will disagree with you

All these people telling you the will of God, they don’t even know the real meaning of God. You know, language plays games on people. Nigerian government should actually protect Nigerians from the predatory attitude of some of these religious bigots.

Because the Nigerian public, most of them are not educated, the Nigerian masses are illiterates, they capitalize on their illiteracy and dehumanize them. It is the responsibility of the government in the protection of life and property to protect the minds of Nigerians.

Knowledge has gone far and it is deep. When you see a man who knows, he does things that look like magic and miracle but nothing in the cosmos is supernatural or superhuman. But human beings do supernatural and superhuman things with knowledge because who you are is infinite, what you are is eternal.

When Jesus Christ was dying, the Bible wrote, He said His father should forgive the people who killed him because they didn’t know what they had done. That is a major statement. Ignorance will make somebody do foolish things because it is darkness.

Is there any chance that such leaders will emerge in Nigeria?

What you see in Nigeria is darkness, not in a religious way, but physical, real darkness. And to pull it back and lift it up and bring Nigerians out of Plato’s cave and put them in the sun to see the beauty of existence, its radiance, you need Philosopher Kings – people with knowledge.

I can solve all the problems of Nigeria in one year. All! And I can solve it in one year without a salary. You make me the president today, and I sign an agreement with Nigerians that after one year, all these problems will disappear and don’t pay me, I will pay myself. And I will make it happen in reality, not storytelling.

But you have to go and get Nigerians who are fire-eaters, who understand the situation, Nigerians who know what existence means, who understand the cosmos, who know what being a human being means, who understand the power of knowledge.

A man running 100 metres does not look at his belly button. Amotekun is looking at your belly button. It is like MASSOB. But the beauty of it is that the people who are originating the idea are APC and they are Buhari’s people. So let us see how it plays out, whether they will play politics.

Security is not Buhari’s to give. He cannot determine whether people should be alive or not. He is not God. It is not his to give. Going to him to lobby for approval of “Operation Amotekun” is stupidity.

It means that people don’t even understand the issue. You should rather challenge your politicians to go and make sure that Nigeria is restructured or they do not come home again in all the six regions.

And when they go there, everybody will do what he thinks is right. Buhari is just one man who doesn’t even understand what is happening because he has people around him who are feeding him wrong information and then pursuing their own personal interest.

And Aisha that wanted a fresh air to enter and touch him, they shut her out.

When I see newspapers every day, 99 percent of what is in Nigerian newspapers has no meaning. Many of the publishers are pursuing their own agenda, blackmailing people, collecting money, they are not there for the mass education of Nigerians for the development of Nigeria. That is what the newspapers should be doing.

So, what is Amotekun? These are half measures.

Do you know the meaning of beauty? What is the link between beauty and technology? Many people don’t know. So, let every ethnic group remain at the epistemological stage of development so that envy will go in Nigeria because people who are higher on that scale will achieve more.

If you see some of the buffoons in Nigeria who are just gathering money, go and ask them what is the use of money, they don’t know why money is important.

Or you ask them the relationship between wage, labour, capital, value, price, wellbeing and welfare – seven parameters – they won’t know. They are just running around looking for money and they can kill to get money but money is nothing beyond what you can exchange it for.

And the most important things in life are free of charge. You don’t exchange money for them.

A school of thought believes that for equity, fairness, and justice, there must be a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction come 2023. But there is also a countervailing school of thought mainly from the north that insists that 2023 is not the right time. What is your take?

Igbo man has not been president of Nigerian from 1960 till date, so, how is Nigeria? That is why you have the mess you have. Are you proud of the Nigeria you have now? So, those who have been presidents without the Igbo, what have they achieved?

The presidency is not for people to go and steal. The presidency is to develop Nigeria. So, the Igbo have not been president of Nigeria for 60 years, so,  “Old boy, how now? How Nigeria dey?”

Nigeria is in a mess. Are you proud of Nigeria or proud to be a Nigerian? 99.99% of Nigerians are not because their lives are at stake.

So, who are the ones who have been presidents, let them come out and let’s ask them,  old boy, how far.

Secondly, when you know the characteristics of the six main regional blocks of Nigeria, their cultural characteristics, social characteristics, their justicial system and political economy, their aesthetics and axiological foundations, their technological foundations, and their system of perfection, and eternity, only the Igbo culture has the ingredients to make Nigeria great.

The Igbo are very exceptional people and there is nothing you can do about a matter of fact. That is why they are envied. But the Igbo should not lower their standards or themselves because people are envying them. They should just be who they are. And if Nigeria wants to go to blazes, let it go.

But the day Nigerians are tired of fiddling, and they want to start the march to greatness, convergence and eternity, they know what to do.

And one of the major things to do is to look for an Igbo and hand him over the presidency. I told you if I am president in one year, I will change Nigeria. I said that to Obasanjo once.

Because people don’t know what they don’t know, no matter how you are pretending. A lot of people are faking; they don’t know what they are talking about. And knowing is compound like I told your – your being, knowing, and your doing is one. In that singularity, it is deep, it has about 50 dimensions.

It is not just information, data processing. It is a singularity, it is deep. People who exemplify that reality, that is what you call in Disney World superheroes, black panthers. That is the link between divinity and humanity. They do things that look like magic. Like I told the guy who asked me, Festus, how come everything became beautiful and I told him the magic of informed leadership.

That happens every day. Look at other countries. Will you have a Singapore without Lee Kuan Yew? I don’t think so, everybody is not the same. Will you have America as it is today without the founding fathers – George Washington leading them? I don’t think so. Will you have the European march to industrialization without the French revolution? I don’t think so. Will you have human beings without the ancestors of humanity, that is Ndigbo (ndi gboo)? I don’t think so.

People can say what they like, people can express the opinion they like, but opinions are cheap. Reality is one. Truth is one. Ethics is one. Justice is one. Beauty is one. Perfection is one. And all these are one in a singularity.

People who can look into that singularity and unveil it do things others cannot do. People who are representative of that singularity do things others cannot do. People who are that singularity, the logos in cosmos, do things others can’t do.

I have done a lot of things in my life people think is magic. When I went to the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1975 to study chemistry, physics and mathematics in the faculty of physical sciences, having had a Grade 1 distinction in my school certificate examination from one local secondary school, I came with the ambition to make First Class.

In our welcome party, I asked one old student how many First Class they produced the previous year, he had a big laugh and everybody there started laughing. And I asked why they were laughing. They said the Chemistry Department does not produce First Class. I raised my hand and told Professor Okafor that I had a question and he said yes.

I told him I just asked somebody how many First Class they produced last year and he said none, and that I just wanted to tell him that I came to Nsukka to make First Class. I asked him what was wrong with the department.

That was only two weeks after our resumption and Prof Charles Okafor told me that what they said was true but that nothing was wrong with the department. He said anybody who merited First Class, would be given First Class. I told him I will merit it and left the party.

I went to my room, packed all the dresses I bought to do guy on the campus, took the night bus and went to my village, shared them to my friends and told my mother I will not be coming home except during holidays.

I went back to Nsukka, bought two jeans trousers, two t-shirts, two jeans jackets because Nsukka is cold, bought a jeans bag to carry books, bought all the recommended books, set up a library in my room and started reading.

After the first year, I was the best first-year student in the whole faculty of physical sciences. I got a university scholarship. I got a federal government scholarship. Some people who attended famous secondary schools like CKC, CIC, etc., said Festus, you can’t do it again, we were playing, now we are serious.

I finished and made First Class after four years. I didn’t only make First Class; I was the best graduating student in 1979. I was the Valedictorian. My result is still the best in Nsukka up till today. My professor told me last year.

Why did it happen? Because I know what some people who passed through Nsukka didn’t know in the chemistry department. When I went to Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh to do my Masters, I finished as the best student – first black man to be the best graduating student in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

When I came back to Nigerian Breweries, they said Festus did very well and I said I had to show it in practice that I did well. I did a lot of landmark things at Nigerian Breweries including challenging Heineken and winning in a technological, technical, scientific issue that make Heineken to say, make him the MD.

When I became the MD, the rest they say is history. After nine months, somebody came to ask me, what happened, I told him it is the magic of informed leadership.

This is at a personal level. And there are many people with this type of stories that are Nigerians. If those people take charge of Nigeria, in one year you will not recognize that you are in Nigeria. Lee Kuan Yew did it in Singapore. I will do it better in Nigeria. But I am not going to run around begging to help save Nigeria. If people want to save Nigeria, they know those who can do it. I will never run around for it.

Will those people ever get the opportunity?

It does not matter. Then Nigeria will collapse on their heads. We are saying the same thing. Igbo have not been president, and so what?  Gini ana emezi?  Are you not reading me correctly?

Do I look like I am looking for what to do? Do I look hungry to you? I have earned my life permanently. I have actually discovered that the best time of one’s life is when he has leisure time.

When I was a child, I thought it was the best period of my life growing up in Aba. We were fighting every day, jumping inside gutter and jumping out, I thought it was fantastic. We were the famous Aba Boys. When I was in school, I thought it was the best.

When I was in the Nigerian Breweries, I thought it was the best. In Nigerian Breweries, you had so much fun and at the end of the month they still paid you and I was surprised they were paying us after all the fun we had.

In my more mature age now, I think the best time of one’s life is his leisure time.

I told you yesterday, I will write 10 books. My 80th birthday, I will celebrate it with 10 books. I will launch all of them at the same time. That will be my gift to humanity to plot the path to immortality.

Forget what people tell you. Human beings are not creatures. What you get is what you get, what you can give yourself, not in a violent, looting and stealing way. No! Because that is not the way. There is one ethics, there is a good way to make the whole humanity to progress. That is the only way.

The greatest misery of the Buhari Presidency is that he put buffoons around himself, saying the people he knows. You don’t run the presidency with the people you know. You run the presidency with competent people who know.

And if he did it because of what happened when he was a military head of state when some people betrayed him, he did not evaluate himself to know whether it was what he did that made people to betray him.

It is all ignorance and darkness. Nigeria is a blessed nation and Nigeria will rise. Buhari is not competent to destroy Nigeria. He has no capacity to destroy Nigeria. Go and write it that I said so.

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