Hon. Charles Anike is the National President of Eastern Union (EU), a political pressure group for the people of Old Eastern Region. In this interview with EJIKEME OMENAZU, he spoke on President Muhammadu Buhari’s new ministers, the bail granted to the Shi’ites leader, El-ZakyZaky, among other issues. Excerpt:
How do you see President Muhammadu Buhari’s new ministers?
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These set of ministers were not appointed on merit. The Presidency seems confused and has run out of ideas and overwhelmed by the troubles and complex situations the government created within four years in power. The ministerial list indicates that Nigerians should not expect anything different from what obtained in the last four years. Nigeria may be heading for a worse recession soon. In Nigeria, people do the same wrong thing and expect good results. The list of appointees shows the exercise was just compensation for party loyalists. There is no form of consideration for the future of the electorates. There was no notable technocrat among the names. Most of the nominees have corruption cases. The looters and prospective ones have been provided with another opportunity by Buhari to continue their looting ventures in another dimension.
Going by their names, one would have expected the President to forward the names same day, or at worse next day after the National Assembly inauguration. Even before the purported general elections, the President already had the list in his pocket. All bargaining and agreements must have been concluded before they went into the field for the 2019 general elections.
Do you think the ministers could Prosecute President Buhari’s Next Level agenda?
We only hear of Next Level, without an explanation what it is about. In 2014/2015, the same people said ‘Change’. Nobody cared to ask what the purported ‘Change’ was about. Now, it is Next Level. What is Next Level about? The so-called ‘Change’ brought about increase in fuel pump price, high exchange rate that reduced Nigerians to poorest people in the world, closing down and relocation of many multinational companies to neighbouring countries, further worsening the country’s unemployment rate, and another dimension of electoral fraud, among other ills. The Next Level agenda may end the corporate existence of Nigeria. We have already seen Ruga agenda, Miyetti Allah encroachment and more.
The ministers can help Buhari prosecute his Next Level agenda. They are his trusted allies. Buhari said that he would not appoint people he did not know as his ministers. So, these ministers would compromise and assist in the subjugation of Nigerians and establish Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda.
How do you see the release of El-ZakyZaky after four years of incarceration, and the arrest and detention of Omoyole Sowore, the promoter of the on-going #RevolutionNow protests?
The courts had granted him bail several times and the government failed to obey them, leading to loss of several lives through protests by the Shi’ites. The only language this government understands is violence. It handles peaceful protests in a crude way. See what happened to the #RevolutionNow peaceful protests across the country. This government detests opposition and criticism. They are teaching peaceful Nigerians to resort to arm struggle. Those who make peaceful change impossible will make violence change inevitable. Well-meaning citizens have made up our minds to get the country back from the APC.
It is a matter of little time. Nigerians shall regroup and effect a positive change. Buhari and the APC cabals have returned the country to the dark days of dictatorship. But, well-meaning citizens are now determined to bring back true democratic rules. The government is advised to release detained Omoyele Sowore now or expect more protests.
The Boko Haram and bandits have been decimating Nigerians, including top military and police officers, yet the president has not re-jigged the Nation’s Security Chiefs. How do you see this development?
President Buhari is a retired Military General. But, under his watch, Nigeria has been witnessing the worse security challenge since its history. Under the previous administration, we witnessed Boko Haram terrorism and some minor agitators in the South East and Niger Delta. But, under an ex-Military General, we are faced with Boko Haram, Fulani killer herdsman, kidnapping, banditry and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
The worst legacy of the APC-led Federal Government is the politicisation of the Nigerians military and security agencies. Now, one of the virtues that make the military effective and sacred is its ‘no sentiment’ culture. This is no longer there. Such virtue has been eroded the security agents. A lot of them are saboteurs. No wonder our vibrant soldiers and other security agents are now slaughtered like chickens by terrorists.
Buhari prefers to work with his Fulani kinsmen. The Boko Haram, bandits, killer herdsmen, and so on are traceable to the same Fulanis or Miyetti Allah. The criminal elements like Boko Haram that were arrested by the Jonathan administration were granted freedom by the current administration, after they killed thousands of innocent Nigerians? The killer Fulani herdsmen have been killing and still killing people in their native lands, without being arrested. But, the IMN has been tagged terrorist group, just like the unarmed and harmless IPOB in the South East. This government is not sincere in ending the security challenges; rather, it is directly and indirectly creating more. These killers and blood letting agents are from one particular part of the country, where the security chiefs are also from. Someone or group must be benefiting from the evil.
How do you view the emerging trend of the Fulani vigilante groups mounting roadblocks along major roads in parts of southwest, especially Ondo State?
This was confirmed by a prominent citizen of Ondo State. We were shocked. It vindicated former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement that President Buhari administration had Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda. At a security meeting in Enugu, the Miyetti Allah announced such plan for South East and we immediately and vehemently rejected it. We warned them of our readiness and determination to resist them and defend out territories. As it stands now, it is left for the south west and any other part of Nigeria to either accept or reject and resist such moves by the Fulanis.
Several self-centered leaders in south west are ready to betray their people just to actualise their 2023 ambitions. However, such individuals are everywhere and not peculiar to South West. People everywhere should be wise and brave enough to resist such encroachment on their ancestral lands. The Fulanis or Miyetti Allah should move their vigilantes to the North East and North West where Boko Haram, bandits and kidnappers are operating freely.
If we need vigilante groups in the East, we will regroup and engage our Bakassi Boys, while in the South West has the OPC groups that are always at alert. These vigilante groups are more formidable and prompt than any Fulani group.
How do you see the order of both the Senate and House of Representatives to Gov. Godwin Obaseki to re-proclaim the Edo State House of Assembly and the insinuations that the lawmakers were acting on the interest of Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman?
First, the House of Representatives acted too fast in issuing order to the governor. Even the Senate should have stopped action when the issue was before the courts. It is doubtful if they did proper investigation and exhausted all avenues for amicable settlement among the Edo lawmakers. Their action also left no one in doubt that there was a powerful hand working behind the scene stoking the fire. Of course, we do not expect anything less from the current National Assembly. The 9th Assembly is nothing more than a rubber stamp and a gathering of men and women that lack confidence, except few. They are tools in the hands of the Presidency and the APC cabals in the corridor of power.
Look at the way they screened and okayed all the ministerial nominees by asking them to ‘Take A Bow and Go’. You cannot compare this 9th National Assembly with the 8th Assembly leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogora. As it stands, there are no longer democratic principles of separation of powers, checks and balances between the legislature, executive and judiciary arms of government.
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