“The entire South East regards itself as the hated. The rest are the tolerated and the small ruling clique is the beloved.”
“It is in nobody’s interest to break Nigeria, whether IPOB, Arewa, PANDEF, Oduduwa. Nigerians are proud of themselves. Nigerians love themselves. Why can’t we run a society to show that we are all Nigerians? A society that works for all the people, not for some people. Why do Northerners think that they will outsmart others?”
Professor A.B.C Nwosu, First Class Commonwealth Scholar and academic, joined the political arena with his appointment in 1986 as Commissioner for Health in old Anambra State. He served four miilitary administrations in that capacity including the new Anambra State. At the return to democracy in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him first as his Political Adviser and later as Minister of Health. Professor Nwosu spoke to Global UpFront Newspapers (GUN). Excerpts:
On state of today’s Nigeria:
“The present situation of our country should worry even the most incurable optimist. The simple fact is that all is not well with Nigeria. All that is going on in the country shows that the country is not well. There are three types of people in Nigeria today; the beloved, the tolerated and the hated. The entire South East regards itself as the hated. That is the truth. The rest are the tolerated and the small ruling clique is the beloved.
“I was Political Adviser to President Obasanjo. The then Special Assistant, who is not even up to the rank of Special Adviser, which is ranked as Minister of State, where would he muster the guts to call a Commander-in-Chief of the President that he served, you call him Divider-in-Chief? Would any of us descend to call this President that?
“And President Obasanjo had as his Chief Adviser and Chief of Staff, Major General Abdullahi Mohammed (rtd). He’s one of the most efficient human beings I have come across in my life. The President had a former super Permanent Secretary called Chief Uffot Ekaete as Secretary to the Government of the Federation. And we have all these lesser people serving as SGF and allow all these anomalies now. Obasanjo then had as National Security Adviser, a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau (rtd), from Zamfara. He is Africa’s highest rated and regarded Intelligence Chief. In charge of National Intelligence Agency and therefore member of his National Defence Council was somebody who went to the same school with me, an Igbo man, Ambassador Uche Okeke. The Ambassador wasn’t regarded as a traitor. He was in that position for a long time.
“This was a man who was thinking about this country. He took his Chief of Staff from Ilorin, Kwara State, SGF from Akwa Ibom, NSA from Zamfara, NIA from Imo and DSS from the South West. Who was the Chief Justice of the federation? Nigeria fights everybody now. Things can’t go on like this. And you see people who are worried that no country has survived a second civil war. Examine in your conscience, will the Aburi war have been fought if we didn’t have an alliance between the North and the West? And who was the leader of the West? And that was the man who went even against him.
“If you have the East and the West, the entire South now united, there will be problem in Nigeria. And you can see that the entire South South is united. It is in nobody’s interest to break Nigeria, whether IPOB, Arewa, PANDEF, Oduduwa. Nigerians are proud of themselves. If you leave them, they will marry each other. Nigerians love themselves. Why can’t we run a society to show that we are all Nigerians? A society that works for all the people, not for some people. Why do Northerners think that they will outsmart others?
“The problem is that there are six things to share, you want to carry all of them and store in your closet. And your brothers are just looking at you. I am part of Obasanjo and the conclusions he has reached. God bless him. He is the mouthpiece of Nigeria and has also earned the right to be the conscience of Nigeria. Anyone who says he hasn’t seen him should come up.
“It is painful that after you serve the country, especially if I serve my country to the highest level, you can be insulted so easily. But I know Obasanjo well. I served under him as Minister. He won’t give up. Start thinking of how to abuse him. He is not bothered whether you call him Divider-in-Chief or whatsoever that they fancy.”
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