From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Elder statesman and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ahamba, said that he could not hold back tears when he watched the Kaduna train victims being flogged by the terrorists recently.
Ahamba in this interview with Sunday Sun also spoke on the likely effect of the Muslim-muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while baring his mind on other sundry issues bothering the nation such as insecurity, especially in his state, Imo. Excerpt:
Do you think that APC can make any headway with the Muslim-Muslim ticket of its presidential and vice candidates?
I don’t think they should make any headway because any group that has opportunity of leadership must consider the feelings of the people. In a civilised nation, those who live in acivilised environment, it could be, some decisions have come to the front burner by the wrong decisions of certain individuals, they don’t gamble it because it would depeen the wound. So, in rational decision, it wouldn’t make any headway, that was why I said it would retire the political party.
Do you think it should have been the other way round?
Yes, of course, since Tinubu is a Muslim,he should have chosen a Christian. It’s an insult to Nigerians even to his fellow Muslims because if they have an agenda, they’re not involving every Muslim in that agenda. I think it was a wrong leadership decision and they would pay for it.
What do you think CAN should do next since it’s like this now?
The Muslims have their own association too, unless they come out in the open themselves CAN should relieve itself from political campaign, their are politicians who are Christians, let them come out and speak for the Christians, not the CAN, it’s a religious organisation and the constitution is clear, religious bodies are not supposed to campaign for elections. So, CAN should remove itself from this fight, let the christian politicians, particularly in APC do the fighting on behalf CAN and Christians.
Both APC and PDP do not have an Igbo representation in their tickets, do you think Ohanaeze has played its role properly?
Things that are wrong should not be done, Ohanaeze has people in APC, PDP, Labour Party and others, I don’t believe that these umbrella organisation should step into the arena, if they don’t have any of their people who can speak their mind in the arena, then they don’t belong there, Ohanaeze cannot deny its children in other political parties, if Ohanaeze comes out spitting fire on behalf of their son in LP, what about their son in APC and PDP?
What advice do you have for Ohanaeze?
Ohanaeze should prepare its sons before the election, they should educate their children on where they should be and where not to be, it should not back its children against the other, it will destroy the organisation eventually.
I guess you must have seen the viral video of the Kaduna terrorists flogging their captives and their threat to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari, what’s your reaction to this?
You will be surprised, I was shedding tears that night watching them; that flogging was not to those people, they are flogging the entire Nigerians, the biggest country in Africa, the strongest economic country in Africa and our soldiers are sleeping somewhere, planning what to do for more than one month now, I was shedding tears in my parlour and asked myself, “how did we come to this point?” Whoever that is in charge must be given a red card now, these things that are happening now are enough campaign against APC, if anybody is waiting for another type of campaign against APC, I don’t know what you’re waiting for, it’s just like somebody going into an examination, 2+2 and he writes 5 and you still want the teacher to pass you. Can anybody imagine such a situation we have been so humiliated, economy, we’re not there, education collapsed, security, zero, as you and I are sitting here now, we are not sure who will see each other tomorrow. There is a serious breakdown of law and order, yet you still see some people routing for those who have failed the nation, they want to give them a chance to come back because of personal gains. I hope the president and the presidency will also have cause to shed tears that night. I hope our gallant soldiers must have had opportunity of shedding tears too that will ginger them to do something. It’s an insult to the greatest country in Africa, they are flogging them to show us that we’re nobody and they still had the guts to open their mouth to say that they will capture our president, what else is left for them to do to us?
Let’s narrow the insecurity situation to your state, Imo. Do you think the challenge is worsening or calming down?
The problem with Imo insecurity, first we must ask ourselves, “who is fighting who?” The Imo insecurity is an internal war, that’s the most painful thing about it, it’s not an invasion, it’s Igbo man versus Igbo man, very sad indeed. When I wrote one article, I asked Ndigbo “Che nu” (Ndigbo think) ,that’s the much I can say for now.
What advice would you have for the governor?
Pontius Pilate did not kill Jesus Christ, in fact, he took soap and water to wash his hands to show that he has no hand in the killing of this innocent man, till today when you go to a real Christian church, what do you say “as in the days of Pontius Pilate he was crucified.” So, I’m talking as an elder to Hope Uzodimma, can it be said that in the days of Hope Uzodimma, Imo State was destroyed, let him think whether such remembrance is worthy of it or worthy of any person, that’s much I can say.
What’s your opinion about the lingering ASUU strike?
The Federal Government has no right to starve the university staff, in fact, university education should be our priority in this country, that the only way we can move forward, the presidency said there is no money, that’s their case, the lecturers themselves if I may go by Ayo Fayose, they have their stomach infrastructure to deal with and I understand that since 2011, their salaries have not been paid, let’s get our priority right, for me, university should be our priority. Why did the Federal Government agree to what it could not do, if I’m a president of a country and I can’t pay such money, I rather leave the office than agreeing to pay. If I agree to pay, I must pay it, if I have to bring down other things to pay it, I must do it, they have done that to ASUU two or three times and they have gone stubborn. Whatever it is, let both sides think about our children, the future is greater, the name “Nkiruka” is the name I love so much, the future is greater, if we don’t get that future right, then all of us will suffer at our old age, we cannot fall back watching other countries moving, it’s a pity we don’t even pay much for research here, we don’t appreciate nationhood. Recently, everybody cried that our girls were beaten in Morocco, but let us ask why the issue of their allowances have to arise again, they have qualified to come to that level, they have done well so far, why were they owed, why did those in charge allow it to go into negotiation, why won’t it affect their psyche? When they lost everybody started to cry and in Nigeria nobody pays for consequences, nobody will ask why were they not paid and they go to the next competition with discouraging mood, it’s a pity.