•Jonathan set a standard in governance despite his shortcomings
Agitation for self-determination or independence is a common weapon often used by oppressed people in any society to express their minds and draw attention to their plight. However, what such people do not always bear in mind is who or what should be the rallying point whenever their desire is achieved. The case of South Sudan which gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 after a long drawn civil war is still fresh.
Perhaps for this reason independence has not brought peace to South Sudan. Instead between 2013 and 2015 the world’s newest country witnessed a civil war that displaced about 2.2 million people and threatened its existence.
It is against this backdrop that the founder and leader of Living Christ Mission Inc., His Grace, Most Rev. (Prof) Daddy Hezekiah raised a pertinent question on the agitation for a Sovereign State of Biafra by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), demanding to know who among the lot will be the leader of Biafra if gotten today.
Daddy Hezekiah known as Lion of the tribe of Igbo (Odum Ebo Igbo) in an interview with the AUTHORITY on Sunday in Onitsha wondered if the South-East Governors who have impoverished Ndigbo will continue to lead them.
While asking if Ndigbo could ever lead themselves, he vouched for the legitimacy of the agitation by IPOB but noted with dismay the attitude of Igbo people who behave as if they can never lead themselves.
On MASSOB/IPOB, the Living Christ Mission leader said: “In 1967 I was in class 3 and I was less than 15 years before the war. It was terrible. We suffered a lot. You can imagine a child that was less than 15 trekking to Owerri and Orlu from my village. So children of today that are chanting war songs should be very careful. War is never a pleasant experience anywhere. Listen to me very attentively on this issue of Biafra. When a nation begins to expand; I am not in support of having Biafra through war. Sometimes I am worried to ask: if we have Biafra today, who will lead us?
“Is it these governors that cannot lead their states effectively? Which of them? Otherwise I can’t see anything wrong in having Biafra. If in the future we have Biafra, there is nothing wrong with it. I don’t want it through war but peace. Were six nations not created out of Yugoslavia which Macedonia is one? Was it not from Czechoslovakia that they created Czechs and Slovakia? Is it not true? Was Soviet Union not formerly 15 nations? So what is wrong? When a nation grows bigger and bigger there is nothing wrong in creating another nation out of it but let peace be the watchword.
“But my fear and question is can Ndi-Igbo lead themselves? With the way we govern ourselves in Anambra, Imo and Abia States; can we really govern ourselves if the dream of Biafra materializes?”
He observed that the case of poor governance is worse in Abia, noting that the people of Abia State are suffering too much. “Look at it, somebody traveling to Port Harcourt through Umuagwo normally is stuck for about 10 hours due to bad roads. But when the governor will pass he would use helicopter. It’s very unfortunate,” he said.
He emphasized the need to tell the truth to those with the mandate to govern the states in South East and called on the media to draw their attention to the situation of things.
According to him, the governors should not lose sight of the blessings which people often poured on leaders who do well as well as the curses being rained on others for poor performance. “These old men and women rain curses on them because of their exploitative tendencies which will never spare these corrupt leaders. As well, those they are blessing will surely harvest their blessings,” the man of God admonished.
Generally, Daddy Hezekiah advised governors to govern their states well so that when they leave office, they would retain their respects like that of Akanu Ibiam, Nelson Mandela, Nnamdi Azikiwe and so on. “Let them know that money is not everything but the blessings of the righteous is what matters. God answers the prayers of the oppressed,” he concluded.
In addition, Daddy Hezekiah asked President Muhammadu Buhari to be prepared to accept defeat if all the people surrounding him will not allow him to perform.
“First of all, I know that President Goodluck Jonathan made mistakes in different ways. He is a good man but some aides he surrounded himself with dealt with him. Some men of God who were around him dealt with him too. But one thing I am thanking Jonathan which I will like the present government to learn is to accept defeat like Jonathan did when the time comes. When the leader of this present government lost election in 2011, so much blood was shed; so many people were killed. And if they had lost in 2015, there might have been a repeat.
“So I commend Jonathan; I commend the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I personally saw some members of the PDP who were beaten black and blue in Kaduna, Kano and those who were chased out of the polling units so that they wouldn’t participate in that election, yet Jonathan accepted defeat with honour. So I advise the present government to learn from Jonathan and the PDP.
Daddy Hezekiah who is the Proprietor and Chancellor of Hezekiah University Umudi Nkwere, Imo state counseled Christians to keep on praying for Buhari. “But coming to this regime, we are still praying for Buhari,” he noted. He said Buhari may be good but asked, what about those people surrounding him?
He also took a swipe at the Senate for raising issues that are not useful to the people such as asking for a ban on the importation of rice through the land boarders so that rice importation should be done through the wharf only, describing such assertion as idle talk. He said the ban would not affect farmers’ income because farmers achieve a lot through competition.
“Despite the importation of rice from Thailand, people are still suffering from hunger. I wonder what would happen if they ban it,” he asked.
He observed that there is ulterior motive in the proposal for rice importation through the wharf only.
He said the President should not allow a ban to be placed on rice importation and on second hand cloth (okrika) because these items help the poor people. “This country has bright future but as long as we don’t have good management, the future is not bright,” he opined.
Daddy Hezekiah also bared his mind on the raging controversy on same sex marriage. He said: “You see this same sex marriage, what these leaders in the western world do can simply be taken as a lip service. I have never seen any leader from the western world that goes about with a fellow man as a wife. Does President Barrack Obama of the USA not go about with his wife, Michelle?”
He said gay people should bury their heads in shame and should not come out in the public because what they are practising is very shameful. He asked further: “Supposing students are told to bring their parents to school and all men and their wives come, would you parade a fellow man as your wife? Won’t people spit on them (the gay)?