Injustice, inequality and the massively flawed Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has being described as part of the endemic cankerworms stunting the growth and development of the country.
A frontline Community Leader and politician of Abia extraction, Onyeze Henry Ndukwe Orji gave this insight during an Exclusive Interview with News Admiral as he ventilated his opinion in a wide range of local and national issues.
The Masters Degree Holder in Chemical Engineering hinted that topmost among the various challenges facing Nigeria’s political development is “traditional sentiment, especially as it has to do with religion and ethnicity”.
“A major political undoing in Nigeria which has blinded most to good vibes and positive judgement is religion and ethnicity. Performances are now based on who is involved, which has not allowed us as Nigerians to set standards that will stand the test of time. People now get justification for whatever they do from religious and political leanings which has stunted the growth of politics and culminated in retarded development.”
Orji Ndukwe further said that the shortfalls run at cross purposes with running or operating standardized political concepts as seen in the Western World where considerations are not based on colour, religion or creed but on content, who the people are and what anyone is bringing to the table via their contributions to nationhood, which is a major consideration before giving power to persons, which he hinted is different from narrow sentiments as witnessed in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.
On his expectations of President Tinubu’s administration, Ndukwe Orji expressed pessimism given what he described as religious and regional leanings of the present administration.
“I do not have any high expectations drawing from a very sensitive angle. The Tinubu Administration has its foundation established on religious and regional consideration. When someone posits that the yardstick to measure political relevance is religion and ethnicity, and the person holding this view is of particular percieved favoured ethnic background shows the level of abysmal decadence and a wrong parameter to measure where the pendulum of victory swings.”
“This is a widely held notion in certain quarters in Nigeria and Tinubu’s coming to power is weaved around the above philosophical notoriety. That is what it is.”
On the nation’s constitutional architecture, the former ABROMA Czar in Abia State described it as hugely flawed and a document that was not crafted to cater for the constitutional need of Nigerians but to serve a particular selfish interest.
“The other ground of insincerity is what we operate as a grund norm, which is the Constitution of Nigeria. The document is flawed, just to be modest. It has never being the People’s Constitution. It was handed to us by the Military. Abacha prepared it as self serving, which allowed him to operate an Authoritarian cum quasi Unitary system where he operates from a straightjacket from the Presidency to the Ward level. Ever since Abacha’s transition, no Nigerian Civilian President has bothered to say let us revisit it with a view to giving Nigerians the Constitution they deserve. This was not done because they took advantage of the lapses to foist and perpetuate themselves on the people, making the President so powerful that he does whatever he likes.
He went further to describe the flawed Constitution as a very dangerous dimension of Nigeria’s democratic experience.
“A situation where the courts provide that a President is sworn in before commencement of litigation, in that kind of situation, the President cannot be expected to lose in the courts. He takes the full levers of power, appoints the Chief Justice of the Federation, Chief of Army Staff, Inspector General of Police, provides security for the judges and handsomely remunerated them, because it is well known that the Executive funds the Judiciary, what do you expect? How could anyone imagine the Judiciary giving judgement against such an all powerful President?
“The above creates the atmosphere of insincerity and inequality where the President is up there contesting with those without such enormous powers. He has everything in his disposal and also manages the country’s resources on a daily basis. This is a situation of inequality and no one gets justice in a situation of inequality.
On the controversies surrounding the qualifications of President Tinubu, Orji also queried the Constitution.
“How can a Constitution allow us waste so much resources arguing qualifications of Mr President? The same Constitution that allows you Right to aspire to any elective Office in Nigeria also provides the qualification for such aspiration. Tinubu must come clean.”
“What is the man’s name? Who do we know Tinubu to be because he who must go to equity must go with clean hands. Why have we found ourselves in such a dilemma trying to know the identity of our President? Who is he? Where was he born? Which Primary School did he attend? Are all these not supposed to be in public domain? Why has the Constitution made it difficult that someone can rise to the highest Office in Nigeria without his identity being known and in public domain? When someone cannot lay facts bare on the table, one wonders the kind of leadership such a person can deliver.
Ndukwe Orji also hinted on the expectations of his Nkporo in Ohafia Local Government’s expectations of him.
“Nkporo people have their expectations on me as a community leader because I occupy a special place in their heart and that I will always be there to guide and take decisions that have far reaching positive impact on our socio-political life. That being the case, News Admiral has activated me to start a kind of process of consultation to agree with my people to the effect that activities that will culminate the 2027 politicisation has commenced in earnest and to make hay while the sun shines.
Nkporo as a people are interested in the State Legislature, both Wings of the National Assembly and of course who becomes the Governor of Abia State come 2027. We are also interested in who occupies e highest Office in Nigeria. As consultations commence, we will put all into consideration and build a political platform that will secure and guarantee our political relevance in the emerging dispensation.”
On Abia State, he stated that leadership is huge burden of responsibility and every leadership comes with a different pattern given the fact that they are chosen to represent the people, reiterating that all eyes are on leadership to improve the lot of Abians, while all are enjoined to keep hope activated, praying for the best.