Chief Anyim Nyerere is a former gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abia State in 2015 and senatorial candidate in 2019. In this interview with MBACHU GODWIN, he speaks on party politics and other national issues.
The leaders of your party in Abia State have been at daggers drawn over certain issues, how worrying is this situation in your estimation?
What you are saying is strange because I don’t know what you mean by crisis. Where people have important things to discuss and air their views, that do not mean disagreements or crisis, even husband and wife disagree. So as far as I am concerned there was no such disagreements that can be considered injurious or cause for disaffection as you want to position it. This is part of the online phobia in this country and the world over where people use social media especially WhatsApp to create such disorder and it should not be taken serious. In practical sense, there is no crisis in Abia APC. In Abia, we have one executive in the state ably led by Hon, Donatus Nwamkpa. We have leaders in various units. In Abia APC, we run a collegiate system that makes the fear of having acrimonies in the party, but it does not exist. But, you may have some acrimonies leaders whose loyalists go to the social media to promote their principal which he may not even be aware. Nobody will make himself an issue, Nyerere is not an issue neither Ikechi Amenike nor anybody at all, the party is bigger than anybody.
Are you not concerned that as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 general election, your party has not recognized your efforts in building the party in the state in terms of appointments.
In my state there is an adage that says whoever that is rejected cannot reject himself. It is because of ideology that made me to join the All Progressive Congress (APC) because as a progressive I share and believe in the ideology of the party. I was a member of the APC interim NWC Committee; I was the 1st national vice chairman of APC for the South-east APC. I was the first gubernatorial candidate of the party in Abia State in 2015 and senatorial candidate of the party in the 2019 general election. I didn’t join APC for appointment, but to seek for elective position and to join others to develop the state. Appointment is not in my power, if given, I will take. This appointment comes from God, one day, God will remember you, some ministers today may have gone through this process. This is not what one should border himself, at the appropriate time God will remember us.
The crisis in Edo State chapter of your party, APC appears to have defiled solutions, what do you think is the way forward?
The greatest evil that befall any organisation is when they allow personal issues or interest to override or take precedence over the objective of the organization. The crisis in Edo APC is a personal issue between two brothers, the national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshomohole and the governor, Godwin Obaseki who were friend’s. This is intra party infractions, it is an evil wind that blows nobody any good. We should learn from the experience of Zamfara and Bayelsa. They should resolve the crisis so that it does not affect the fortunes of the party in the forthcoming gubernatorial election. I want them to resolve the matter and stop distracting the generality of the party faithful so that we don’t get it wrong and blame ourselves.
There is a bill in the National Assembly seeking to grant immunity to presiding officers of the Assembly, what is your take?
Immunity for presiding officers of Assembly will bring in untold abuse. Why request for immunity in the 1st instance. If you give everybody immunity , it will bring lawlessness, everybody will go and do what it wants to do. When you look at the three arms of government there are functions that don’t want distraction, if we allow it like that, it will not portend well to us. The beauty of it all is after your tenure whatever offence you commit the appropriate institution will prosecute you. So, immunity will not portend well for us if every body has immunity, it will lead to rascality. It will not be a wise decision to take. The truth is that the bill is self-serving and not in the best interest of Nigeria’s democracy. You cannot build democracy with impunity, the bill should be discarded and not allowed to see the lights of the day.
What is your take on the proposed Amnesty programe for repentant Boko Haram insurgents in the North?
If you use the word repentant, it means they are no more part of Boko Haram. So I don’t see anything wrong in granting them amnesty. If there is a way all of them can repent that is better for all of us and that is what we are praying for. What I am trying to say is that whatever any means or method we use to solve it, it is better for us, if there is a way to get the people that are involved and say enough is enough it is better. It is still better and less expensive . Whatever that will bring peace, let’s do it.
Two former governors of your state are in news for alleged financial corruption. While one has been convicted there are calls by some stakeholders in Abia State for the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to hasten the prosecution of other one. What do you make of this situation?
Nobody should support evil. But when a matter is before an authority it behoves on us to allow them do their part and then report back to the people or government, that is why they are enforcement agency. We don’t have the power to prosecute them, why not allow the agency do their job. I believe that in as much we have people who are zealous for accountability and transparency, we should be equally careful not to interfere. Let’s allow the EFCC do their job without putting them under any pressure.