Nigeria Must First Address Hate Action Before Hate Speech–Brady Nwosu

By Ikenga Chronicles December 14, 2019

Nigeria Must First Address Hate Action Before Hate Speech–Brady Nwosu

Hon. Brady Chijioke Nwosu is a freelance writer and journalist who was educated in Enugu, Nigeria; São Paulo, Brazil; and Connecticut, USA. A former Governorship aspirant in Imo State, Nwosu holds degrees in Political Sciences and Criminology.

In this interview with 
Ikenga Chronicles, Hon. Nwosu discusses the way forward for Nigeria, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the death of the rule of law under General Muhammadu Buhari, Igbo Presidency 2023, and why “hate speech” will continue to flourish in Nigeria.

Excerpts.

How do you see the move by the federal government to secure a new loan to fund infrastructural development?

I must say we have borrowed enough and I just don’t know where this one is coming from and any money borrowed now is just to service the existing debts and nobody is building any infrastructure. What infrastructure are they talking about? At the end of the day, it will end up in their private pockets. So far as I am concerned, nobody is interested in Nigeria. People still have strong allegiance to their ethnic nationality rather than the country. There is no patriotism in Nigeria and that is what is wrong with our so called leaders whose main concern is to enrich themselves and their families. So nobody should tell us anything about borrowing for infrastructure. We have heard that too many times. The money will still end up in private pockets just as it has always been since the inception of Nigeria.

How did you receive the news of Orji Uzor Kalu’s imprisonment?

Nigeria is a Buccaneering and fighting country. I look at Orji’s sentence as obscure and as having the undertone of a conspiracy theory. Why now? That is the first question you should seek answers to. This whole thing is coming now because of the agitation for Igbo Presidency in 2023, which for some of us, is really just a scam. You have the former governors of Plateau and Taraba also in jail because of religious and tribal bigotry. You have Dasuki in jail because of vendetta. So the conviction of politicians in Nigeria is based on vendetta, political, ethnic and religious bigotry.

What is your take on Omoyele Sowore and the DSS?

You see, we are operating a different system of government under the cover of democracy. You recall that President Buhari worked under the Late Abacha and has been an Abacha apologist since then. So what happened during the Abacha dictatorship is what is happening today under the cover of democracy. Recently, The Punch came up with a very strong Editorial which elicited mixed reactions. But for them to come up with that editorial, it tells you that there is indeed a whole lot going on. So we are actually operating in a civilian dictatorship right now. So when there is dictatorship, there is no rule of law. That is why I don’t look at our so called democracy as democracy at all. It is at best a mere civilian regime. So for many of us, we are not surprised at the turn of events. If Sowore had said his agitation is for a sectional interest, he would be very safe. Since the creation of Nigeria, we don’t have an idol, we don’t have a hero because nobody is interested in Nigeria as a country. They look at Nigeria as a working site. We all have very strong allegiance to our ethnic affiliation and not the nation. So the idea now is that, if the courts have granted Sowore bail, then I really don’t see why he should be rearrested without a court order. It simply means that there is a reign of impunity. There is no more rule of law.

How will you rate the rule of law in Nigeria today?

There is nothing like the rule of law in Nigeria. How can you have the rule of law when there is no democracy? What we have is civilian regime which is gradually graduating to a civilian dictatorship. A Viking country.

Which reminds me, what is your take on the hate speech Bill?

Hate actions beget hate speech. So you can not address one in isolation. Hate speech started with one of the founders of Nigeria and an icon of the North Ahmadu Bello. That is the first recorded history of hate speech, when he alleged that the Igbos want to dominate everywhere and he therefore urged his people to resist such domination. This was followed by the pogrom against the Igbos which was a hate action. Since the days that Zik was denied the Premier of Western region through hate speech and hate actions, every other day in Nigeria is a manifestation of hate speech and consequently, hate action. So if this regime decides to promulgate such a law, they should first of all tailor it on the consequences of hate action which causes hate speech. And then they should be prepared to jail a great portion of the population. Because you cannot be destroying me and still say I shouldn’t talk. You cannot be stealing our commonwealth and mortgaging the future of our children and say we shouldn’t talk. It is not possible. They should stop committing hate actions and hate speech will disappear.

What is your take on the agitation for restructuring?

Let me tell you, if we had a Nigerian military, I would have suggested that they should takeover power so that we can all sit back and discuss Nigeria. Unfortunately, what we have now is tribal occupation military. Be that as it may, we need to discuss Nigeria. We must go back to the drawing board–right where we started in order to get things right. Even the name Nigeria is not suitable. Restructuring is simply the only way out of our current mess. It will help as a push back on this ethnic agitation and separation. But as things stand now, the North is afraid of restructuring for reasons only them know. We must go back to how we were before the first coup that disrupted our system. We must have the regions taking control of development and the running of affairs in their areas rather than a central government controlling everything. It is only then that every region will begin to develop according to their strength, ability,capability and choices. That is what is obtainable the world over. So why can’t we have it here? The unitary system is not good and that is the brain behind the agitation for separation. In Igboland today, the agitation for separation has gone very far and the agitators have a silent majority that are still nursing the hope for the Republic of Biafra. So my position is that, we need to restructure and we need to do that now before it becomes too late. There is no patriotism in Nigeria, that is just the truth. Our patriotism is to our regions and ethnic nationalities and that must be respected for the nation to grow.

But IPOB was proscribed…

The proscription of IPOB is just out of ignorance. Nobody becomes a terrorist without guns or harmful objects. The agitation for Biafra is just a simple and peaceful agitation by people who believe in what they are looking for. They are not terrorists. In any case, you can only make the pronouncements. You cannot stop them from their agitation. The IPOB is still existing and the proscription is rubbish. The leader of IPOB is still there and he is the most feared human being by this government. He is making waves. He makes broadcasts all the time and Nigerians listen to him, because people believe in him and know that his agitations are genuine. In fact, people believe in him now more than ever. As it is now, an average Igbo man believes that the Igbos are been pushed out of Nigeria. Nigeria is moving without the Igbos and it is not going to work. Right now, the only thing that is still existing about this country is the location. The country itself is far gone. So for me, the proscription is just an effort in futility. IPOB still exists and is even getting stronger.

There is also the issue of zoning the Presidency in 2023 to the South East and how this might help balance things. What is your take on that?

In reality, turn-by-turn Presidency will never take this country forward. And that is one of the things that have destroyed this country. But since it has gone this way, I think the Igbos have the right to the Presidency in 2023. But I don’t believe in it. All this promise of Igbo  Presidency in 2023 is mere scam. In fact, everything points to the contrary. How many prominent Igbos  do you have in APC? But that is not even the issue here. Whoever becomes President in 2023 will still fail just as this government has failed. Until we restructure and get things right, the Presidency is inconsequential. Whoever goes there will fail, because the country is gone. For me, I don’t even believe that there would be any election in 2023. I have a strong conviction that this President will extend beyond his four year tenure. They can simply amend the constitution to extend the tenure to six years. Whichever way it goes, anybody coming in 2023 without a restructured Nigeria will still fail.

How do you think the security challenges in the country can be tackled?

The country is not okay. People are still holding strong allegiance to ethnicity over nationalism. And then the leaders are not helping matters at all. It seems the security concern of the government is just in the South East and South South. You see massive deployment of security personnel to these regions but they are not there to provide security. They are there on the mission to extort money. That’s just their concern. So the people here are under siege. You see that when the people who are supposed to provide security turn round to become the major threat to security, when injustice holds sway, when the law is not allowed to. When people are denied their rights, then there is bound to be the reign of anarchy. It is as simple as that. Look at the current security architecture of the country. You can see nepotism even in the security heads. The heads of all the key security arms in the country are from one region and of a certain religious belief. You have people who have run out of ideas manning the security structure of the country. How do you expect them to give what they don’t have? Its not possible.

Recently, there is the issue of border closure, as a means of addressing our economic development issues. What is your take on that?

Well, that is just a way of inflicting more pains on Nigerians. The only thing this closure has done is to bring more hunger and hardship on the people and to frustrate small businesses. If the government is sincere about developing local production capacity, then they should start with patronizing Nigerian made cars. We have a local car manufacturing company here that is producing good cars. Instead of wasting billions on importation of cars annually for politicians, the government, beginning with the President should start patronizing IVM and ban foreign cars. You don’t start your economic reforms with draconian policies that are targeted at the suffering masses. In the end, whatever their reasons may be, the closure has only succeeded in inflicting more pains and loses on ordinary Nigerians. The politician at the top there don’t have a problem. They are eating the foreign rice they have barred, they drink expensive foreign wines. In fact, everything they eat, drink, wear, and drive is foreign, including their furniture and carpets. So what are they saying. Why not close the border on foreign medical trips so that we can fix our hospitals back home? Why not close the borders on education abroad so that we can fix our educational system here? These are areas that concern them and you will never hear them say anything there.

One of the key planks of what the Buhari administration campaigned on is anti corruption. How well do you think they are doing, in this regard?

There is nothing like fighting corruption. In fact the so called war against corruption is the height of corruption itself. Check, for every single person they have jailed over corruption charges there are serious political lining. Look at Nyame, look at Kalu, look at Dasuki. They are not fighting any corruption. It is just another way of stealing from others to enrich themselves. What happens to the billions upon billions that the EFCC claims it has been recovering? Why are they still interested in borrowing more money when we have recovered so much loot already? When the governor of Kano was caught with dollars in a clear case of corruption, what happened? He got a pat on the shoulder for doing a great job. Contemplating borrowing more money now to further impoverish this country is corruption. Taking of all key federal projects to the President’s village is corruption. So what corruption are we fighting?

People have accused this government of nepotism. Do you agree with them?

So long as we continue to have rotational presidency, so long as the political leadership is tribal and religion-based, we will continue to have the problem of nepotism. Unfortunately that’s how it is. For instance, what is the need for establishing a University of Transportation in Daura? In the first place, do we need it? If it were a government that is patriotic, they will simply have faculties of transport in all the federal universities across all the six geopolitical zones. But no, they had to establish a whole University of Transportation in Daura. It doesn’t make sense. We don’t even have a public transport system, and we are establishing a University of Transportation. Is transportation our problem? We don’t have roads, we don’t have light, we have serious security challenges and you are establishing transport university. They should go ahead and establish University of Power and University of Security. Unfortunately, our leaders are suffering from acute lack of ideas. They are empty. We are in a mess and like I said, the only thing that can save this country is urgent and honest holistic restructuring.

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