Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) and secretary of Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) has said he is not interested in Nigeria’s politics of 2023, because another election is not the solution to the country’s problems.
Evangelist Uko in a statement made available to our correspondents on Thursday, maintained that without restructuring, those hoping for a better Nigeria are on a wild goose chase.
Uko who also commented on the presidential aspirations of Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, accused the governor of playing the role of a spoiler, while also berating Goodluck Jonathan, the country’s former president for, according to him, being greedy for power.
Jonathan is rumoured to be nursing presidential ambition under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“A lot of people are asking me why I remain aloof and unconcerned at this time. I am a little bit suprised folks can’t read the thermometer correctly,” Uko said.
“There are only three groups active in my region today:
A: The politicos grining from ear to ear in excitement as they attempt to access power either as President, Vice-president, Governor or retire into the Senate. They are very busy today. They and their hangers-on, acolytes, supporters and followers have taken over the mainstream and social media screaming to high heaven, with cash exchanging hands.
B: The young folks agitating loudly for years; who still believe in their agitation, but who seem to have finally split themselves into factions and who now prefer to silently accept that the tempo of their agitation have now been defined by same politicos they had earlier looked unto with suspicion.
C: The ambivalent populace who look upto the next election as an elixir. They believe tomorrow will be better. They believe the elections ten months away will usher in positive change.”
According to Uko, “the excitement and optimism they exhude for a better tomorrow raises hope that the land will experience better days. That’s great.
“I am quiet because I don’t belong to any of the above listed blocks. If the public must know, I have been quite busy writing certain groups, parties and individuals.
“I wrote all serious contenders for the Presidency across party lines, Party leadership across-the-board and prominent leaders in the land.
“My message was simple. I pleaded thus: That if the two big parties do not zone their presidential ticket to the South East, as done to the South West in 1999, then there’s really no sincerity in granting the South East the opportunity to lead Nigeria for a season.
“Any person, cabal accessing power come 2023, who does not understand that the most important business of the day would be urgent revert to power devolution and resource control, would be deceiving himself, as true federalism remain the ONLY panacea to salvaging Nigeria.
“Reconstructing the polity is imperative for Nigeria’s survival, unity and progress. Abusing, attacking, threatening and insulting other contestants will not help our cause.
“I received favourably responses and believe my message was well taken. I am not excited about partisan campaigns and sloganeering. I’m not interested in accommodation within the system nor access to power and patronage.
“Forty-three years ago, in 1979, I witnessed the largest human crowd I’d ever seen as a teenager when the great Zik launched the NPP presidential campaign at Ngwo Park, Bede Wright, Uwani Enugu. I was marched on and almost passed out. My friends snd classmates Francis Oburu and Charles Achara resuscitated me at the home of another friend and classmate Joe Anunwa, who lived right beside Ngwo Park. The sea of heads frightened me. The legendary Zik, I assumed would win easily.
“Twenty years later, in 1999, Dr Pius Okigbo sent me to Boyle Street office of ALEPCO to mobilise youth groups in partnership with Prof Ben Obumselu at the Alex Ekwueme Presidential campaign office, at Sunny Odogwu’s imposing building at Lagos island. There was free transport to the Jos party congress and the frenzy and euphoria was high. There was no better candidate than Dr Alex Ekwueme, it seemed.
“Six years earlier, Chief Ewelle of Easygoing Hotel Ipodo, Ikeja, took me to the HOPE 93 Campaign office of MKO Abiola to meet Dr Jonathan Zwingina at the Opebi by Allen office of the Abiola campaign office. Youth groups under me were addressed by Chief Abiola.
“I never witnessed a greater campaign than that of HOPE 93. The candidate prepared for decades. Courted traditional rulers, clerics, elder statesmen and sponsored the wedding of hundreds of journalists. Mobilised the North, West, East and everywhere. He seemed unstoppable.
“I have seen quite a bit in my sixty years here. My plea and position remain unchanged.
“The need to reconstruct Nigeria supersedes the political ambition of any individual.
“Finally, I am disappointed with Governor Wike for playing the spoiler. I am greatly embarrassed by the greed for power, and self entered thoughtlessness of ex President Jonathan, who is willing to crush the South East dream after all we did for him. Sad.
“Those who expect me to join the dance and sloganeering, should give me a break. The politicos should enjoy their season. But they should also try and get it right for once. I wish them luck.”