Arise Africa Magazine's Exclusive Interview with Hon Innocent Ekweariri, a renowned Igbo leader and the Imo State/Southeast Co-ordinator of the Eastern Nigeria Peoples Assembly. He spoke on security challenges, Igbo nation, 2023 presidential election and other national issues.
Arise Afrika Correspondents conducted the interview at ENPA Imo State Secretariate. Relax and digest the editorial content
- CAN WE MEET YOU SIR?
My name is Hon Innocent Ekweariri, am from Aboh Mbaise, in Imo State and am the Imo State/Southeast Co-ordinator of Eastern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (ENPA).
- TELL US ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION
Yeah, my brother the Eastern Nigerian Peoples Assembly (ENPA) is a non partisan, not-for-profit organization, it is an organization that is centered on 2023 presidential election and the emergence of a Nigerian President of core-Igbo extraction.
- WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, WITH REGARDS TO THE PROJECT OF ENPA?
GOOD, It is very obvious, and everybody, every Nigerian should know that since after Independence, about sixty years ago, the core Southeast has not tested presidential seat, in order for Justice, equity and fairness, to promote national unity and ethnic tolerance, presidential power should at least come to the South East. This power have been tested by the entire northern geopolitical zone, the South West and even the South south, now is the time for the South East to take the mantle of leadership at the presidency, for Justice to prevail, we must stick to the zoning system.
- WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE PRESENT POLITICAL SITUATION IN NIGERIA?
I think it's been a tough and tensed one, the killings and social upheaval, everybody knows, violence everywhere as a result of leadership failure and lack of political will on the part of Government to do the needful in order to curb these societal vices that threatening everything we collectively own as a nation.
So that is why the Eastern Nigeria Peoples Assembly ENPA, after much critical evaluations, came to a resolution that power must change hands, that a core-South easterner must become the Nigerian President, so that true democracy will prevail, south east will produce a Nigerian President of core-Igbo extraction for Nigeria to enjoy true democracy
WHAT ARE THE FRAMEWORKS ON GROUND TOWARDS ACHIEVING THE ENPA PROJECT COME 2023?
We are very prepared and geared towards achieving the ENPA project, going forward ENPA has established functional chapters in the 36 states of the federation, including the federal capital territory Abuja, and they hold there periodic meetings, mobilizing and conscientizing the masses wherever and whenever, ENPA have also struck alliance with the Arewas and the Oduduwas, ENPA cannot do it alone, hence the alliance, and they share our plight and have acknowledged that is our turn to produce the president of the country, we all know the business is out and that is why we are more aggressive than them, to make sure that ENPA does not relent or get distracted in its secred quest to accomplish their project...we are prepared and geared towards achieving results.
WHAT DO YOU THINK 2023 HOLDS FOR NDIGBO?
Well, it will be an electioneering year, by the grace of God Nigerians will be going to the polling units again to cast their votes, so it will be a very crucial year towards the political fate of NDIGBO as stakeholders in the Nigerian polity, Eastern Nigeria Peoples Assembly is gearing up every means within its confines and beyond to enthrone a Nigerian President of core-Igbo extraction, we are not just talking about Senate, House of Reps, House of Assembly or Governorship, but a Nigerian President of core-Igbo extraction, so all igbos should as a matter of urgent importance key into this project that ENPA is so serious and aggressive about, and we are committed to delivering and Igbos should expect it
HOW DOES ENPA REALIGN OTHER GEOPOLITICAL ZONES THAT HAVE THE SAME PROJECT TO SUPPORT THE ENPA PROJECT?
Yes, ENPA is aware, other geopolitical organizations are fighting and waxing stronger, but we are talking about zoning system here, Eastern Nigeria Peoples Assembly is pure talking about zoning system which favours the Igbos, and not the northerners or south westerners, whatever they are doing we believe is jamboree, because if they respect and stick to the zoning system, the Peoples Democratic Party, All Progressive Congress and other political parties will zone their presidential tickets to south east
HOW DOES ENPA AND AN IGBO PRESIDENT CURB THE INCESSANT SECURITY CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA?
See, what Nigeria is lacking is quality leadership, once true democracy is administered to Nigerians the security challenges will reduce to its bearest minimum.
You know the Igbo man by nature is not a sectional person, our demand for a Nigerian President of core-Igbo extraction is not on selfish grounds, it is a President that will deliver dividends of true democracy to all Nigerians, the igbo man according to survey ; brings about development, anywhere he goes, no other tribes does that in Nigeria.
So if you give the mantle of leadership in Nigeria to an Igbo man, without sabotage of his efforts, the Igbo man will deliver true democracy to Nigerians, remember the Igbos have investment all over the country, so he will definitely channel a good amount of his efforts curbing the security challenges in Nigeria, the Nigerian President of core-Igbo extraction will gaurantee security of lives and properties in Nigeria.
WHAT IS THE STRENGTH OF ENPA'S HUMAN RESOURCES?
Yes, we have the strength already before ENPA was formed by like minds of our generation, our weakness are for people to agree and key into our project, we have the strength and capacity that is why we have made much impact within these short period of ENPA'S formation, it is still a long journey to 2023, and ENPA is gradually conquering more grounds, mobilizing and conscientizing our people everywhere and other tribes across the niger that the ENPA project is worth keying into, because ENPA membership is open to all irrespective of ones tribe, religion or political affiliation.
FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO NDIGBO?
WELL, my message to our people is for them to support and key into ENPA'S prospective project and play an intensive part towards its realisation, Igbos should put on ENPA as cloth, drink it as a drink, if political parties can be pronounced in Nigeria, then why not ENPA that accommodates all political parties? So ENPA should ring more bells in the heart of Igbos, they should rally round ENPA because it is our thing, it is the shortest way for us to capture the presidential seat come 2023.
- THANK YOU SIR
God bless you