Monday, 5 June 2017

God has set Biafra free—Prof ABC Nworah

By Okechukwu Onuegbu
 Image result for pictures of Prof ABC Nworah

Dr. Anthony Benjamin Chukwunwike (A.B.C) Nworah is a Professor of Gynecology at Calvary Foundation Greece, social critic, analyst and statesman of international repute. In a recent chat with publisher, Okechukwu Onuegbu, the 83 year old statesman with over 40 year experience as Chief Medical Director/Proprietor, Nworah Hilltop Hospital and Maternity, Eyes Services, Amawbia in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State bared his minds on various issues bordering the Igbo race, Biafra, Anambra and Nigeria.

As a medical practitioner of over forty years of experience, what actually is responsible to high rate of maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria?

The allocation for medical and health is always not impressing. It is adversely poor to address infrastructural and other needs of medical institutions. There are scarcity of health centres and equipments. Also, often times, few available ones are left with no proper attention, insufficient staff or on the hands of quacks. There are moribund health centres everywhere. The Government should provide better allocations for healthcare in the hands of professionals with effective supervisory and enforcement teams to ensuring compliance or utilisation.
Again, the government should give adequate attention to traditional medicine. I don’t understand why the conventional medicine should be disregarded. Even in overseas the traditional medicine is still in existence.
Also, there should be re-introduction of functional health insurance scheme. The public should be sensitised of its benefit.

Although you have retired from active politicking, you are in Anambra State. As an Anambrarian resident in the state, do you think the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano has performed to win the forthcoming election where there are oppositions trying to wrestle power from him?

There is nothing that will prevent Governor Obiano from retaining his sit come November 18. He is performing. I am 83 years old. I started seen politics from my days at King’s College Lagos. So, you can see that I am not saying this because I am in need of employment or contract from him. No! I am too old for that. Even if he gives one to me, I can’t handle it.
The question I would like to ask anyone trying to replace him is what new policy or project would you execute differently? Is there anything to be completed that has not been completed? They should stop making a hail of noise. They should wait till he’s through with his second tenure. He has attracted so many investments into the state. Our security and education sectors are also in good condition…

Recently, Anambra state High Court ordered the ANSIEC to conduct local government election. Would you advice Obiano to hearken to that court ruling?

Yes! In fairness to everybody, Local Government election should be conducted all over the country. There is no reason Anambra State shouldn’t conduct council poll. In the past I was among those kicking against it due to the fact that first of its kind held in this country was a disaster. The elected officers were accused of embezzlement of funds and among other executive rascality. I wrote several articles and news commentaries condemning the act.
However, I believed they have learnt their lessons. They have known what the nation is thinking about them. And they will surely comport themselves and work if the election is conducted again to bring government closer to the people.
You don’t sheer away from it because of forthcoming state gubernatorial poll. In countries like Great Britain, similar elections could be hold within two weeks to general election. Therefore the argument that it is closer to governorship election does not hold water. Anambra state government must bend down, surrender and conduct an election.

You said that Governor Obiano has paid his due as Governor and would surely return for second tenure. Don’t you think that the recent appeal court judgment sitting at Enugu that sacked the APGA National leadership led by your brother, Ozo Victor Oye would finally deprived the governor APGA flag?

See, the issue is bigger than what we are thinking. Amawbia and Awka always antagonise themselves. The two towns have been on each other’s neck for long. And this is why they are yet to become governor of this state.
It was in existence even during the time of Arch Bishop Obiefune as Bishop of Awka Diocese. It was then I tried reconciling them with his help. I took the matter up to Rome…
So, I can tell you that removal of Oye may not be unconnected to Awka and Amawbia feud. We know those involved. It may not necessary be someone from Amawbia or Awka. It could be someone living in Awka or within the diocese or territory. This is not the first time they have tried to remove him. Therefore, they should ignore it.

Don’t you think that ignoring the judgment may lead to contempt of court which could amount to imprisonment and so on?

Which court? Is it not Nigerian court? (Smiles with the reporter). This is type of ruling one can get from Nigeria Judiciary. It is unfortunate that the judiciary here is not helping matter. They need to travel to Europe for further studies and experiences. This is why there are lots of court judgment delivered which are yet to be adhered to. When you first listen to their judgment you will discover that most of them are biased. You see as a lawyer, you are not to be respected because of the amount of wealth you accumulated but due to kinds of quality judgment you delivered and its impact. I am not a lawyer but my son is. Even you—journalists, the society can only respect you due to articles and reports you wrote. The same thing is applicable to us, doctors and others. I am not condemning the entire judiciary. But the bad eggs among them are numerous.  

You said that Awka and Amawbia have been at loggerhead for long. What actually is the problem?

It is an issue of land. They have fought over it for about three to four times. I tried reconciling them after returning from Britain. But you know in Nigeria, you are nobody if have no money…
Obiano should ignore it. His campaigners should continue with his re-election project. This is not an issue. My bitterness is with the members of National Assembly.

What is your bitterness with the National Assembly?

What business are they into considering the kinds of wealth they are amassing today? I don’t know if they have conscience at all. That is why they are killing each other to win an election. The most annoying thing is that while the nation is crying of recession they still maintain their outrageous salary structure.
On the jumbo pays and allowances of our legislators as a whole, particularly our federal legislators it is scandalous in a nation where the vast majority live in abject penury, and where mass unemployment has become the closest companion of the entire society.
I want the federal government to address it. It must be noted that at N1million yearly salary of some senior civil servants, it will take each of them 30 years to earn what a federal legislator earns in one month, and the senior civil servant runs his domestic and social responsibilities including upkeep of his or her children without committing suicide. Why do our legislators need 30-times that amount each month? Are they not buying from the same market and running the same responsibilities? All we see from them are private helicopters, private jets, most expensive cars and most expensive houses at Abuja, London, New York, and all sorts of flamboyant life styles.
Our legislators just have to think over satisfying their scheme greed, and thereby fatally bleeding the nation. It is actually not totally of their making own but that of the Revenue Allocation Commission & the frightened ill-orientated government. They must be told in clear terms that the nation cannot afford it any more.

You talked about the legislators remunerations, what of constituency Funds?

Certainly those who muted the establishment of constituency fund had the best of intensions in mind. Our legislators should show some evidence to their villagers that they are struggling for them, and that they are there for their collective interest.  In developed economies, it does not arise as the villages and towns are good as the other, only with minimal difference in terms of social and economic infrastructures. In fact most factories are found in the rural towns and villages, and transport facilities pose no serious problems, unlike in the Third World where the struggles for space in the cosmopolitan areas are excruciating. For the First World most citizens are looking towards patriotic and national development, not the village polemics. Money in our case is therefore rightly allocated for the development of our villages in the national budget, but how is this money spent?
It is believed that the representatives would ensure that this money gets to the electorates; not necessarily in raw cash but in terms of well articulated projects. But what do we see? Over 90% of the funds do not go beyond the executives, the legislators, and the contractors, working together, as there is always an understanding between them on how the money is going to be used and misused. The electorate has no say in it. In fact, many rural dwellers do not even know the meaning of Constituency Fund, or that it really exists.
The average federal legislator is entitled to between N30million and N50million monthly to include his salary, allowances, and constituency funds. If one removes the allocations for salaries and allowances one still has between N20M & N35million monthly for the development of his constituency. For purposes of argument alone, if one were to buy only ‘keke na peps’ for his constituency each month, N1million would fetch around ‘3-4 keke na peps’ in the month and N25million would buy roughly 90-100 kekes, in which case, in a year his constituency would expect 1200 such vehicles, or its equivalent in other forms of development as may be agreed upon by them. It simply means that the legislator pockets the money for at least 100 kekes each month, or 1200-1500 such vehicles each year, and for the four years, a total of 5000-6000 vehicles. When the elections are around, they would come around with 10-20 vehicles and keep the money for about 4500 vehicles to themselves. What greater business can be better than this? If the demand is on motorcycles alone, it can safely purchase 25 thousand okadas.
If he is to engage the jobless in his constituency on skill acquisition trainings, only with an allowance of N20,000 monthly, he would be turning out about 125 artisans each month from N25million monthly allocation. If he is to be feeding the widows alone at N10,000 each, 250 widows would be lining up at his office every month. However, as elections draw near, he rushes about 100 bags of rice to them, keeping the balance of about 500,000 to himself or herself for the year and about two million bags for the 4-year period of tenure.
It must also be realised that at N20,000 each, one million naira would feed 50 unemployed graduates each month and N20million would feed 1000 graduates monthly, and this is what is heartlessly pocketed by each legislator each month. The nation just cannot afford it any longer.
It must also not be forgotten that as actors, actresses and film stars, they are given regular allowances for their wardrobes, and N15,000 provided each day for a plate of rice in a hotel. Yes, they are eating gold and diamond there, not rice. Their televisions and newspapers, inter alia, have to be richly paid for. We know that men of the Third World, including Nigerians have difficulty in releasing public funds, (often regarded as no man’s money), that get into their hands, partly out of poverty and viciousness, and partly out of future uncertainties, a situation one hardly finds in developed world, each one being conscious of the of the bad name it would bring him or her. Here in Nigeria, even the monies meant for people in distress like those displaced by wars, floods or other natural and unnatural disasters are brutalized by their facilitators. One would however not expect such from an Honourable member if honour, and not money, is what he is after.
Unfortunately, one cannot easily change the gene. Kleptomania is almost becoming our racial or environmental endowment whereby one hardly finds someone to trust, no matter his pronouncements or posturing. If the total removal of constituency will cause a serious jolt, then let it be cut down to 20% of what it is now. If for any reason it must remain sacrosanct despite its obvious liabilities to the electorates and the state, then independent monitoring teams should be set-up to include the President Generals of various communities or acceptable leaders and traditional rulers of each constituency, to be supervising their utilizations, and the allocations to each constituency published in the papers as it is done with that of states and local governments. The legislators should be formally informed of this so that they would not start antagonizing the monitors as intruders.
The nation would not like to believe that the Constituency Funds are meant as mere patting on the back for talking for part of the day or of the week, or as a reimbursement for election expenses, or perhaps as “PRs” against any proposed disciplinary action on the executives, and thereby sending the masses to chilling penury. We need to be thoroughly re-orientated on this.
Surely it is not an easy task psychologically, for the President but with the will to salvage the nation from precipice, there is actually no other alternative. And if addressed, our electoral system and elections would become inspiring. The people with interest to serve will emerge as lawmakers and members of executives. We shall have retired teachers, retired head masters, etc at legislative arms because most of those representing us today are there for their own pockets not for the interest of the masses. That is why they take election as a do or die affair.

You’re an ardent supporter of President Muhammed. Now he’s ill and out of the country, don’t think he should resign to take good care of himself?

If you’re ill, you’re ill whether you’re president or not. Thank God we have somebody like Osibanjo who’s very active to run the government on his behalf. He doesn’t need to resign because he’s ill.

Igbos always lament of marginalisation in terms of infrastructural development, politically and otherwise. Who do you think are responsible for that?

Marginalisation has become a table talk. It is unfortunate but I must tell you one thing. We are dealing with Yorubas. There was never a time Yoruba man wants an Igbo man because they see them as competitors. They contribute to marginalisation of Igbos.

Currently, Ifeanyi Ubah, an oil magnet of Igbo extraction is in DSS custody. And there is report that he may soon face death penalty over an allegation of theft. How would you react to this?

Death penalty does not apply here. What of those indicted for other grievous offences like embezzlement of funds, killings, etc. Have they been executed?
I believe that he should face a judgment befits his offence not death penalty.

IPOB/MASSOB declared May 30th sit-at-home in commemoration of Biafra fallen heroes. Do you subscribe to the idea?

I am in full support of Biafra sit at home on 30th May. There is no need for violence. It doesn’t take anything out of anybody. I aligned myself to the feeling of Dr Dozie Ikedife. The issue of Biafra is spiritual. It has been declared by heaven. Several men and women of God have equally confirmed it. It may not come today. But it must surely come tomorrow whether we like it or not. Biafra must go. There is no need for demonstration. It is real. It has been decided by spiritual power. But Nnamdi Kanu must return to Christianity if he wants it actualise during his life time. He was a Christian before leaving Nigeria. Therefore, I want him to return back to Christianity not Judiasm. Judiasm is anti Christ. Christ is not happy with that. He should find a Christian clergy or prelate to pray for him and welcome back to Christendom.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.