• –  Says: Region Now Foot Mat Of Nigeria

–      In Dire Need Of Patriotic Leaders

Prof Francis Dike (SAN), a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Imo State has joined the league of concerned and well meaning Igbo people who have condemned the decision of Governors of the five South east states to name the newly commissioned second Niger bridge after the outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari.

Prof Dike, Chairman, Orlu Elders Council, who bared his mind in a telephone interview with our Reporter, yesterday described the decision as saddening and unwarranted.

He said, ‘’I don’t think it is necessary to name the second Niger bridge after President Buhari. If I may ask, was he the person that initiated or started the construction of the bridge? Didn’t former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan contribute their quota? Was the bridge constructed with President Buhari’s personal money?’’.

‘’It is unfortunate that our Governors and the so-called political leaders in the South east have made themselves puppets who have taken sycophancy to a different level. Hence, they now represent and speak for themselves and not for the people whose mandate they hold and are supposed to exercise in trust as representatives of the people. Who were the railway lines in different parts of the North named after?’’

 Prof Dike, expressed regret that the South east unlike the South west and the North, lack patriotic leaders who are not only concerned about but stake all they have to champion the cause of their people, even at great personal risk.

‘’Regrettably, what we have in the South east are self seeking cowards who are always willing to mortgage the interests of the people on the altar of personal interests and benefits. Look at how most of them abandoned and even fought Peter Obi’s political ambition because of their interest in the Senate Presidency. But today, they have been relegated to the background to their utter dismay. They are treated like surrogates. A good leader must have character and integrity, which most of them lack’’.

‘’On the contrary, the Yoruba’s have vocal and courageous leaders like Abraham Adesanya, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Olabode George and other leaders of their socio-cultural organization, Afenifere. These are men who have character and integrity. The Hausas and Fulani’s also have leaders who are passionately committed to her welfare.

Responding to another question, Prof Dike said, I thank God for people like Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife a former governor of Anambra State, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe and few others who have continued to distinguish themselves as genuine Igbo leaders with character and integrity. However, the Presidential candidate of Labour Party in the February, 25 2023 election is not an Igbo or South east leader. He is a pan-Nigerian product, a master philosopher who intends to actualize the vision of a New Nigeria that we all know is possible if given the opportunity’’.

The erudite legal luminary noted that when the Italians built the airport at Rome, ‘’they did not name it after any person that was alive. They, rather went back several decades to name it after Givenchi’’.

Concluding, he said, ‘’one thing I know is that, all hope is not lost, because God, will at the fullness of time intervene on behalf of the people. He will liberate and salvage the people from the strangle hold of selfish and insensitive people who claim to be leaders when all they care about are their personal interests’’.