Transcripts of an exclusive interview with Chief Ben Etiaba, a Nigerian politician, and Chartered Accountant, as anchored by Chima Christian of NewsBand Television, London. The interview was held after the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi made presentation at the Chatham House.
Chatham House in the UK has become a Mecca of some sort for politicians in Nigeria and candidates from Nigeria are trooping in to say what their vision for Nigeria is. We also saw the election management body Prof Mahmud Yakubu who went there to talk about the readiness of INEC to conduct free fair and sufficiently credible election in 2023.
In this interview, Chief Etiaba, a former Governorship candidate of the AA Party in Anambra 2021 was fielded questions from Nigerians across the globe.
The interview was edited for clarity. Excerpts
Could you make sense of why Nigerian leaders have to travel all the way to the UK to talk about their policy directions?
It’s very easy to understand that today we live in a globalized world and environment. So, what transpires here in the UK will always send jitters to Nigeria and vice versa. It hadn’t just started now and we will recall that eight years ago it was the same Flory of activities and the then National Security Adviser announced the postponement of the shift of the date of the election from Chatham House. Then Buhari’s visit to Chatham House in 2014 was actually thought to be the turning point that led to his victory. So, it’s easy to understand that if you want to make a big statement to the world there’s no better place to do that than from London. We need help unless you don’t know what is going on in Nigeria and in Africa. And if you do know and want accept the reality we need the world to take more than passive interest to take part in the coming Presidential Election in Nigeria. And this is the time to do it. Election is not a one day affair; it’s a process that has to undergo many steps before the actual day of voting. And this is just one of those steps. We need the world to sit up and to realize that if anything goes wrong in Nigeria next month after the election we all share in the blame. The destabilized Nigeria as a result of an imperfect election will lead to a global catastrophe believe it or not. Because if Nigerians would revolt but we won’t get to that. Every day Nigerians are knocking on the doors seeking political asylum. This is the time to remind them of their responsibilities to us to ensure, as far as their partners in Western Alliance, that subtle pressure is put in Abuja. That’s what we want to see. We want to see a free fair and credible election and whoever Nigerians choose lead us. Nobody is saying votes are coming from London. The votes are in Nigeria but what happens over there would send a major signal to the powers that be in Nigeria that it’s not going to be business as usual; the world is watching and we must do the right thing and let Nigerians choose freely who we want to lead us.
Let’s review the backlog of the things that were said by the candidate of the Labour Party in that Chatham House. Two questions before that. One, there are people who said that Nigerians going to Chatham House to talk about their policies is a good image laundering opportunity for Nigeria. There is another school of thought who say that this is still the vestiges of colonialism. For instance in 1966, Nnamdi Azikiwe was in the UK and quite co-incidentally on the same day that Peter Obi was there. He said this “violence has never been an instrument use by us as founding fathers of Nigerian Republic to solve political problems.” That was Nnamdi Azikiwe in UK talking about his policy views for Nigeria. But here you have current leaders, because one of them would emerge as President, going back to that same place to talk about their policy views for Nigeria.
I would say that we need every little help, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Like I said earlier we live in a global environment now. You have to understand that whoever is elected President of Nigeria is going to be the number one image maker for Nigeria over the next four years. It is very important even before that election, the process begins by having the world hear potential image makers from Nigeria and not give their own view because their views will never impact or influence what is going to happen in Nigeria. But it does matter that the deaf would hear the different candidates vying for that position of number one image maker for this great country Nigeria. Like Mr. Peter Obi said on Monday, we want a Nigeria where your green passport would mean something. We want a Nigeria where you are proud to be known as a Nigerian. We wished to be world power than we are. We want a Nigeria where you will be proud to say I’m a Nigerian and nobody would say oh! You are a yahoo or drug dealer as if you don’t have such people in other countries. So, it’s important to come to London to showcase oneself. If for instance the world hadn’t seen Mr. Peter Obi on Monday, what do you think would you think the world would have thought of the quality and caliber of contestants in the Presidential election? I’m not going to engage in any name calling here but all I’m saying is that the world have heard from a world class leader who has a track record of excellence over 20 years and who have grown from strength to strength and has never been found wanting. If you were in Cgatham House you find that there were no empty seats, people were packed full and standing. Of course you saw obviously what happened outside Chatham house. I say compare that with what you saw today. He came prepared and he finished his speech and the speech was cut off halfway because he took his questions and never mentioned any other candidates by name; he dealt with the issues. We’re lucky to have an exceptional candidate and an exceptional Vice Presidential candidate in Datti too who are ready and willing to serve Nigeria selflessly. These things don’t come every four years. We’re lucky to be in this position at this point what is left is for us to take advantage of this situation and go ahead in electing an altruistic servant leader who will begin to change the narrative for Nigeria and take Nigeria completely in a different direction . I’ve often said “out of darkness meets light”. Let me say this, he had a very busy day, streaks of extremely high profile meetings out of which the public saw this one. But he had five very important meetings equally as important as Chatham House or even more important. But those were not meetings to be made public at this time. But what I can say was that in one of those meetings, the person that hosted His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi and Senator Datti Ahmed said that Nigeria is currently operating on less than 10% of its capacity as result of the quality of leadership we have. I’m not criticizing anybody. What has happened in Nigeria didn’t just start in the last eight years. It has been there for a long time. Let me just build up a crescendo, this is now time to change course. This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. This was why Mr. Peter Obi was here on Monday to speak to the world.
I want you to pick from the many things Mr. Peter obi said there, which are the ones that stood out most to you?
It’s very difficult for me to what the highlight was. We were not there to be entertained, it was not a movie. In fact, if anything it was going to be an horror movie because of where we found ourselves today. He talked about uniting Nigeria; that’s a task that must be done. This is a Pan Nigerian candidate; a leadership that is going to be forward-looking; youthful in outlook but verse experienced globally. He talked about our unity, I loved that and I’m very happy with what I heard. He talked about moving Nigeria out of consumption into production. What can be better than that? Look at our exchange rate, how do you think Nigeria can address the issue of balance of trade that is against us if we’re not producing? He talked about that. Why will I not be happy when I heard that? And we all know one challenge today is insecurity in Nigeria. He led a state that was stable the eight years he was there. We know what is going on now in Anambra state.
I cannot blame the Governor for that and it’s happening everywhere in the South-East and we know why? And some of these things are politically sponsored anywhere just to destabilize the South-East. You know what has always gone wrong in the North-East now has gone on to effect the North-West. Look at the North Central the people are pleading. We cannot unite a people especially ravaged by insecurity. When he talked about ensuring that he would secure Nigeria I believed him. I believed him on Monday, I believed on Tuesday and I believed him today precisely because I know his determination. I know that he’s a man driven by legacy; the possibility of leaving a great legacy in Nigeria. he said we cannot be free as a citizen of Nigeria when Nigerians are in IDP camps. He’s going to make sure that every Nigerian is able to return to their homes and have a decent night sleep. It is not too difficult to get these things done.
He talked about fighting corruption. Has it surprised you that since Mr. Peter Obi left the office as Governor of Anambra State nearly 10 years ago that there haven’t been any scandal in his tenure at EFCC or ICPC. So, when he tells you he will fight corruption it begins with him. If the leader is not corrupt it is very difficult for those around him to be corrupt. But if you have a leader whose transaction is in leadership he cannot fight corruption.
There are so many things he said that we ponder over and see Labour Party as the way forward for Nigeria. We’re too much in a mess at the moment; too deep in a hole to be thinking about tribe or religion; to be thinking about turn. The situation is that bad that we need somebody who is ready to serve, willing to serve and has the capacity and competence to serve and above all who have demonstrated a track record of success in leadership in private and public sector too. This is a man that has been chairman for more than one Bank successfully at a very young age.
This is man that has been Director of several Blue chip companies in Nigeria without a blemish. It is not so easy to achieve that in Africa or in Nigeria. that success that made him what he is or to succeed in life is what we need to bring to the fore into government and at the Federal level so that we can begin to move as a nation. We’re so blessed; just one thing we lack, Leadership. And that is why the candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi and his Vice Senator Datti Ahmed are in this race. They are not the usual politicians and I’m sure you know that. They’re people driven by passion and believe me we are on the break of history in Africa if we do the right thing and get the right result. Because if we keep doing the same thing we’ve done in the past, God forbid, the situation would keep getting worse and worse. Whoever wins I can tell you Nigeria would find his way back up.
The in thing is that you want a leadership that would enable you to grow or a leadership that would enable you to work or a leadership that Peter Obi offers that can get Nigeria, not just on the streets, but running. That’s why somebody like me who’s not an average politician is supporting Peter Obi and Datti. And that’s why you have a lot of Nigerians who are not naturally interested in politics now becoming interested in politics. Politics I see is far too important to be left in the hands of politicians alone. We should all get involved.
Could you tell me how the audience received that message and what’s your impression? When you look at their faces and you saw how they reacted to that. What do you make of this? Do you think his message is being accepted globally?
For me you are speaking to be converted. The only way we can get the leadership that we want is to support the Labour Party. It doesn’t matter if you are supporting Labour Party from AA, it doesn’t matter if you are supporting Labour Party from APC or PDP, indeed, most of the supporters of Labour Party used to support PDP. Quite a number of APC members are supporting LP. This has nothing to do with any Party. Indeed, if you ask me I can tell you that all the parties are the same in Nigeria. The difference is in the candidates; the people who are vying for this position, that’s the only difference. So, I’m not going to be tagged with any Labour Party. We’re here to elect Datti and Mr. Peter Obi. But going to your question, the audience as far as I’m trying to be objective received the message very well because if somebody is speaking from the heart, if somebody is telling you what you know already you have no reason to doubt him.
We all know the problems in Nigeria it’s not a rocket science. We know. Theproblem we’ve always had is the will in addressing those problems, the political will to confront these issues head on. Have ever seen or heard of any candidate going for an election without telling you he will fight corruption? I’m not worried about manifesto because its same thing everybody is saying. The audience received the message on Monday because the messenger was the rightone. You saw that even if you were not inside Chatham house or not even in London, you would have seen all the trending videos of what happened outside Chatham House. There was no dissenting voice. Other parties go there. You find opposition parties go there with placard carrying Nigerians. It didn’t happen. The idea of selling the Peter Obi candidature from here is that it has generated a great conversation which is why we’re having this discussion tonight. If he hadn’t come to Chatham House we won’t be talking here. He has contributed to the image in Nigeria. The voters are in Nigeria. About 38.3% of Nigerians now has smart phones. You cannot tell me that even if you don’t have a smart phone what’s been available to your neighbours have not trickled down to you. The statement was out of Chatham House and was directed not just at the global audience but the voters in Nigeria.
At the end of the day it will end on the 25th day of February on that ballot box. The voting would be done, the counting would be done, it would be recorded and result would be announced. And let me tell you,
for the first time in Nigeria I believed that we’re going to have a credible
Presidential election. We’ll be getting it increasingly better, 2011 was not
bad because it reflected the wishes of the electorate in Jonathan. 2015 was
good because for the first time an opposition party won. In 2029 the result was upheld too.
It getting increasingly better but with electoral reform and the new procedures now in place with BVAS and all of that it is very difficult for the wishes of the electorate not to prevail. Those who are planning to use the so called structure to manipulate the election to achieve undesirable outcome would be disappointed. They should begin to campaign now because they have enough days to reach out to the people/voters to sell themselves. Peter Obi’s presence here on Monday was a great sales person for Labour party even more wonderful sales promoter for brand Nigeria. I think every Nigerian should be proud of him and what he deed. And you saw him in Chatham House he looked every
bit of a world class leader. He spoke the same way Clinton would have spoken. He addressed the world for Nigeria and Nigerians to listen and for the voters to do the right thing. So, I’m happy to witness what happened and I’m happy to see that it was a success and I’m very happy to see the post events and reviews.
John Okon, Saudi Arabia: He would have used the strategy of smear campaign. In 2017 I was among Obama campaign and we used smear campaign and it really worked.
John I thank you for your observations and I take nothing away from your feelings and the way you felt about it. But please permit me to differ or disagree a bit. I’m here to say that everything Peter Obi did on Monday was perfect. I’m here to tell you what he did and how I believe he scored. You scoring him a C- I would score him an A+ and I will tell you why? You see, a man that I followed would tell you that the key to success is to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. All these politicians and candidates are engaging in smear campaigns. Let me tell you this now and take it to the bank that Mr. Peter Obi between now and Election Day campaign will never smear an opponent. He will never do that. It’s not in him. He has not done it up till now, he will never do it. He campaigns on the issues. You can throw any dirt on him. And whenever people throw dirt on him he never gets disturbed. Don’t even waste your time attacking him because you will be wasting a lot of your time. He knows that and if you know this why would you engage in the same thing? You do things differently to achieve a different result. Smearing other candidates, that’s norm in politics. Peter Obi will not do it and this is why his supporters are following him. There may be one or two who may want him to do that but please he will not. I can tell you that. And what he’s doing is working better than the opposite. If he decides to engage in throwing muds, that what the opposition will want. Then you are playing into their hands; that’s their thought. If you wrestle with a pig (pardon me to use this example with the animal kingdom) you are going to get dirty in the pig’s style. I’m talking about the animals now, not calling politicians pigs. He will never do that. He will always talk about the issues. But I understand your feelings and you are entitled to that.
He spoke about Oil Theft, maybe you missed that. That was when he said oil is not a small commodity you put in your pocket and walk away. And that those in government are involved. He was brave enough to talk about that. He delivered a very brave speech and also during the questions and answers session he was even braver without calling names. You cannot engage in oil theft if you are any names, be you Mallam Musa, Okonkwo or Adebayo and come with a jerry can and walk out with Oil and you call it Oil bunkery. It is an organized crime and people in government are involved and he’s going to dismantle that. This is the structure you are telling me they have and that’s the structure he’s coming in to dismantle.
He also spoke about the value of the Nigerian Passport inside Chatham House. He’s a Nigerian he holds a Nigerian passport and travels with his Nigerian passport. Everywhere we went you must identify yourself and he uses his passport. He knows the value of the green passport and that green passport cannot have any value unless it is available. He cannot in a 30mins speech deal with all the ills in the country.
So, I take your views and accept your feelings but I think he did not the C- you said but an A+ for me and given the reviews both globally in Nigeria post Chatham House I think my view is more in tune and more aligned to what the independent commentators are saying about that visit.
Philip: My question could be related to how you intend to do things differently. One of the things that has bothered me and has been going on for years it didn’t just start now is the fact that we’re not investing well in young people. And generally when young people peacefully express their frustrations their agitations they’re met with violence and aggression. So, is there anything inyour campaign plans that will address their issues so that when people agitate or they’re angry whether you agree with them or not, meet them with dialogue or conversation and not violence and aggression which have been going on for many years? Even when I was young as a University student we protested against IMF loans, they come out and beat us up and sometimes they shoot at us. The other concern is how are you going to do things differently when it comes to during the election, the typical tendency is to appoint career politicians or people who support your campaign or people who are members of your political party. How are you going to do things differently by actually sourcing Nigerians who have
the capability to handle certain positions effectively regardless of where they are? How are going to do that as opposed to going forward with the same pattern
of picking predictable people to occupy positions of authority.
Thank you, Philip and it’s good to see you. If you were at the dinner that was organized on Monday evening for the candidate Peter Obi, he actually addressed this issue of having the wrong people in government. And what he said was very simple, that if you knew how he ran Anambra State you would know that over 90% of thepeople that worked with him were not members of his political party; they were not politicians. Politicians are there to do the politics and for elections to happen and for at that level produce Councilors and local government chairmen and have credible and good people who are politicians but able to do the job joined the cabinet or government. But the most important thing is to have
capacity. Where it is found wanting in the pool during the campaign you source the right people. Any leader that wants to succeed knows that it begins with the quality of his appointments. If you appoint the wrong people there’s no way you will succeed except if you don’t want to succeed. Till today I’m not surethat any state government had the quality of cabinet that Peter Obi had when he was a Governor. And by the way my mother was in that government too. So, I know what I’m talking about. And there was something he said on Monday night that he cannot say because you’re my friend you have to be in government, in other words, you put a bus conductor to be your bus driver, then that bus is going to crash. Give the conductor the work of a conductor and let a qualified driver drive the vehicle. That’s only way you can get from point A to point B. he made that analogy and people liked it.
Philip you wanted to know what Mr. Peter Obi would do differently. Recall that in 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari came into office, the first few months were wonderful; things were working smoothly. It was only after he fell ill and was away for some months (about eight months or so) he never really recovered when he came back, things now started going haywire. But the first few months were not bad and people were alluding to the President’s special body language that things were working well because of the
man’s body language.
When you have a leader who’s giving you the right body language to work, people would sit up. When you have a President who’s not transactional, who’s not looking for money in government you will sit up. Because these are some of the ways things can be done differently, leading by example. The only person who can lead by example is the only person who has not been tainted and who have not mortgaged his election to group or special interests. Because if a corrupt sect come together to elect you into office, you are behold to them. It would never be free togovern. But if you come in as a radical campaigner like Mr. Peter Obi, he don’t have a godfather; Nigerians are your godfathers. And that’s why even when the experienced leaders of the nation are endorsing him they were telling Nigerians this is the man you need to ensure that this would be your government. Otherwise what you would get is maybe N10,000 now, they buy your conscience with some dollars then you have a 4-8 years of misery. For how long can we continue this way? Are we not tired? Enough is enough. So, let us do things differently. And this is the leader that would do it differently. Somebody was saying few minutes ago that he should smear, he should attack. Noo! This is not in the man.
In fact, you’re stronger when you don’t do that. When you resort to obeying the Rule of Court of Law
you’re stronger for it. When you resort to dialogue instead of tear-gassing you’re stronger for that. There’s nothing anybody agitating loves more than a leader who’s able to listen and weigh the argument against them.
We live in a country where only a few years ago we had issues in the South-South Niger Delta. A great President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua decided to dialogue with the militants and the result was obvious and we had peace in the Niger Delta region. Sometimes going with the stick is not the only solution. Why don’t you try the carrot and the stick? If the carrot doesn’t work then you can use the big stick so long as you are right and within the law.
Charles Eteh a Lawyer in London: My question is two-prong questions basically; one has to do with ensuring that Peter Obi wins and the other has to do with Nigerians in the Diaspora. I just want to know, because what we heard in respect to the northern Nigeria, a lot of things we hear is that Peter Obi is not very well known there, that they rather know the former footballer rather than him. So, I want to know exactly what the team is doing towards ensuring that his messages are really going through into the northern part of Nigeria so that the way to Aso Rock would be smooth. In respect to the Diaspora I would like to know if Peter Obi wins what policies or other things can you put in place to ensure that the foreign policy in terms of putting Diasporans would be Nigerians first. We know from what we see the America deal with their citizens whenever there is a problem, the Americans don’t listen to anybody whether their citizens are right or not, they focus on getting that citizen out of that problem. But sometimes we see here that the Diasporans when they get into trouble him or her is left on his own. I want to know what would happen if Peter Obi wins? Are there programmes like that to ensure that things are dealt with?
Alright, Charles, thank you very much. I always say that whatever any candidate promises is neither here nor there. But what’s more important is track record. Look at Mr. Peter Obi track record, where do you think he spent the last Christmas Day? He spent the whole day with IDPs in Makurdi Benue State. You need a compassionate leader to be able to do well in such a diverse nation as Nigeria. On New Year’s Day he was in Abuja IDP Camp again showing compassion. During the recent flooding none of the candidates visited any of the flood-hit terrains. He rolled up his sleeves, got in the waters and went to show empathy. So, you need a leader who knows how to feel the pain of his citizens. You need a leader who has enough emotional intelligence to understand not just that Nigerians have suffered enough but that we don’t need to suffer anymore. Regarding the Diasporans you were asking about, he promised two things; one, that upon being sworn in as President of Nigeria he’s going to do everything legally possible to ensure that at the next circle of elections in the next four years that Nigerian Diaspora can vote. Other African countries are doing that already. We can do that and indeed we’re doing it now. So, if we can do it in Nigeria and even do it from some embassies abroad we should be able to use technology to register citizens abroad and to ensure that their votes can be cast and counted. He also promised one thing, many leaders go in search of investors but do you know that the biggest strength of any nation is their Diaspora. We have a lot of Nigerians remitting billions of dollars into the country every year. But those monies are remitted back to Nigeria for consumption, welfare. Mr. Peter Obi has said it that his Presidency with Datti Ahmed who is likely going to chair the economic team in that government will ensure that when you are looking for foreign investors, one, we have a lot of Nigerians globally doing well. But you cannot invest in an atmosphere of insecurity. You cannot invest in a corrupt environment.
Mr. Peter Obi has promised that he’s going to create the enabling environment for Nigerians in Diaspora to repatriate their funds back to Nigeria for production. And let me tell you that are the strongest foreign investments you can have now. Because if you have foreigners who have no attachment to Nigeria as had happened recently investing in your country, at the first sign of problems they will leave their investments and you are going to have a big run in your resources.
That’s why the naira is in this situation that we find it. But if you have Nigerians investing, even when times are hard, this is their country. They’re not going to be in a hurry to take out their investments back to UK or USA or anywhere else. He’s going to be doing that with the Diasporans.
You mentioned that Mr. Peter Obi is not well known in the north. He is better known in the north than most people think. This is a man that campaigned in 36 states of the Federation only four years ago. Indeed, if you tell me that he’s not known in the north, why then do you think that in the north they’re using his name and his picture to distribute rice and all that to the electorates but a different Party name and logo? But they’re happy on the fame of Mr. Pater Obi. They know that he is well known but want to exploit it negatively. But I say to you Nigerians who are tired and angry know who Mr. Peter Obi is in all the 36 states. They will eat your rice but they will vote for Mama, Papa and Pikin the logo of Labour Party.
Mazi Okoye: People always talk about the north, that Obi is not well known in the north. Obi equally has problems in the South-East because there is this IPOB agitation which has in a way morph into large scale criminality and it’s a worry. And Obi was asked about this on Monday. The answer he gave was acceptable to me but he did not really dive into all sorts of condemning. There is a worry there that IPOB issue is an anthill for Obi. From your own perspective what do you think we should be doing or he should be doing or saying to make people in the South-East to think confidence? Because there’s a lot of lack of confidence in the South-East at the moment. Is there any other strategies that could be used to quell this agitation until the election is over? Because with the agitation going on people might be scared to come out to vote and you have voter’s suppression in the South-East which is not going toaugur well for Obi. Is there any other way to tackle this?You know he dealt with the issue of IPOB and other agitations. It’s not only in the South-East you have agitations. But let me tell you this, the issue of IPOB is over blown in the sense that the killings you are seeing now are to most people who are informed are just a case of an agitation being hijacked for political purposes. It is not the IPOB you know, not because I know them or that I’m their spokesperson but because of their official position they make known at all times. It is not the former IPOB you know perpetrating these crimes. What seems to me and many others to be happening is that some people who want destabilize the South-East for their own political gains have latched up to these rogue elements claiming to be IPOB. Unfortunately when the IPOB was starting this was always going to be the danger that others would hijack it. That’s where we are now. I don’t believe that these agitations are difficult to handle. Because for you to deal with any issue you have to look at the real root causes of those issues and address the root causes. If you fail to do that you will never solve the problem. The issue as Mr. Peter Obi said of these agitation everywhere in the country will begin to die down the moment equity justice lack of nepotism sectional discrimination begin to die down. If you are able to be fair and just to all parties concerned people are going to begin to feel that they belong to a nation and not just a geographic expression called country or Nigeria. How come since independence after all these years, over 60 years that we’re still struggling with nation building? Have you asked yourself? These are the things giving rise to all these agitations.
Mr. Etiaba sorry to cut you off, I want an assurance that there would be election in the South-East, that people will come out and vote. There is a lot of violence and people are afraid. I need an assurance from your team or Peter Obi that there would be election in the South-East.
If that’s what you are worried about, let me tell you emphatically that there would be an election in Nigeria, there would be an election in the South-East, there would be an election in all the local government areas in the South-East. Don’t worry about that. What is happening is that just a hand full of criminals are destabilizing and creating fear amongst the populace. We have shed far too much blood in recent months, in recent years to give up at this point of salvation and liberation.
The South-East citizens are fully ready and committed for a change that would finally liberate them. These things would happen even on the eve of the Election Day, they would do that but the election must hold, people would come out and vote. Don’t forget the fact that I ran an election in Anambra state only just a few months ago. I ran for Governor against Governor Soludo. If you recall, there were lots of killings in Anambra. Indeed, as I speak to you the Governorship candidate of this same party we’re talking about (Labour Party) was kidnapped a few days to the election. He has not been found. We’re all still praying for him because until we see his body we cannot say he’s dead. There’s no evidence that he’s dead. We’re still praying for his family and for him. But the elections held in Anambra. So, these people will try to intimidate us but they can never win. Let me tell you this and this is from Sir Francis, all the darkness in the world can never extinguish the light of a single candle. It’s a given that there must be an election and that election must hold at the particular time of that day of 25th February 2023. Voting would go on. We held elections in Anambra despite all the threats and the result was credible. The wishes of the people reflected and that was why somebody like me congratulated the winner.
And I urge all of us irrespective of where you want to vote not to be cowed or intimidated into running away. That is what these cowards, these people who call themselves unknown gunmen are actually -the real cowards. That’s why they’re doing what they’re doing. What have we not endeared? A small enclave fought a civil war for 30 months without food, without ammunitions; maybe somebody like you was young and was not born at that time. I certainly was born at that time. So, we’ve seen the worst days. So, they can never intimidate us and to get us to shy away so that their sponsors can now win. It is not possible.