A First Republic Minister of Aviation and the only surviving member of the pre-independence Zikist Movement, Mbazulike Amaechi in an interview with Punch said the Nigeria we have today is not exactly what he, alongside others fought for; saying the military has destroyed everything.
Amaechi, 88, said “This is not a federation. As I always say, Nigeria, since 1966, has been ruled like an illegal organisation with illegalities because no constitution of Nigeria is the constitution of the people of Nigeria. The 1979 Constitution was a product of constitutional conference amended by the military and then by a decree made effective in law.
“The 1999 Constitution was also a product of the constitutional conference or constituent assembly. The northern military, who edited it, removed the portion they didn’t like and added the ones that suit them. Then by decree, they made it into laws, therefore, it is not the constitution of the people of Nigeria.
As for Biafra, he said, “Till now, Nigeria has been ruled on illegalities. The President is illegally occupying the position because he is there, not by the constitution of the people of Nigeria, but by the constitution of the military of the North. If this country will grow and continue to be together, there is a need for total re-negotiation of the bases of the unity. But to continue like this, there will certainly be no peace.
“President Buhari has handled Nnamdi Kanu’s issue with his characteristic deep hatred for Ndigbo. He has a personal hatred for Ndigbo. That was why he took over the government in 1983. That hatred for Ndigbo has not been aborted.
“Nnamdi Kanu was erratic in many respects but that wasn’t the best way to handle him. The young man was making his demands. He has followers and why not listen to him and enter into a dialogue with him. What crime has Nnamdi Kanu committed to being compared with the crimes of his (Buhari) own brothers, the Fulanis, in Nigeria today?
“During the tenures of former presidents – Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, and Musa Yar’adua – did you ever hear of Fulani herdsmen killing people? No! It is only in the Buhari era that they kill people. Nobody is being arrested and nobody is questioning them.”
on transforming Nigeria, Amaechi said, “The present regime cannot do it because they don’t even understand what government is. Look at the NNPC, the 16 positions of management and directors, 12 were allocated to the North, two to the West and two to the Delta people and none to Ndigbo. And you think God will keep quiet. There is God and He is watching us.”
Interestingly, he also said, “I want to live up to 128 years“.