Hon. Prince Mike Adeniyi Omogbehin Negwo is a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing the People of Okitipupa/Irele federal constituency of Ondo state. In this Interview with Israel Fagbemigun, he analyzed Economic and Political issues, both in Ondo state and Nigeria at large.
Two years into your tenure in the house of Representative today, what are your Regrets & impenitence?
I have no regrets. Naturally in my life, I don’t have regrets. I do have challenges, I face my challenges squarely and surmount them . The ones I can’t surmount at the immediate, I wait till next time. There have been a lot of challenges, not regrets in this past two years. And let me tell you my greatest challenge, my greatest challenge as at today is the fact that Nigerians do not know the importance of the legislative arm of government. Nigeria is yet to imbibe the spirit of representative democracy. Because of the many years of the suppressive military regime that we had in this country. And that is why the executive arm of government still manipulate the Nigerian populace, to portray their representatives as bad. My only challenge is that Nigerians and my people stil see me as a “Representa-thief”, they do not see me as their eyes, they do not see that whatever I do is a response to stimuli on their behalf. That is the only challenge that I have, and until something is done about it, so that Nigerians begin to understand that we are their eyes and appreciate us as such, then we will keep on in this circle.
Somethings have been noticed in form of your impact on your constituents in two years, are there other goods in the offing?
Of course there are still many things to do, relative to the promises we made to the People. When i started my campaign, I presented a sacred tripod Agenda. First is education, second is Rural health and third is the people and the constituency. And we have followed this tripod till date. In education, libraries have been built, law school scholarships have been given, the bursary scheme have been implemented. In rural health, we have given ambulances to our people, we have built modern water sources for our people to be able to get portable water and be healthy. In constituency development, we have been able to build civic centers for our people, where they can meet to discuss community development. We have been able to attend, respect and honor functions of our people and every festival of our people. So we are working strictly with our tripod agenda. And I do not even expect the level of the appreciation from our people, with the little we have done. So I thank them.
The Akeredolu led government marked her 100th day in office few days ago, what is your Evaluation of the government?
I want Our People in Ondo state to Pardon Akeredolu, he never knew he was going to win election in the first instance. Some forces came together to steal, first the APC Primary election. They stole it, there are evidences to show, even on television that ghosts voted in the Primary election. He didn’t know he was going to win, So he had no clear cut agenda. And that is why 3 to 4 month after, he has no commissioner, he is not stable, and we cannot say today, just like we had in the early days of Buhari, that we have an Executive arm of government in Ondo state. No we don’t have. so he can be pardoned because he never knew. He was not Prepared for Governance. And what can I say? It is a lesson for the People of Ondo state to vote only those who are prepared to Provide leadership next time. And not People who are bound together by Retrogressive Conspiracy. Akeredolu has captured Power, but he is not Ready for Power. And that is the problem we are having today.
What’s your take on the recent Biafra agitations for succession by IPOB and MASSOB in the South East?
As at today, there are two issues at the front burner at the national level. One, is the agitation for the libration of the Biafra People. And two, the unfortunate statement from Prof. Ango Abdullahi, supporting the undisciplined Youths of the Northern Region, asking that the Igbos should move out of the north. Now lets get things in proper perspective. You can not equate the directive of the Northern Youths to the demands of the Igbos. I think this is where Nigerians are getting it wrong. The biafrans as a tribe have that right to ask for a Country of their own under the United Nations chatter. To ask that they want to have a Country does not mean that the hausas and People of other regions living there must leave. That is not what their demand is. So we must get these things right. Because there are Nigerians in Britain, who are not British, and they not been ordered to leave. So even if the biafrans want a Nation, none biafrans can keep living in that Nation called Biafra. Now, juxtapose that with what Prof. Ango Abdullahi is supporting, as at today in the pesent Nigeria, the northern rascally youths are asking the Nigerians of South east to leave Northern Nigeria. So the threat to Nigeria today is the demands by those Northern Youths that the Igbos should leave the North. And that more dangerouse and inimical to our coexisten as Nigerians, than the demands of the Igbos. We have been living with the demand of the igbos, but we can never live, 2, 3 years with the demands of the Northern Youths. So it is condemnable and unacceptable, by those of us at the National Leadership. And they must be called to order, and Abdulahi must be called to order very quickly. He is supporting a very dangerous move in Nigeria.
On the issue of the South East Development Commission Bill, do you think the bill was in the interest of the nation and could the bill have pacified the Igbos from agitations for secession?
You are trying to make me a Prophet, I’m not. But let us take the issues as they are. The truth of the matter is this, sometimes in 1967, the igboland was invaded by the National troop, because they wanted to secede. And in 1970, they were defeated, Obasanjo took government back from them. And they were promised reintegration, let us ask ourselves today, up till this very moment, has Nigeria fulfilled the promise to the Igbos? I will leave the answer to you. Now, here we are, recently, some Northern rascals, because they perpetually want to hold on to power, decided to say that western Education is a crime (Boko Haram), and they destroyed the North Eastern part of Nigeria. We spent a lot of the nation’s resources in reviving the north east, and suddenly, a bill was brought to the National Assembly, to set up a North-East Commission. It is natural justice in my opinion, that if the north-east commission bill can be treated with the speed of light. I expect that, Nigerians, my colleagus in the National Assembly must take a second look at the southeast demand, as it relates to the promises made by the Gowon administration. Have we been able to live to our promises? If we must live together as a nation, then it must be on agreement. We have not been fair to the south east people.
On the crisis Rocking your party, the PDP, what is the implication of this crisis on our democracy?
The issue here is that it is rather unfortunate, that we members of PDP allowed the APC to have a way into us. It is rather very unfortunate, that we did not allow the constitution of our party to prevail. That’s one. Number two, it is also unfurnate that some persons in our party have believed that they are above the party. They have refused to subsume their personal interest into the party’s collective interest. The constitution of the party is very clear, that the National convention is the highest decision making body. This issue is at that highest court today, so i will wait, so as not to say anything prejudicial. But it is very unfortunate that we have found ourselves where we are.
The President Buhari’s administration clocked 2 years in office less than 2 weeks ago, what’s your rating of the administration’s performance?
It’s very simple, we can see it that the APC came into power with so many promises, and they are expected to live up to their social agreement with the peple. But what we have today is in respect of the acronym, “All Promises Canceled”, and that Is the new meaning of their party. Two years after, a dollar is not one naira yet, N5000 is not been paid to our unemployed graduates, petrol price has not been reduced, and so many other things. I wonder why they can’t even keep half of their promises. And you know what, they lack the understanding of governance. There is a difference between the dictatorial government that they are used to, and what we have now. And that is why they have found their selves in this log-jam. We are praying, and pleading to Nigerians to please tolerate the APC for the next 24 months. Because they don’t know how to run government. I am very sure, that some nationalists among them today, must have started to think about the way out. They didn’t even last long before the crisis among them, the reason is simple, they were brought together by retrogressive conspiracy.
According to the DMO, Nigeria’s debt has surged by 7.1 trillion naira from the time the PDP left government, today inflation rate is over 16% compared to the single digit two years ago, how has this government fared in the handling of our economy?
The dangerouse thing about the economy right now is that the definition of inflation have defied its meaning. The understanding of inflation is when more money is chasing few goods. But here we are in the economy of APC, there is no money, no goods, yet there is inflation. So this is the problem. And the reason we are in this Problem is because; first, they quickly reversed the monetry policies of the PDP as soon as they came into power, and they also attempted to use decree in the Niger-delta isues. They don’t know governance, they are all dullards.
The National Assembly is currently considering the option of e-voting in future elections, what’s your take on this?
I don’t have anything against e-voting, but my opnion is that we need electricity to back up ‘e-anything’.