Anayo Nwonu represents Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State in the House of Representatives. In this interview, he calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to extend his probe to previous administrations. He also tells the South East people not to expect much from Buhari’s administration.
THE South East lost out in the recently constituted leadership of the House. What is your view on that?
What happened in the House recently was the will of God. When we were inaugurated, we agreed to work together with the All Progressives Congress ,APC, lawmakers. But the APC itself was not organized in handling its issues.
If it was in the era of PDP, this leadership tussle would not linger. But we thank God that the problem is over and we have put all those things that happened behind us. APC has so far picked its people in the leadership, so all we have to do is to support them. In terms of whether the South East was short-changed or not, I will say yes, the region was short-changed completely. There was no reason for that.
When they were shouting during the electioneering period that they would accord the South East priority, I knew all were just mere promises to get the support of our people at the election. For me, if I had the opportunity of going back to the polls again, I would still support the PDP. Anyway, they have done what they wanted. And the region will still be ill-treated in the appointment of ministers.
On election of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu
I am not in support of this hierarchy which the two chambers of the National Assembly emphasize in their standing rules. I condemned it before I even stepped my feet into the House of Representatives. In fact, I wanted to contest for the position of Minority Leader, as a first timer but they used the hierarchy issue to short-live my ambition. I was not happy about that. I would suggest that as far as you have been elected as a member of the House of Representatives, you should be qualified to contest for any elective position.
This hierarchy thing is causing a lot of problems and I like what happened in the Senate where that jinx was broken. This means that the emphasis on hierarchy would not be conspicuous next time.
Do you think the South-East zone should be compensated by the House leadership in anyway?
The House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara should carry every member along, irrespective of where the person comes from. I can vow for the speaker that he was not part of what happened in the House of Representatives during the composition of the House leadership because he started preaching equity and federal character from the day he assumed office. I believe that Mr Speaker, in his own wisdom, will use his power to make sure he balances the equation in the House.
On the probe of Jonathan’s administration
I am not in support of the focus on Jonathan’s administration. I believe that narrowing the probe to Jonathan’s administration would appear as if it is a personal fight. I am personally supporting him to fight corruption but the fight must be broad based.
It must go beyond the Jonathan administration. They should look into the activities that happened in previous administrations.
Like I said, narrowing it to the government of Jonathan will show us that the Buhari leadership is a one-sided leadership that is just out to hunt a particular group in the country based on their political inclination.
What is your view on the bailout fund given to insolvent states in the country?
What the former governor of my state did was to deliberately put the new administration in a tight corner. And I believe that was what happened in all the affected states. I knew the battle we fought with the former governor when he was trying to impose candidates on people.
The former governor made sure he emptied the treasury of Ebonyi State so that nothing would be left. As I am talking to you now, if I tell you how much Ebonyi owes in the capital market you would not believe it.