Eze Udo II of Isolo, Lagos State
Starman Magazine aim to unfold the traditional institutions in an attempt to encourage and stimulate their activities towards effective and efficient community participation in leadership. Against this background, Starman Magazine media crew was privileged to meet Eze Udo II of Isolo, Lagos State at his Palace in Isolo. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
Can we meet you, Sir? How do we address you formally by virtue of your office? HRM, HRH or what?
I am Eze Udo II, Ikem Nwagbasi, the Eze Udo of Isolo land. I am the one responsible for the integration of the Ndigbo. I am also the Chairman of the Eze Udo council in Lagos State. I am the person responsible for making peace within the Ndigbo and our host community, the Yorubas and other people. Welcome to my Palace.
As the Eze Udo of Isolo, how long have you been on the throne? Can you recall the incident that led to your emergence as the Eze Udo?
Thank you. I have been on this throne for the past six years. My election was based on the contribution I had made in Isolo to Ndigbo and without much ado, the elders nominated me for the stool and all the Ndigbo accepted me.
In what ways, sir, has your exalted office contributed to the development and welfare of Ndigbo in Isolo, your immediate constituency, on one hand, and Ndigbo in Lagos state as a whole?
In that aspect, we help the needy, the widows and the motherless babies, not only Igbos but also other tribes in Lagos as a whole.
As an employer of labour, the chairman and CEO of VIDAX EQUIPMENY, in what ways has your organisation contributed to the economy of Nigeria in the area of granting employment to youths given the prevalent rate of unemployment in the country?
My company deals in agricultural and construction equipment. We’ve employed over 100 staff but now because of the change in Nigeria, we have reduced our working strength to 40. If there is no good change within four months, our company will close down indefinitely. We are struggling very hard to survive. All our customers in the agricultural sector and the construction industry have nothing to write home about. Nigeria is one of the richest countries in the world, yet people are suffering because of wrong government policies which can wreck down a business that was blossoming and built up over the years within a twinkling of an eye.
In recent times, people have been clamouring for restructuring of Nigeria perhaps on regional basis to reflect true federalism and to enhance development and expansion of infrastructures, do you think restructuring of the country at the moment would be a justifiable venture?
There is nothing impossible in life if things are done in an honest way. Restructuring is the best decision for Nigeria, if they do not do it today, they will do it tomorrow because I can assure you, this situation cannot continue. There can be no peace without justice.
What is your religious inclination, sir? Christian or Muslim? What role can the Christian/Muslim body play towards unifying the country as a whole?
I am a Christian, an Anglican. Christians are trying their best, when you want something done the right way and majority do not want it, you cannot kill yourself, just act your best and leave the rest to God.
What advice would you have for our leaders/politicians in their effort to move the country forward?
My advice to Nigerians, nay politicians is that good people should join politics. People say politics is a dirty game, politics is bad game it is dirty or bad when dirty people are allowed to play it, but when good people, morally upright and focused people join politics, the game will cease to be a dirty game. When good people whether Christians or Muslims come together to run the government, Nigeria will be better for us. For example, these bad people steal our money such that tow or three generations of theirs cannot exhaust such money and starch this money away in foreign countries, this does not make sense at all. This creates more problems for the coming generations – no jobs for the youths and that is why their idle minds have become the devils’ workshop. If boko haram fighters had good jobs, they would not carry guns because a hungry man is an angry man. This should be a big concern for our leaders. There is a need for good leadership to evolve a new order for the sake of the coming generations. A son Is expected to be an improvement on the parents. He should run faster than the parent or perhaps on the same speed as the parents, otherwise the future is bleak. That is the problem of Nigeria today. Our children cannot even run faster or at the same speed as their parents today. They finish from school and are faced with unemployment. In Igbo and perhaps, elsewhere, you are not expected to feed a grown-up child. My grandfather said it is a sin to give an adult food, so when you still keep feeding and giving pocket money to your grown-up child, where is the future?
We must plan for the future; revolution comes by circumstance when people are pressed to the wall. Our leaders should shun corruption and move the country forward.
How do you relax, sir?
I came from a poor family and I work 24 hours. That is why I am still able to feed my family. We must work hard to survive, that is why when we see these signs coming, we are very uncomfortable. I pray president Mohammadu Buhari to forge ahead in his second term and move Nigeria beyond poverty level. Thank you.