“The economy is dwindling and very soon our revenue earner crude oil will be replaced by technology and therefore the best for now us right is invest and embark in agriculture to save the economy”, the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Onyebo Ihejirika, has declared.
Speaking to journalists in his country home, Ovim Isuikwuato, former Chief of Army Staff, appealed to Nigerian to embark on aggressive farming, saying that he himself has begun big time farming.
On the federal government, Ihejirika maintained that though the All Peoples Congress (APC) controlled federal government appears to be slow in tackling some knotty issues such as insecurity and corruption, it has nonetheless done well in many sectors.
Briefing newsmen in his country home in Ovim, Isuikwuato LGA of Abia State, Gen Ihejirika believed that the threat of insecurity has drastically gone down under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime, even as he argued that issues of insecurity and corruption are matters that cannot be tackled in within a short spell of time.
On the Electoral Bill which the President recently sent back to the National Assembly for amendment, the retired General said the objective of the amendment is to restore confidence of Nigerians and the political parties in the electoral process, adding that the issues should not attract undue criticism and condemnation “because it is meant to put things alright”
“It is meant to restore confidence in the electoral system. In this regard, all parties should come together to harness and harmonise their views in order to produce a better alternative that will produce better political system for the country. The request for an amendment is for the good of the Nigeria’s electoral system”, he said.
On the agitation by Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for the creation of Biafran State, the former Nigerian Army chief sued for peace, saying that agitation that is not anchored on peace is bound to fail because violence does not produce any good result.
His word, “I sue for peace at all times because peaceful agitation will make people to listen to you. Once you go violent, you’ll lose all the support and sympathy from all angles. We should always employ dialogue in an atmosphere of peace; that’s how any issue would be resolved”.
On the rumours making the rounds that he was aspiring for the office of the governor of Abia State, Gen Ihejirika said he will definitely offer his service for any political office he considers fit for him in 2023 be it national or local. He however added that the position he will throw his hat on will depend on his party, the APC.
Ihejirika who is a now a renowned farmer, asked Nigerians particularly the youth to invest and embark in agriculture in order to diversify the economy. “We must go back to the farm because the crude oil sales will be a thing of the past”, he opined
He described the Nigerian Army as a rallying point of patriots and stressed that the Army is the only institution that houses patriots and those who have made it their duty to make sacrifices to the survival of the nation.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.