No hope for PDP in Ajeromi – Chief Anayochukwu Emeanua

Chief Barister Anayo is a titled Igbo Chief,a leader of the Igbos and a former Councilor
Introduce yourself, or have you added more to your titles
I know that I am Barrister Anayochukwu Emeayo . I am a Chief, with
three different titles: Ochendo, Ebubedike and Ogbuefi. It remains the
same; I don’t want to add any other one. I am a Justice of Peace
because I have gone to Jerusalem.
Throw more light on the titles, sir
Ochendo – my people saw that in their own assessment, I have supported
the downtrodden and the helpless enormously. That I have not shut my
doors to the needy as whoever comes to me is welcomed, so they gave me
Ochendo which means umbrella.
 Ebubedike is from my in-law side. My father in -law died and I
performed and they said this man is worth the title. The Ogbuefi was
when my father died, you know when a big man dies, lot of cows goes
with his burial and I was given Ogbuefi. I don’t attach more
importance to these things that is why you see me walk with
simplicity
You have now joined APC, which you previously criticized. Is it true?
I am not hiding it .When I left, my friend who is the state chairman, Engr Adedeji
Doherty called me and asked if what he heard was true because he
said, he read it from the newspapers. I told him, what he read was
true and he asked me to come so that we can talk. I told him, I don’t
have the time that I don’t have such leisure, but he insisted, I said
I will try, that I will come when I have the time.
 Many other people have been calling me because they were surprised. I
see that the PDP has no chance here both in Ajeromi and Lagos State,
let’s be honest with ourselves. When you want to talk of Lagos State,
the issue is not voting but, who will defend it. All the top leaders,
when the late  Funsho Williams was the governorship flag bearer for
the party, like; Dr John  Finnie, Senator Musliu Obanikoro among others,
have all gone to APC. Even our former state chairman, Moshood Salvador left
the party. With all these, you still want me to stay until the ocean
will swallow me.
Look at our local government, in all sincerity even if everybody
decides to vote for PDP, who will defend the vote, which notable
leader do we have that will stick out his neck and defend the votes
just like we did in 2015. Some of us slept three nights at that
Council, I, Evangelist Israel Ogunride, Prince Okafor and so many
other notable leaders.
We were there at midnight monitoring what was going on, even when they
wanted to change something in Ward K, it was Ogunride that dictated it
and all of us rushed there to the electoral officer. That night we
told him that if he doesn’t do the needful, we will burn down the
place and he has to do that. Who can stick out his neck like that now?
Kola Balogun and Toyin Ojora, all the people have gone. Politics is
not about making noise; the real people are no longer there.

You mean truly, there is no hope for PDP in Ajeromi?
What we are saying is that as long as this dispensation is concern,
PDP has no chance here.

You were a great critic of APC while in PDP, has your perception about
APC changed now?

Hmmmmm, here is not United States of America or Great Britain where
you have ideology. There is no ideology in the politics we play in
Nigeria and that’s why you can move from party to another. I was just
reading that it appears former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose and
even Governor Nyesom Wike of River State want to move over to APC.
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives who was in PDP has
gone back to APC. There is no ideology in Nigerian politics; we play
it here according to our way of life.  You see, most of these
politicians, even while in PDP, sometimes we meet on the road and we
talk, even in beer parlor. We are one family, politics cannot divide
us

 Now that you are in APC, are there clearer picture of the politics of
the progressives?

That question is for the leaders.  Now that Chief Emeanua has joined
them, how do they see him? They are part and parcel of me and I don’t
see any difference. I see Prince Rabiu Oluwa as our apex leader, Samuel
Adeyemi is our chairman and I respect him so much, Olajeyi, Fayemi
taught me politics. It’s for them to determine, but all I know is that
I came with my heart. It’s when the election comes proper that they
will know whether I have come to work for the party or not.

From your statement, it’s like they still doubt your membership?
No, it’s not that way. It’s not what I mean. That is speculation and
as a lawyer, we don’t speculate. Wherever they are and they see me, we
greet and hug each other.
 

You’re an Igbo leader; and you left because you do not want to be drowned politically, so you want your people in PDP to be drowned?

No, there is an Igbo adage that says that ‘’it’s where you are living
that you will make things good’’. We are in Yoruba land, Ajeromi in
Lagos state. I have been talking to my people, there is this movement
call ‘Igbo’s For Ayoola’, I was the person who gave out that name. We met
with some people; they said this is the situation and I wrote out
three different names.
When the committee met, they choose the name. I also wrote the
constitution. We are talking to our people because we gain nothing
being in opposition. Somebody comes out and you vote out of sentiments
and when it’s time for payback, the person is over stretched. When
they wanted to destroy our shop at Kirikiri road, the person could not
do anything. But assuming all of us are in the same party, before the
people will do anything, there would have been intervention.
 Something happened in Kirirkiri road; I went there to see one of our
people Papillo, there was a construction happening there and it’s an
Igbo man that is doing it , the people came and said this and that.
Something that would have caused us so much, but we sat and discussed
and everything was settled amicably. But, if you are in the
opposition, it would have caused more problems.
So, we are telling our people that we are doing our business here, we
live here, and our children go to school here, and so we have to work
with the people who own the land. Late Sunny Okosun, sang a song which
says, ‘who owns the land’, I want to tell you that somebody owns this
land, don’t deceive yourself. That is why every Christmas; you travel
home to your village. After 360 days, you travel back to your village
to see your people because this land does not belong to you. So, we
have to corporate with the people that own this land.
I have been in opposition for long and there is no gain there. I have
been talking to my people and they are coming out one by one. Let’s
wait till election come, we are going to change the narrative.

The group, ‘Igbo’s for Ayoola’, what do you intend to achieve with it.
It’s the same thing with Igbo’s in APC. We just want to use it to
galvanize the support of our people. That APC is a national party;
they should not see it as a regional party. Since we are here, we
should all support the party because they are accommodating.

As an Igbo leader, how have you tried to help and support the Igbo man
in Ajeromi?

When you are talking of help, when our people have issues like the
landlord is disturbing them, or case at the police station, I come out
to render the little help that I can. If its tenancy, you help them
the much you can. Some of them, when their children are at the police
station I render legal services to them, the helpless, like the
widows; you offer them free legal services. Some of them get arrested
because of minor crimes and their family asks for my intervention,
sometimes, I stay here and call them, this is my person. I must tell
you that the police have been very cooperative.
 There was an Igbo lady, she had an issue with the husband and he
broke her head and took away the only child she has. She ran to this
place and the husband is also close to me.
When I called the man, he refused to pick my call and I told the woman
to go to Ajeromi police station to report the matter.  When she
mentioned my name, they acknowledged and helped her to collect the
child from the man. However, she told the police that she just wanted
to make peace with the man and the matter was settled between them.
During the pandemic, I supported my people. The Council Chairman also
gave me a bag of rice which I also shared to my people.
 I think the situation of the people have started changing over the
years. We now have understanding people and things are no longer the
way they used to be. We have some understanding people and good
leaders now unlike before in the late 80s and 90s.
That Council, it was as if the Customary Court there was basically for
the Igbo’s. It’s no longer like that. Everybody is getting a fair deal
now and that is kudos to the leadership now. You can’t go there now
and see Igbo’s being treated as if they are nobody. It’s no longer
like that. When you get there you will see our people, some of them
speak Yoruba more than the original Yoruba people.
 You see them on the road controlling traffic and this makes me happy.
This shows that we are accepted. Inside the Council, you see our
people; the Vice Chairman there is our person and Uche Amagba also is a Special Adviser to the Chairman and Hon Ifeoma Anene is there too.
Was it like that before? No! Things will continue to improve; we have
our people there that are earning their living there both in Ajeromi
and Ifelodun. Like we said, we have to talk about our own home because
charity begins at home
Finally, has there been improvement in OHANEZE as you mentioned the other time?
Like I said, some of us left OHANEZE because they seem to have turned
it to a personal enterprise without any vision or direction. If there
are 10 political parties, all of them will be in the 10 political
parties.
 The person that calls himself the president will go to all these
political parties and start collecting money. When you collect these
monies, these people are politicians; when they meet, they will still
x-ray the situation and tell themselves what is happening and so
nobody will trust you again.
This time, there is a great difference because Solomon Ogbonna is trying
and we are getting a lot of support from the State government. The
briefing we get every month is very encouraging. I believe in 2023,
Igbo’s will not disappoint APC because of the kind of support we are
getting from Gov Sanwo Olu.
 I don’t think there has been any past governor after Michael Otedola
who has given the Igbo’s such opportunity. Sanwo Olu is trying so much
for our people, he is helping us. It is not only OHANEZE, but Igbo
speaking. I will only tell my people; let’s all join hands and make
APC great.

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