Former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, yesterday went down memory lane as he narrated how his incarceration by the military brought him into an enduring relationship with the late governor of old Rivers State, Chief Medford Okilo in Kirikiri Prison, Lagos.
Nwobodo, who described politics in Nigeria today as “a fast food business where anything goes,” said politicians should be made to visit the prisons to come to terms with reality and appreciate the suffering of Nigerians.
He made these views known at a fund raising and presentation of the biography of Chief Melford Okilo, entitled: “Okilo, A Bridge Builder”.
Nwobodo said: “Okilo and I met at Kirikiri Prisons and we became good friends. One day, we were bundled into the plane and taken to Borno State, from there, we were moved to Enugu. As 2nd republic governors, we did well and those we governed will attest to this.
“These days, people don’t take time to prepare for leadership. They now see politics as a fast food business. People now see it as a way to get rich quickly. It is good for politicians to occasionally go to Kirikiri Prisons and when they come out, they will behave well.
“Most of our current crops of politicians are in politics for what they can get out of it. They have no conviction and no ideology. None of them can make sacrifices for this country. They are motivated by money,” he lamented.
Former Attorney-General of the Federation and book reviewer, Chief Kalu Agabi, said the country lacks the requisite leadership to move to the next level, stating that too many Nigerians were elected into offices they’ve no qualification for.
In his tributes to the former governor of Old Rivers State, who died in 2008, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by the supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, described Okilo as a detribalised Nigerian, who believed in justice, equity and fair play.