•Restructure Nigeria for regions to develop at their own pace
•My take on revenue sharing formula •Dialogue with Niger Delta militants to increase oil production
•1983 coup was aimed at stopping me from becoming president
•Why I declined Obasanjo’s offer to be Senate President
Dr. Alex Ekwueme, served as Nigeria’s vice-president between October 1979 and December 1983 and played a pivotal role in the fight against military rule prior to 1999 having been chairman of the, G34, a political platform upon which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was formed. Lawyer, architect and statesman, Dr. Ekwueme who would be 84 later this month spoke to a team of Vanguard reporters in his Oko, Anambra State residence on the trajectory of Nigeria’s independence, the state of the nation and the fate of his party, the PDP which he served among others as its first chairman.Excerpts:

Don’t you think that if you took the position that you would have been able to mobilise the Senate to counter whatever breaches to democratic tenets that Obasanjo was accused of?

I am not immodest, but I can say that anything I put my mind to do, I try and do it well. If I had accepted and became president of Senate, I would have made the legislature something Nigerians would be proud of. But I didn’t think it was right. I was vice-president for four years and three months and under our zoning system in the NPN. Chances were high that in 1987 that I might have been the candidate of the party for the presidency.

Umaru Dikko gave a press interview in London after the coup of December 31, 1983 that all the talk about corruption was just hogwash that the coup took place because they wanted to stop me from being president in 1987 and that they didn’t want to wait until it was too close that it would be too obvious.

But I know that early in December 1983 that the NPN (National Party of Nigeria) had its convention in Ibadan and President Shagari’s speech at that time was that the decision of the party to move the presidency of the country to the South was irreversible and that it was in the interest of Nigerian unity. That was part of his speech, and I think this was probably what triggered the December 31 coup according to Umaru Dikko in his press interview…


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