Nigerian Tunde Okorodudu Returns Home to Oakland to Celebrate Black History Month

Tunde Okoroduduwas featured in January 2012 edition of WARRI VOICE.

Tunde Okorodudu this week congratulated President Barack Obama for the groundbreaking of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He is a political leader and union and human rights activist with over 30 years experience working for justice in Nigeria. While living in the Bay Area, he has served as president of SEIU Local 535, President of the Nigerian Association of California and is a longtime friend of former Post editor Chauncey Bailey and host of TV show AfricaBeat. In 2003, he ran for the Nigerian Senate in Delta State as a candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which is the country’s leading opposition party, while the ruling party is the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The following is an excerpt of a recent interview with Mr. Okorodudu in the Warri Voice, a news magazine in Nigeria. Q: You bave been out of the political scene for quite a while; what is the reason? A: No, I have been fully involved in the development of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in Delta State. As a leader in the State caucus of the party, under the leadership of Chief Adolo OkotieEboh, who is the State Chairman, we have been working very hard, to present an alternative party, other than the PDP, for Delta State. As you will see, the wind of change is blowing. ACN, has taken over in virtually all the South West States, and it has reached Edo State with an ACN Governor in the person of Adams Oshiomole. Very soon the wind of change will blow into Delta State. Q: The security situation in the Northern part of the country has become worrisome; what would you ascribe for this? A: The bombing of Churches and killing of mostly Christians from the Southern part of Nigeria by the terrorist group, Boko Haram reminds me how the civil war that started in 1966, when southerners were butchered. It led to the Aburi summit in Ghana by the military government then led by Gen. Yakubu Gowon which was to discuss about confederation for Nigeria. It was not implemented; this led to the Biafran/Nigeria war in 1967-1970. Q: Some people are insinuating that the Boko Haram onslaught is politically motivated; do you subscribe to that argument? A: Boko Haram is just a front for some unscrupulous northern political leaders who have sworn that, they will make Nigeria ungovernable for President Jonathan because, he did not step aside for a Northern candidate, in the last Presidential election.  The Nigerian constitution does not have this kind of arrangements for alternating between the north and south. Q: What do you think is the way forward on the present security situation? A: The only solution to avert a civil war or a disintegration of Nigeria is to allow for. a sovereign National Conference to hold, so that all ethnic Nationalities can sit together and deliberate a peaceful solution to the Nigeria question. We need to sit and talk about how, we can form a true Federation, where there will be more regional powers, than the current unitary system, where all powers have been centralized in Abuja. The CIA of the United States, seven years ago, predicted a possible disintegration of Nigeria before 2015. Q: Ever since you con tested for Senatorial seat, nothing else has been heard from you. Do you have any plans contesting in 2015? A: Yes, I contested for the Delta South Senatorial seat in 2003 when I returned from in the United States of America, where I acquired my University education. I was employed as a civil servant in the County govt for over 15 years. I took an early retirement to come back home to contribute to the development of my Country. I felt that with my vast experiences from being the first non-American Student Union President of my University in California in the 1980s, also elected as a regional President of the California Student Association. Also elected as the President of the Nigerian American Association of California for several years, I felt I have acquired the motivation and experience to go back home and serve my people. The unfair electoral malpractice in Nigeria robbed me of an opportunity to serve my country. However, I am still fully involved in politics. As, I earlier mentioned, as a chieftain of CAN in Delta State, the future is still of hope for me to contribute in any way, to help in uplifting  my beloved state, Delta.
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