The executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, is embattled lately faced with gruesome murders, arson, terrorism and kidnappings by the so-called unknown gunmen. Ever since his inauguration months ago the Governor has shown some intrepid leadership qualities. He is working round the clock to give ‘Ndi-Anambra’ the dividends of democracy. He has not shied away from taking bold and impressive decisions bordering on many socio-economic aspects of lives of our people.
He had dutifully toured some parts of the state, visiting prisons and hospitals and proffering reforms that would be beneficial in the long run. He had equally taken some time out of his busy schedule to visit the incarcerated leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, inside the DSS detention facility in Abuja. No eastern Governor before him had dared book appointment with the charismatic Biafra separatist leader on trial.
Critics had accused him of impetuosity, going faster than necessary in his efforts to see a new Anambra state. It would appear that he is in a hurry to make some positive impact on the system.
Governor Soludo can be accused of anything but no one can ever accuse him of lacking in ideas or vision for a better transformed Anambra State. Nor could anyone accuse him of displaying cluelessness in matters of state. He wants to be remembered by history and posterity as that Chief Executive of a dynamic rich state who came, saw and conquered the demons militating against the development and emancipation of the state.
Soludo is organized, sound academically and competent administratively. He may not be among the politicians of fortune we are ‘cursed’ with at the centre and at the States but he is in politics to make a difference. Politics, ordinarily, ought to constitute service to humanity.
But beyond the facade of providing leadership and making Anambra safe for business and investment Soludo seems to have made enmity with the rampaging unidentified (or identified) gunmen. The unknown gunmen phenomenon reared its ugly head following the militarization of the Biafran independence struggle.
Mazi Kanu may have created the Eastern Security Network (ESN) with noble intentions. He had announced that the ESN was established primarily to rid Igboland of marauding killer Fulani herdsmen. But atrocities and terrorism had trailed the ESN elements manifesting themselves in odious crimes against the state and citizens. They are accused, rightly or wrongly, of attacking federal security infrastructures, sometimes eliminating security officers on duty! And razing their offices and stealing their weapons.
They invade prisons at wee hours of the night freeing dangerous convicted criminals! They kidnap and behead traditional rulers and politicians especially those perceived to be opposed to their cause. They burn down homes of opponents (like the Nnewi country home of Joe Igbokwe).
Despite the valiant efforts of security forces the killings and terrorism continue in the entire South-east region. Before now Imo State bore the brunt of the criminal exploits of the unknown gunmen. With the Supreme Court-imposed Governor, Hope Uzodinma, seen generally as a Fulani puppet and anti-Biafran executive element, the state became a battleground where governance appeared to have failed.
But now they seem to have re-strategized channelling their murderous exploits to Anambra State. For the past month they have been on the rampage abducting innocent citizens and murdering them in cold blood! They visit state broadcasting stations threatening to commit murder and arson! They wrote letters to some local government areas (including my beloved Ihiala town) intimating them of their imminent gory invasion.
Now, Governor Soludo has been addressing the problem head-on. Recently, faced with the recrudescence of same, he had declared that the unknown gunmen terrorizing the state are indigenes of other Igbo-speaking states. We agree with him on that score given the fact that he must have spoken conclusively based on intelligence available to him.
If it is found out that indigenes of Abia, Enugu, Imo or Ebonyi are involved in the Anambra mayhem then it is up to Soludo to find solution. They must be found out, fixed and finished. The triple ‘F’ (find, fix, finish) formula remains the only viable option capable of addressing the societal menace. It is inconceivable that outlaws, high on drugs and alcohol and fortified by charms, would elect Anambra as home, as a safe haven for their profitable criminal activities.
The state must be made hot and inhabitable for them to operate!
The management of power takes responsibility and systemic organization of men and resources. It takes uncanny ability to surmount challenges of the day no matter how hard or intricate the situation. Gov. Soludo is doing well thus far, posting stellar performance early enough in the life of his young administration.
Fighting for freedom and criminality perpetrated by misguided folks towards the realisation of this objective are two distinct endeavours incompatible with one another whether in form, shape or vision.
Whatever happens next Anambra state must not surrender to the criminal whims and caprices of the rampaging gun-wielding terrorists. They must, sooner or later, meet their waterloo.
We wish Governor Soludo well in his determination to make Anambra state a land of progress, peace and prosperity.
It shall be well with ‘Ndi-Anambra’.