Posted by News Express | 13 October 2017 | 2,298 times
It is a clear that “Operation Python Dance 11”, which means Egwu Eke Nke Abua in Igbo Language, was declared in the entire South-East and parts of Cross River State. It also a known fact that majority of the pythonsdeployed are presently in Abia, doing the dance. The major reasons why Abia people must live and accommodate these dreaded pythons are not far-fetched.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is from Abia State. He operates from his Afara-Umuahia family house, closely located to Abia State Government House. That alone makes Umuahia the headquarters of Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Then, Aba, the commercial epicentre of both Abia State and South-east, becomes the operational headquarters. Many artisans, transporters and street urchins resident in Aba are committed members of IPOB. In fact, there are records of bloody clashes between IPOB members and security agents in Aba compared with other locations IPOB operates.
In the eyes of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, who is the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abia automatically becomes a security threat to national security. As one of the 36 states of the federation, Abia, we all know, should not be left for IPOB. The “increasing threats” orchestrated by Kanu and IPOB must be curtailed.
This, however, does not diminish the constitutional fact that Abia State has a government democratically constituted that is under the leadership of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who is the governor of the state. In his capacity as the governor of Abia State, Ikpeazu is the Chief Security Officer of the state. He is, therefore, expected to work closely with the President and Commander-in-Chief. His relationship with Buhari ought to be expressly established, close and devoid of partisan politics.
In the instant case, Ikpeazu is not anywhere close to Buhari. That is, he doesn’t have any form of closeness or relationship with the managers of our nation’s security institutions. Can any of his aides explain his relationship, if any, with the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, National Security Adviser? How does he relate with Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President, who is touted to be running the Office of the President?
The increasing security threats posed by Kanu and IPOB vis-à-vis President Buhari’s earlier warning ought to have jolted Ikpeazu to penetrate these important offices, to avoid harsh security decisions taken against him as the governor, Abia State, and Abians as a people. He should have anticipated that Abians and other residents stand to face multiplier consequences anytime the military is deployed to curtail the activities of Kanu and IPOB. Unfortunately, I can't remember reading where Ikpeazu visited President Buhari privately to discuss and proffer acceptable solutions to all these serious but urgent issues concerning his state and people. As a matter of fact, I was told that Ikpeazu’s final bus stop in Aso Villa is the Office of the Vice President. That means that in his capacity as the governor of Abia State, Ikpeazu doesn't know directly what the President thinks about his state, in respect to the activities of Kanu and IPOB? Does Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo discuss security issues? Even when he was the Acting President, did he take concrete decisions with regard to security issues? Did he deploy soldiers? Can we now see where and how Ikpeazu got things wrong, as the Governor of Abia State?
It is rather unfortunate that our governor, a PhD holder and former university lecturer, is low in certain ingredients, qualities and administrative tonic required to govern a state. Governance, all over the world, is a serious business that is not meant for lazy and incompetent people. Ikpeazu has not sufficiently convinced Abians that he is proactive, thoughtfull, foresighted and visionary to lead them as a governor. I stand to be corrected.
The governor, even after he returned to the country from the United States of America - where he spent weeks doing almost nothing – failed to show courage. While many of us had expected him to go and see President Buhari, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Buratai and other relevant persons in the nation’s security architecture, he disappointedly retired to Umuahia, only to hold meetings with the GOC 82 Division and his boys. For failing to take the right step, Ikpeazu, shortly after he personally announced the withdrawal of troops/soldiers from the streets, the Defence Headquarters overruled him. What an embarrassment! Why won’t they embarrass him when he failed to show courage and resilience? Why did he choose to meet with the wrong person? Is he afraid of confronting President Buhari and Gen Burutai with actual facts on ground in his state?
Well, before concluding this article, I will certainly advise Governor Ikpeazu, my brother and governor of Abia. The message this article conveys will help him change many things in the state. His success as the Governor of Abia State is tantamount to our collective success, as people of Obingwa, Ukwa/Ngwa and Abia in general. He should prioritise! Dr Okezie Ikpeazu should arrange his priorities in a manner that will henceforth accord him more respect and genuine commendation. He is not too young to be a governor, after all. One of his major flaws is inability to get his priorities right.
He should equally sanitise his surroundings. What value do those greedy young men that surround him on a daily basis bring to the table, as individuals and as a group? Don’t be surprise that they will be first to jump into the space announcing how they advised him and how he bluffed them refused to listen. Information before the people suggests that this very tiny group influences almost Ikpeazu’s major decisions, and largely decide who gets what in his government. That, alone, breeds resentment and disloyalty in government.
Again, Ikpeazu should assert himself as the governor of Abia State. He should remove fear while taking decisions on behalf of the people. He is democratically and constitutionally standing on the Mandate of Abia people. He owes Abia people maximum protection. If at all he is overwhelmed by responsibilities of that exalted office, he should rightly follow the constitutionally-established channel to communicate with his employers – Abians. Equally of great importance, is that the governor should henceforth open up communication with the right people that matter in the country. Ability to face squarely the onerous tasks that are associated with governance and deliver democratic dividends to the people will definitely earn him higher positions and places in future.
Finally, Ikpeazu should go closer to the elders. He should identify and draw the ‘red line’ for the young men that follow him around. The suggestions/contributions of the younger folks should be always subjected to further ‘knowledge-refining’ by reasonable elders in the overall interest of Abia people.
Gentlemen and ladies, together we shall build Abia of our collective dream and aspiration. After all, Abians are not cursed.
•Ebere Uzoukwa wrote from Obingwa, Abia State.
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