State of Emergency threat: Perish this idea, Anambra Monarchs to AGF

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Abubakar Malami

…As Uba commends Obiano for stepping out to tackle security issue

The threat by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami that the federal government might declare a state of emergency in Anambra State ahead of the November 6 governorship election due to rising insecurity in the state has drawn the ire of the traditional rulers against the Minister, with the Monarchs asking him to perish the idea.

Rising from its weekly meeting in Awka, the State Council of Traditional Rulers argued that the situation in the state does not warrant state of emergency, adding that life is normal in the state.

The communiqué, which was signed by the Obi of Onitsha and chairman of the council, Obi Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe and the deputy chairmen for the three senatorial zones read: “The impression is given that a possible state of emergency was discussed at the FEC meeting, and Malami’s statement is a true reflection of discussions at the meetings on the security situation in the state which is preparing to have a gubernatorial election on Saturday, November 6, 2021.

“If, indeed the statement credited to the Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice is a fair summary of the FEC discussions and decision on Anambra State, it is our considered opinion that the FEC was not properly briefed on the state of affairs in the state.

“True, there have been considerable security challenges in Anambra State in the last two weeks. There have been about twelve casualties from the new wave of violence, including Dr. Chike Akunyili, a medical doctor based in Enugu and husband of the highly regarded former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili..

“Yet, it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be justified to contemplate emergency rule in the state on the strength of the 12 violent deaths in the last two or three weeks. States like Zamfara, Kaduna, Yobe, Plateau, Niger, Benue, Katsina and Adamawa have lost thousands of people in recent times, yet successful elections have been held in them. The security crises in Niger and Borno have been such that mission aircraft were shut down there. Whole communities are occupied by bandits and terrorists.

“In contrast, life is normal in Anambra State. All schools, markets and business are open. A lot of petrol stations operate for 24 hours. People engage in regular social activities like marriages, funerals and title taking. Thousands of vehicles move from places like Onitsha to all parts of the country and beyond day and night without incidents.

“Political parties are still campaigning for the impending gubernatorial election, mobilizing thousands of people to rallies.

“What the Federal Government has to do to improve the security situation in Anambra State, which for the last seven years has been the best throughout the country, is to deploy more security forces to the state, provide them with necessary equipment and incentivize them by paying the security personnel their allowances promptly and improving their general welfare. What is more, the Federal Government has to provide the security, the resources to engage in intelligence gathering.

“The Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice has to perish the thought of a state of emergency in Anambra State as the November 6 gubernatorial election has to hold”.

Meanwhile, the APC candidate for the governorship election, Senator Andy Uba has commended Gov. Willie Obiano for heeding his persistent call on him to step out of his comfort zone and confront headlong the challenge of insecurity plaguing the state.

Speaking against the backdrop of the governor’s visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Uba said the move was in sync with his belief that when one is confronted with challenges beyond his capacity, the right and proper thing to do is seek help from higher authorities.

“For days and weeks now, I have persistently urged Governor Obiano to step out of Government House with a view to finding lasting solution to the problem, but the answer I got was a further politicization of the problem”, Uba said.

Uba, who spoke through his director of media in the APC campaign organization, Hon Afam Ogene said that flowing from the open confession by the political adviser to the governor that no Anambra person is involved in the disturbances ravaging the state, the governor ought to have taken the moral high ground by offering unreserved apologies to Senator Andy Uba who, he added, the Obiano camp had strenuously tried to malign.

“Conventional wisdom dictates that it is counterproductive to seek to play politics with issues of security. This is so because in attempting to politicize any security challenge, the real culprits would be left with a leeway to continue to evade detection.

“Now, with the open admission that Senator Uba is not in any way involved in the ugly spectacle going on in the state, the honourable thing to do is, offer unreserved apologies to him.

“We have always maintained that issue of security is everyone’s call, hence our relentless call on Governor Obiano to step forward and take charge,” Ogene said.

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