Saturday, 4 June 2016

Igbo Day Killings: 5 Reasons why it is wrong to Blame Obiano

Igbo Day Killings: 5 Reasons why it is wrong to Blame Obiano

By Ugochukwu Chinwuba


Since the recent killing of Igbo youths who filed out to mark the Igbo Day in Nkpor, there has been a concerted effort by some groups of bitter politicians, colluding with pseudo-rights activists to blame Governor Willie Obiano  of Anambra State for the killings. This coterie of political hangmen have been looking for a chink in Governor Obiano’s armour for a very long time, following the great leadership qualities he has shown in the past two years. With the Nkpor tragedy, they quickly jumped to the belief that they had finally found the lethal weapon with which to nail him with spurious charges that cannot stand a serious test. Their charge against Obiano is that he gave the police, the army and other armed forces who took part in the bloodbath the “shoot-on-sight” order that led to the death the youths. It is a very laughable accusation and here are the reasons why their plot to pin the blames for the tragedy on Obiano will fail – 


1. The President of Nigeria is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, made up of the Army, the Navy, the Airforce, the Police and the para-military. This means that they all take orders from the President. Therefore, the Service Chiefs and Service Commanders do not take orders from governors. This was recently demonstrated on the night the Fulani herdsmen assaulted Nimbo Community in Uzo Uwani, Enugu. The governor of Enugu State was reported to have been re-directed to the Presidency when he sought the intervention of the Service Commanders in the state (the GOC of 82 Division and the Commissioner of Police in the state). So, it is wrong to assume that Obiano could have ordered the police to shoot peaceful protesters. He does not have such powers and even if he had, Obiano would never have contemplated exercising it.


2. Obiano is the only governor that has made a bold effort to give a proper burial to Igbos who died during the Biafran War. In January 2015, Governor Obiano organised a memorial called “Ozoemezina,” which took place at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka. It was a grand effort to bring closure to that dark chapter of our history and confer dignity on our fallen heroes and heroines. If he was a rabid hater of his people, Obiano would never have taken the risk he took to organise “Ozoemezina. So, why should anyone even think of accusing him of ordering the slaying of his people?


3. Obiano loves Nidgbo too deeply to ever entertain the thoughts of taking any action that would lead to the killing of Igbo youths. His positive disposition towards the youths is reflected in the number of youths that have been appointed to serve in various capacities in his administration. He is the first governor to have employed youths into very respectable positions as that of Special Adviser on Budget and Planning among others. It is unlikely that a leader who thinks highly of Nigerian youths would also order their killing.


 4. Obiano has adroitly handled a volatile situation that would have led to greater bloodshed before the Nkpor tragedy. He did so with his mature handling of the transfer of Boko Haram prisoners to Ekwulobia last year. It was due to his crisis management ability that the matter was perfectly resolved without any casualties. If he could save us such a harrowing experience last year, it is wrong to accuse him of ordering the killing of his own people.


5. Obiano loves the Ndigbo so much that he donated his entire salaries to charity to ensure that the poor and the downtrodden among us get a new lease of life. He is the only governor to have done this and the only one to have granted amnesty to prisoners and handed them N1m cheques to help them start a new life. How can such a humane governor order the police to shoot and kill innocent youths? Is it possible? No!


It is therefore immoral for anyone to accuse Obiano of ordering the shooting of Igbo youths. Such accusations can only come from extreme ignorance or extreme mischief and none of them is good enough for Ndi Anambra. 


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