What is Governor Ugwuanyi’s offence?

By Chuks Oko

What is the offence of His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi? I don’t want to believe that the recent attacks on his person are being sponsored by politicians who are not happy that he believes in ‘live and let live.’ Those who don’t believe in an all inclusive government. A style that has made Enugu politicians see one another as brothers rather than enemies in the name of politics.

Some say he is not a politician but his style has proved bookmakers wrong. His re-election was a clean sweep even against the ruling party at the centre. Is it not a commendable political feat?
Reading a piece attributed to one Rev. Fr. Ike Odigbo one would not help but feel an undertone of mischief.

I am a Catholic, and I have so much respect for Catholic priests, but it is either some of them do not understand the ‘politics’ involved in the recent attacks and have unconsciously been dragged into the fray or have allowed themselves to be caught in the Web of a political battle. I don’t want to say that my respected priests are being used even without their knowing it.
The priest titled his write-up ‘Insecurity in Enugu…’ and from the first line heaped all attacks and blames on the governor.
There was no mention of the police, army or other security agencies whom it is their immediate responsibility to provide security.
Also, Security falls within the Exclusive List and as such an exclusive of the Federal government.. Appointments and postings of Commissioner’s of Police and other security Chiefs are strictly under the federal government. Thus, the call for community and State police in some quarters so that the states can take responsibility for their security.

Yes, we agree that the governor is the Chief Security officer of the state but the police, Army and other security agencies are not under his control.
I don’t think he is expected to carry guns and go into the bushes to protect his people.
Rather his duty is to provide logistics and other incentives to make the security agents discharge their duties effectively. This he has been doing to the best of my knowledge.
We all remember what happened before the Nimbo herdsmen attack. There was a security report of an impending danger. The governor summoned an emergency meeting and was re-assured by the CP and other security heads, yet they failed. Would you blame the governor for this? All that followed is now history and those who failed in their duties were reprimanded.
Let us take the issue of kidnap of a priest in Ezzeagu. Few years back kidnapping went to an all time high in the South-East to the extent that an army Special Squad was deployed to Abia State where the notorious Osisi-Kankwu was gunned down.

The business of kidnap also boomed in Anambra but the intensified efforts of security agents helped stem the massive tide.
In Enugu the brother of late Minister for Information Dora Akunyili was kidnapped, there was another memorable kidnap of a woman whose son is a successful business man. She was killed and buried in a forest in Nkwerre Ezukalla in Anambra State.

The list of kidnap in Enugu and of-course the rest of the South East was endless. It was like an epidemic that ravaged the South East, Catholic Priests were also victims, yet nobody blamed the governor then Sullivan Chime and his colleagues for the rise in kidnapping.
The Ezzeagu priest was kidnapped from the parsonage and when the alarm was raised the villagers went in search of the priest. Unfortunately his body was found.

Yes, the Nenwe episode. The report was that the villagers drove away herdsmen from their community. If you have a friend from Nenwe, or you want to find out things for yourself, visit the community and I can comfortably say that herdsmen are still there. Herdsmen are in Nenwe and have been accommodated by the community. What happened was that the people woke up that morning and saw a staggering number of cows passing through the community.

Afraid that they were about to settle asked them to move on. That was the video that went viral. Rev. Fr. Odigbo please go and find out for yourself if herdsmen are still in Nenwe.
In most of our communities the Fulani herdsmen have been accommodated for decades while the traditional rulers reap the dividends and royalties, yet nobody wants to recognize this.
The duty of securing our communities starts from each of us as individuals. It continues with our village heads, traditional rulers, Town Union leadership, councillors and Local Government chairmen, it is not for our governor alone. Even the police who it is their primary responsibility cannot work without information because they are not ubiquitous neither are they spirits.

The priest in his write-up almost exposed himself when he wrote…”The way he is going, with rising insecurity in the land, I doubt if he will complete this second term…”
Haba Fr. are you not beating someone else’s drums?
I like critics, but sir your write-up is far from a critique. You never saw anything good the governor has done.
You couldn’t even give him the credit of being the first in the South East to setup forest guards as agreed by the South-East Governors.

The police will always tell you that crime can never be eliminated but can only be curtailed. So blaming a peaceful governor for any crime in Enugu is totally wrong as nobody can blame you for the sins of the congregation of the Church you are managing.
In case you have not heard of this, a policeman was shot recently between 7th or 8th August along Nike Lake Road, Enugu.
The Keke reportedly slowed down at the check-point and shot at the police man. Would you also blame the governor here?
The police at Abakpa have been very notorious in toll collection to the extent that all keke riders pay a certain amount on daily basis.
People have differences. People quarrel, they fight, these could be motives for murder. We have heard of son stabbing mother to death in the same house.
I am not holding forth for the governor, I will criticize him if the need arises but in the present situation we all must tread with caution and individually contribute in our little ways to help in securing the state.

I know that some politicians are not happy that Ugwuanyi brought back former governor, Chimaroke Nnamani into political reckoning once again but the church must not allow itself to be used in a revenge mission.
The fake videos have continued to fly on the social media all in attempt to malign the governor. It’s however worrisome that the Catholic Church is being used to settle political scores.
The governor, however, is a Catholic, same with his deputy, Speaker and even the Chief Judge of the State. So, whose script is on play?

Chuks Ferdinand Oko writes from Aninri, Enugu State.

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