Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Other Governors of NC, SW, SE, and SS States Where are You?
By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
I was living in Enugu in 1967 when the bodies and body parts of Eastern Nigerians and naked or nearly naked men and women sauntered into Enugu. Those people were dispossessed of everything they had owned in other parts of Nigeria. They arrived by trains and by roads making the Enugu train station and Ogbete Motor Park a kind of tourist points as Easterners of every tribe and tongue scoured the stations in search of family and friends. Sometimes an applause or celebration arose from close of far points signaling that a loved one has been found. At other times wailing and crying was heard meaning that a family or friend has been declared lost. Lateness to work or absenteeism soared as people went from the Train Station to the Motor Park, day in and day out.
After a while the then Governor of Eastern Nigeria Lt. Col Odemegwu Ojukwu raised alarm with Lt. Col Yakubu Gowon and threatened session and he got the Eastern Nigerian Consultative Assembly to lend voice to his appeal that the killings must stop. The killings did not stop but when it did he demanded compensation for loss of lives. He carefully documented the list of the dead and missing and tallied the numbers and pictures for the future and the world to see the abomination of genocide visited on his people. Things did not improve.
And on May 30th, 1967 Biafra was born. The rest they say is history.
Even now the debate is still on: “was Ojukwu right to secede or not?” For most Eastern Nigerians the answer is yes but maybe more preparation should have followed before the declaration. Nnamdi Kanu who was not born at the time has seen similar events preceding the declaration of Biafra and has put his feet down. He will most likely die in President Buhari’s prison to satisfy PMB’s appetite for Igbo blood.
We know where both Ojukwu and Kanu stood when they saw man’s inhumanity to man was mated to their people.
Will we ever know where Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi stood when Enugu state people were killed in old Nsukka, Old Awgu, and old Udi? Will we know where the governor of Lagos stood as mayhem was visited on Lagosians about a month ago? How about states in NC, SW, SS, and the rest of SE? Where are you as your men are killed and their wives and daughters are raped by known enemies.
There is an Igbo anecdote about the tortoise. He was kidnapped without trace and as his kidnapper was getting away he asked to be let down to pee. His kidnapper considered continuing his escape and get to lick the tortoise’s pee and letting him down to pee. He chose the latter. The tortoise started to dig the soil and after a while the kidnapper asked him what he was doing, to which he answered that it was to leave a mark that passers-by would recognize as the place where the mighty tortoise was kidnapped. In other words he wanted people to know that he fought back. Did it save the tortoise’s life? No but we know that he just did not play dead.
Mr. Ugwuanyi will the people of Nsukka, Udi and Awgu remember what you did when you people were killed under your administration? We know what Ojukwu did. We know what Nnamdi Kanu did.
Your number one job is to protect the lives and property entrusted to your protection. You have the power to do so and the resources to do it.
Nigerian constitution of 1999 as amended gives you the authority. The Constitution tries to divide areas of influence between the federal government and the states. This is accomplished in Second Schedule. Part I of the schedule has what is called Exclusive List. Items on this exclusive list are the exclusive regulatory areas of the FG and include defense, university education, immigration etc. Part II is called Concurrent List. In this area BOTH the FG and the states can regulate. Agriculture is part of this schedule. But because of laziness or timidity you and other state governors and legislatures do not do your jobs of making laws that would protect your residents. The legislatures can make laws banning grazing, which would enable our farmers make a bundle simply by going to state courts when cattle farmers enter their property. And these menaces would die promptly with just one decision. The two subsections of the second Schedule Part II cited above is the authority state governments already have.
Here is what it says in sub-section
- Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a House of Assembly may make Laws for that State with respect to industrial, commercial or agricultural development of the State.
- For the purposes of the foregoing paragraphs of this item, the word “agricultural” includes fishery.
The second area is how to enforce the laws. Each state has a state commissioner of police who reports on straight line to the governor and on a dotted line to the Inspector of Police who in turn reports on a straight line to the President but with strong independence like the Judiciary’s. The Security Vote we hear so often about is for law enforcement in the state. But then you and the other governors often pocket the huge allocation and refuse to enforce the scanty laws the state Houses timidly make.
It is obvious that if we want to stop the menace of herdsmen, the governors and the states legislatures could make the killing of SW,SE, NC, and SS peoples a thing of the past without any action from the FG. They have the authority and the funds to do so. But you all are for the most part timid or even ignorant of the powers you have. Or worse nonchalant about the lives and property you swore an oath to protect.
Shame on you
Were you there when they killed our farmers? Where were you? Can we point to the point where you fought back after the wives of our people were rapped when the herds’ men had disposed of our men?
“…Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol.
The noise of battle hurtled in the air.
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Caesar! These things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them.
What can be avoided
Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
Yet Caesar shall go forth, for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
When beggars die there are no comets seen.
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come…”
Julius Caesar Act 2, Scene 2, Page 2
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
April 27, 2016