1. The Anambra State Government has maintained careful and dignified silence on the tragedy which occurred in Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area, on March 31 when a group of armed young men invaded the premises of the town’s Civic Centre where Professor Chukwuma Soludo, a former Central Bank of Nigeria and a leading aspirant of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), was holding talks with the youth of the area.
Three policemen providing security at the venue were killed in cold blood and the Anambra State Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr Emeka Ezenwanne, an engineer and indigene of the town, whisked away by the gunmen.
We have refrained from making a public statement because the tragedy of this proportion was not known in the state in the last seven years when the state achieved its deserving status as Nigeria’s safest and most peaceful state.
The government has been preoccupied with how to rescue Mr Ezenwanne, bring the perpetrators of the tragedy to justice and ensure that nothing like this happens again in our state.
2. We are, however, breaking our silence because of the determined attempt by some politicians in the state to politicize the Isuofia tragedy. Just 48 hours after the incident, the politicians had begun to make all manner of statements through their minions on the social media.
3. The statements show no respect for the gallant policemen who died in the line of duty of making our place safe. They do not mourn with families of the dead police officers, nor do they commiserate with the police authorities.
The statements show no sympathy for Professor Soludo who was apparently the main target of the dastardly attack. Neither do they exhibit sensitivity to the Ezenwanne family whose illustrious son has been missing.
Indeed, they do not care about the people and government of Anambra State led by Governor Willie Obiano who in the last seven years has not spared any resources to make Anambra not just Nigeria’s safest state but also the most socially harmonious.
4. It is, therefore, unacceptable for a small band of politicians and their agents to use their access to the social media to politicize a tragedy which befell all the people of Anambra State.
Only unconscionable people indulge in this kind of politics.
Such people should not have a place in politics which, strictly speaking, is an avenue to serve the people, and not to seek power for its own sake and for self-aggrandizement.
5. The actions of these so-called politicians are bizarre. Human life is sacred. It is so valued in traditional African society that when a person dies, even mortal foes and fiends of the family of the deceased suspend their enmity and pay a visit to the bereaved to condole them.
6. The behavior of these politicians is a gross violation of the ethical philosophy of Igbo people which is captured in the popular saying, “onye aghana nwanne ya”, that is, “be your brother’s keeper”. “Onye aghana nwanne ya” is the mantra of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State.
7. It is disappointing that there are a handful of politicians in Anambra State who have yet to key into Governor Obiano’s vision of a more humane and caring society. The state administration policy is defined by solidarity and inclusiveness.
The administration has carefully avoided things which can cause or deepen divisions in society but has rather embraced those things which promote peace, love, unity and human dignity.
For instance, the Anambra State Government almost led the one weeklong funeral of former Vice President Alex Ekwueme in 2018, despite the fact that Dr Ekwueme was a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his first daughter participated in the November 17 2017 gubernatorial vote on the PDP platform while the state administration is APGA-controlled.
There are many other important instances of solidarity led by Governor Obiano which culminated in social harmony on a grand scale in the state.
8. To state the obvious, the immoral politicking over the tragedy which occurred in Isuofia on March 31 by a handful of noisy and inelegant politicians is not in the character of the Anambra people. It is indecent.
It is more appalling that it began in the Holy Week which leads to Easter, a season of reconciliation, harmony, unity, peace and solidarity. The Anambra people are proud of their Christian heritage and their Christian values.
9. Finally, those politicizing the act of terrorism which took place on March 31 are advised to retrace their steps immediately. The Anambra State Government will no longer condone such behavior which does tremendous violence to the reputation of our people.
God bless Anambra State, the Light of the Light of the Nation.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.