OPINION:EBUBEAGU And Umahi's Audacity

By Barr. Emeka Nwode 

The dust and the drama of the swearing in ceremony of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the Executive Governor of Anambra State had barely receded when this new leader made what seems to be the first deep pronouncement with far reaching consequences on the security and economy of the people of Anambra State. 

The directive of this globally acknowledged economist, technocrat and bureaucrat that all markets and schools in Anambra State should be open for business and studies, respectively,  and all civil and public servants in the State must resume normal duties on Mondays was received with mixed reactions by both Anambrarians and other citizen spectrums. 
These diverse reactions were mainly informed by apprehension. 

The economy of the five South East States of Nigeria, namely Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States has been rendered comatose since the ill informed, socially incoherent, economically illogical and politically suicidal sit-at-home order imposed by the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB). The businesses and fortune of Igbos in other major commercial cities like Lagos and Kano are not spared as the bulk of their customers are Igbos who ply through the heartland of Igbo area to transact their businesses. The education and public service sectors are also strained by the sit-at-home distress.

The destruction of lives of properties of innocent people, mainly Igbos, in the attempts to enforce this order has caused untold agony, hardships and irreparable losses to the same Igbos whose interest these hazy crusaders claim to be championing. Not even the activities of the Biafran Organization of Freedom Fighters (BOFF) which was on a self imposed mission to exterminate 'saboteurs' during the Nigerian Civil War brought such wide spread sorrow and distraught to Igbos.

The call for the restoration of socio-economic order in Anambra State is a redemption song for a State that is the intellectual and commercial hub  of the South East Nigeria, in particular, and Nigeria, in general. 

Instructively, other  Igbo States seem to be coming to terms with the reality of the need for a concerted effort to stem the untoward activities of non State actors within the geo-political zone. This view becomes even more germane when the activities of these actors constitute immediate and remote inhibitions to the advancement of the genuine and justifiable interests and aspirations of the Igbos.

The resolution by the South East Governors' forum to set up a zonal security structure was one of the best decisions of the body in the wake of the recurring herders/farmers clashes over pastural interests, kidnappers menace and separatists indiscretion.

 Unfortunately, peer rivalry and limited appreciation of the challenges of the time by majority of the Governors of the zone scuttled the well intended objectives of the security apparatus. 

With the coming of Governor Soludo, it appears that a Governor who shares the same security ideals and courage with His Excellency, Engr.(Chief) David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State has come on stage. 

It is a well considered position of Governor Umahi that no meaningful development can thrive in a beleaguered environment. This belief has constitutional expression since the protection of lives and property is the fundamental essence of government. 

The setting up and sustenance of the Ebonyi State Command of the Ebubeagu Security Network by Governor Umahi came at a great personal exertion, sacrifices and politically tainted insinuations.

 Attacks on the outfit have come from some privileged but mischievous individuals as well as from some uninformed hapless folks steeped in ignorance of the mechanics of strategic security evolution.

It is heart warming, however, to see that life has since returned to normal in Ebonyi State on Mondays and on every other day of the week. Abaomege, Amasiri, Uburu, Okposi, Onueke, Ndufu Alike, Akanu Ibiam roundabout, Offia Nwali roundabout, Onuebonyi, Vanco junction, Nwezenyi junction, Noyo and Hilltop are some of the major commercial centres in Ebonyi State where human activities are active all days and all nights as a result of the robust security provided by the Ebubeagu security  operatives in the State. 

The enthusiasm and diligence being exhibited by these young men are exemplary and commendable. Ebonyi State has been largely  crime free. Abakaliki, the State Capital, has been a source of refuge for persons from other States of Nigeria, especially the South East Zone. Violent crimes are virtually non existent in Ebonyi State. The only exceptions may be the pockets of enclaves with historical boundary disputes which is being effectively addressed by the State Government. 

It calls to question, therefore, why a couple of political office holders elected by the people to the National Assembly, a few renegade Ebonyi State House of Assembly members and a handful of characters that have lost that pristine sense that has sustained the reputation of Ebonyi people as honest, hardworking and a peace loving race will be working hard to destroy the unassailable contributions of the leadership and personnel of the Ebubeagu Security Network. 

A tour of most roads in Ebonyi State will lead one to roadblocks and patrol teams of these young men and women. The rains and the harmattan season have not blurred the resolve of these uncommon patriots to expose themselves to  weather elements and orchestrated fatal attacks in a bid to keep the State crime free and safe.

The killing of the commander of the security outfit in Ezza North Local Government Area and three other operatives in Ikwo Local Government Area underscores the danger these youngsters are exposed to in the course of discharging their duties. It is ominous that no leader of the ragtag opposition political parties in Ebonyi State  has condemned these unprovoked dastardly attacks. It even evokes suspicion that the aides of many of these misguided bounty hunters have taken out time and space to celebrate these heartless killings. 

It is reassuring to observe that the Ebonyi State Government has established measures to ensure that the supreme sacrifices of these matyrs are not in vain. 

Individuals and corporate organizations are enjoined to make the welfare of the Ebubeagu security operatives and their families a priority in their community social responsibility  programmes. 

As Soludo learns invaluable lessons on the imperatives functional security from Umahi, the Governors of all the South East States should revisit that well advertised template for the setting up of the Ebubeagu Security Network with a central command for the entire South East  geo-political zone.

Nigeria is, no doubt, currently facing a myriad of challenges. Resolving the insecurity clog is a major logical first foot forward in tackling the seemingly intractable contradictions we face as a nation. The key to unlocking the web of opportunities locked up behind insecurity has, fortunately, been found. 

Governor Umahi has been audacious in confronting the economic, infrastructural and security challenges of Ebonyi State. He has made a success story of all the good governance points of engagement. 

Since Umahi has shown unimpeachable capacity to govern, Nigerians are invited to deal with the festering sores of bandits attacks, kidnappers menace, religious fanatism, diversion of security budgets and subjugation of infrastructural potentials by granting Governor Umahi the opportunity, as the next Nigeria's President, to place on the national platform his proven audacity to think creatively, work deep, achieve big and entrench sustainable growth for Nigeria.

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