OBI WAS RIGHT AFTERALL
When some months leading up to the February 2010 governorship election in Anambra State, the state was engulfed in a ruthless and unceasing spate of armed robbery and kidnap attacks, Governor Peter Obi told the world that they were politically motivated, some people must have thought he was making up the story to cover up his shortcomings.
Obi insisted that the security measures he put in place were enough to guarantee the safety of Anambrarians. He recalled the way he had been supporting the police like no one had done in the history of the state. Such support included purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), communication gadgets, patrol vans and monthly subventions to the police from his security votes.
Yet the bad elements' intent on rubbishing his efforts so that they could use that as campaign against him in the election continued to simulate a state of anarchy. Of course, the gullible ones swallowed the 'insecurity' ploy wholeheartedly. Not even the submission of a civil society group, Inter-society, that the whole thing would vanish after the election made any impact. But Obi stuck to his guns and continued to equip and support the conventional security agencies.
The first sign that Obi was right came after the kidnap of the father of former CBN governor, Charles Soludo. One of the arrested suspects turned out to be the leader of a private security outfit.
Of course, we all know the frantic efforts made to paint Anambra as insecure. This included appearing before the members of ASA- USA in America to coax them into refusing to return home for the 2009 Christmas in order not to be kidnapped! Yet the leader of his private army while as illegal governor turned out to be behind Soludo's father's kidnap. Now what do you make out of this?
Eventually, the election came and went and Obi floored all his opponents. Curiously the spate of 'insecurity' grounded to a halt. Today, the state has witnessed a crime-free Christmas. In fact, not a single bullet was fired even by a bush hunter and the people have been having groovy sessions. Before now it had also been peaceful.
It is obvious the perpetrators of those crimes were out to frustrate Obi and score cheap political points but having hit a brick wall in their dastardly mission packed their baggage and left. Obi on assuming office had made it crystal clear he would never deal with any security apparatus other than the conventional ones. Even though community vigilantes have been formed, they have been working very effectively with the police who supervise them and it has been working like magic. This is a sharp departure from the recent past when peoples' heads were chopped off, sometimes by political rivals, in the name of fighting crime.
Perhaps, we can at this juncture stand up and toast to the Obi madiba or magic as well as the continued prevalence of peace in the state as we usher in the New Year, especially as it is another election year. May the bad ones in our midst who don't wish the state well perish in their own devilish devices with the outgoing year, AMEN.
•Damian Ezeoke, Nise, Anambra State