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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Anambra 2017: Angels Of Death In Anambra State

 By Emenanjo Emmanuel

Never in the history of Anambra was state blood spilt in the political struggles of elections. Ndi Anambra may argue and throw tantrums but always hold peaceful polls. It is not in the blood of Anambra politicians to import hoodlums and brigands to distort or disrupt elections in Anambra state. Anambra plays a unique game of politics - we do it our own way. 

In Nigeria, Anambra elections are said to be very different, competitive and the most expensive. Things that work in other states don't work in Anambra state. It was said that a local government election in Anambra state is more expensive than a senatorial election in some other states. In Anambra elections, one individual cannot play God and succeed unscathed. Ndi Anambra knows what they want and they go for it.

However, the coming November 18, 2017 election is already presenting funny signals; some people want to arm-twist the destiny of Ndi Anambra. They want to rewrite the good history of the state. They want to make Ndi Anambra cry at all costs. They want to plunge Anambra state into chaos. They want to bring back kidnappings, armed robberies, assassinations and all the social vices which Governor Obiano cleansed from the state under three years. They want to destroy the good legacies laid down by Chief Obiano and plunder the state treasury. They want to destroy the peace and tranquility cultivated and nurtured by Akpokuodike in the new Anambra.

But if history serves right, Ndi Anambra would never fold their arms and watch the scary scenario unfold. Few months ago, some aspirants wanted to cajole and rubbish the security arrangements put together by the governor by introducing hoodlums to start disturbing people again in some parts of Anambra state. Many did not live to tell their stories as their kidnap stunts were met with the stiff and superior engagements from the water-tight security agents. Again, reports indicate that they have started importing thugs with the intent to deploy them and cause mayhem before, during and after the elections. It might interest all of the hoodlums to know that the security agents are not sleeping. They have identified the hotels and quarters where these goons are being quartered. Beware; the end game for such miscreants who dare is in the gallows. 

Interestingly, Anambra have not forgotten the history of crisis-ridden years of 1999-2006 PDP-led government when the angels of deaths had a field day. Those days, they visited the state with destruction, death and hardships. In simple language, people were killed either by criminals or by the unorthodox security operatives (Bakassi Boys) employed by then PDP government. Anambra then became a land of blood where many lived in fear.  Those were the days that the political angels of death preyed on the innocents and thus desecrated Anambra land.

The angels of death committed sacrilege against Ndi Anambra, such that even the gods were angry. The Angels of death supervised the murder of Barrister Barnabas Igwe and his wife in Onitsha. Even a sitting governor who is today a Federal Minister was kidnapped, molested, humiliated, and bruised like a common criminal by the harbingers of death.

Again between 2006-2013 Anambra also witnessed a more sophisticated era of kidnapping as the Angels once again went on rampage. Many prominent sons and daughters of Anambra were kidnapped for ransom. Business magul and owner of G. U. O. Group of Companies, Pa Iloenyesi an octogenarian was kidnapped and killed. Many Chinese staff of Innoson Motor Industries Nnewi suffered the same faith. Also the proprietor of RBC Group of Companies and his brother Nafors Nigeria Limited were kidnapped.

Sadly, a former deputy governor of Anambra state Chief Chudi Nwike was kidnapped and killed, but even the state Chairman of PDP Anambra state Chief Ken Emeakayi was not spared, as well as many businessmen and women of repute.

Thus the activities of the angels of death led to the closure of all the vital businesses and economic activities in the state. The capital flight out of Anambra paved way for the development of neighboring states as Anambra was adjudged unsafe. Most businesses were relocated out of Anambra state. Even igba nkwu (traditional marriages), iwa ji (new yam festival) and title takings were relocated to Lagos and other cities. Anambra was deserted because of the unholy activities of these angels of death.

Fast track to 2014 when Akpokuodike arrived as governor of Anambra state and started work in earnest. Today he has cleansed the Augean stable of the Angels of death. Life started coming into the state. Businesses started coming back to life. Love for one another began to be was re-ignited in the hearts of the citizenry. People started sleeping with their two eyes closed. Armed robberies and kidnappings stopped. Investors and investments started trooping into the state which became exporters of goods and services to Europe and America. Tourists started coming to explore what Ndi Anambra has to offer as exotic destinations like the Ogbunike and Owerri-Ezukala caves once more attracted patrons.

Anambra has since the last three and half years under Obiano enjoyed the peace and progress lost during the hey days of the brigands. But as the 2017 governorship election draw near, the same gang lords that supervised the angels of death between 2003 to 2007 to destroy Anambra state are out to recreate their hegemony over Anambra. Perhaps haven survived the previous infractions; a key player in the previous scheme thinks he can ride on the back of a moneybag to once more re-enact the mayhem by moving in the warlords to help him swing the election in his favour.

There is credible information that many recruits from outside the state are already camped in hotels and nests in some remote villages. The question is can Anambra state afford a repeat? Would ndi Anambra allow a repeat of the reign of terror? Nonetheless, it is heartening to hear the state Commissioner of Police announce that a 25000-man force will be on ground for the elections and warned intending outlaws that the full weight of the law would brought on them.

It behooves ndi Anambra to make a definite claim to the kind of state they wish to maintain for prosperity. The way to achieve that is to take responsibility to ensure that the rule of law reigns supreme beyond the elections. Are we ready to stop the angels of death? We cannot afford to go back to those dark days.

Emenanjo is from Abagana Ebo Teghete .

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