1. The Government and people of Anambra State are pleased that normal activities have returned fully in the state, after the mayhem of last week which saw gangs attack law enforcement agents, burn down police stations, vandalize public buildings, extort monies from law-abiding citizens and make life generally difficult for the people. Churches and other places of worship were full yesterday (Sunday, October 25, 2020) and religious services went on in all parts of the state without fear by either the ministers or the congregants.
2. Markets as well as private and public offices were opened fully this morning and closed at the normal time. Motor parks and commercial vehicles operated normally, enjoying good patronage. Hotels, restaurants, bars and other entertainment places have since reopened fully. The roads and streets were full of millions of energetic, hardworking and confident people.
3. The people were encouraged to resume normal life following Governor Willie Obiano’s assurance to the people when he held a meeting in Awka at the weekend with security and intelligence chiefs, including the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dr Celestine Okoye, himself a worthy indigene of Anambra State. Governor Obiano stated that the attacks on public facilities and public officers which gangsters had planned to unleash on a grand scale in the state today (Monday, October 26, 2020) would not only be nipped in the bud but that the perpetrators would meet their waterloo.
4. The whole nation knows that Chief Obiano is not flippant, nor does he issue empty threats. When he speaks on security and intelligence issues, the nation listens with rapt attention and takes note. After all, he turned Anambra, in less than one year in office, from a gangster paradise dominated by kidnappers, armed robbers and contract assassins to not only Nigeria’s safest state but also the most peaceful with an unparalleled stock of social harmony.
5. Policemen, assisted by troops from the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy, have been dominating the streets of towns and cities in Anambra State since yesterday. Also of note in the renewed effort to provide maximum security to our people is the role of officers and men from the Department of State Security, Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigerian Correctional Service. Of course, the Anambra Vigilante Group has been most outstanding. It has been in the forefront in the detection and arrest of the arsonists and buccaneers who invaded our dear state last week. Not to be overlooked is the prominent part played by thousands of youths in the state. Once Chief Obiano exhorted them to reclaim their villages, towns and cities, they swung into action.
6. Nor can anyone fail to recognize the heroic efforts of presidents general of town unions and traditional rulers like Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, Obi of Onitsha who is the Obi of Onitsha and Chairman of both the Anambra traditional Rulers and the South East traditional Rulers Council. The result is there for all to see. Peace, order and tranquility have returned to Anambra State.
7. Governor Obiano’s specific measures to expel criminals from the state who had last week capitalized on the #EndSARS protests across the country to loot and destroy the state as well as terrorize the ordinary citizens have been complemented by the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to his men last weekend to quickly reclaim the public space throughout Nigeria. The police in the field have been doing just that, at least in Anambra State.
8. One lesson which has come out of the full restoration of peace and order in Anambra State is the imperative of the leaders to earn the trust and confidence of their followers. If ndi Anambra had had less than full confidence in Governor Obiano’s leadership, particularly as regards security and safety, the people would not have responded with alacrity as they have done in the last 48 hours. They youth would not have come out in their thousands to reclaim their places, sometimes even without weapons against well-armed hoodlums. Nor would have millions of our people across the state resumed normal activities, including religious services, once the governor asked them to do so at the weekend.
God bless Anambra State, the Light of the nation.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for information & Public Enlightenment.