On Soludo’s olive branch to IPOB | Dailytrust

On Soludo’s olive branch to IPOB

Whenever great responsibilities are thrust upon giant shoulders during grave moments, even skeptics and cynics come to expect some kind of synergy; some symphony between the efforts put into tackling the problems and the results achieved.

Anambra State Governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo is yet to clock a full month in office, but he is already feeling the weight of expectations that comes with being the governor of one of Nigeria`s most sophisticated states.

Since he was sworn in on the 17th of March, 2022, he has gone about his duties with a sense of mission largely driven by his vision for a better state in which new ways of doing things will produce novel results.

The morning tells the day, but it will be premature to judge Mr. Soludo now even if he has started brilliantly from all indications. The moment the celebrated Professor of Economics won the polls of November 6, 2021, many held their breath and began a countdown to the day the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor would take over as governor of the state. Particularly, they wanted to see how one of Nigeria’s most prominent public intellectuals would fare in the hot seat of Nigerian politics and everything that comes with it.

Observers and stakeholders alike were especially keen to see how Mr. Soludo would tackle the insecurity in Anambra State as it was no secret that the ‘Light of the Nation’ state had become enveloped in the darkness of insecurity with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as the chief culprit.

With its leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu the subject of judicial proceedings in Abuja, the IPOB had in the last year turned the South East upside down. It was not just the costly and crippling sit-at-home orders it enforced on Mondays, random killings and arson also became the order of the day as security in the whole region degenerated. In fact, it was at the last minute that the IPOB decided against disrupting the elections that produced Mr. Soludo as governor.

Already, Mr. Soludo`s time in office as governor has seen the IPOB `s Monday follies come to an end in the state. If there was any doubt that the governor played a huge role in this, his recent constitution of a Truth, Justice and Peace Committee put paid to that and showed that as a foremost economist, he recognizes that there can be no genuine economic progress in an atmosphere of insecurity.

The 15-member Committee headed by renowned law teacher and writer, Mr. Chidi Odinkalu has Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu as secretary. Other prominent faces on the Committee are Mr. Charles Oputa and Music icon Onyeka Onwenu. The Committee is to take a wholistic look at the nightmare of insecurity in the South East and make recommendations. But there is no doubt that it must have its sight trained on the IPOB.

The group, long proscribed as a terrorist group by the federal government, sharply divides opinions even among those it is supposedly struggling to liberate. The activities of the group in shutting down activities in the South East every Monday proved hugely unpopular even as the Southeast became a hotbed of insecurity. Till this day, criminal activities continue with alarming regularity in Anambra State and even if the IPOB denies direct responsibility, it must take the blame for creating the atmosphere of insecurity in the first place.

Mr. Soludo may be trying to get his government up and running, yet, with the IPOB, there is only very little room for maneuver. The group boasts in its ranks many unscrupulous elements who have ripped apart the security of the South East. While solutions are to be eagerly sought, there must be accountability too lest it be said that it was under Mr. Soludo`s government that all those who spilled innocent blood in Anambra State were absolved of their iniquitous crimes.

Kene Obiezu writes from Abuja

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