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Attacks on Soludo: No! Not Anambra!

By Editor on 02/04/2021

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Anambra, is certainly not one of the states in Nigeria anyone with good sense of history would cite for violent political crimes. Of course, it cannot be said to be totally free of it. But it is not as endemic as some other states where killing of people – be they opponents or thugs – or any form of killing for politics, is known.

Rather its own political thuggry comes of a different hue. Political gladiators fight with money not with guns, cudgels and machetes. They fight in court. They buy corrupt judges, buy judgements and even buy the courts, because they have the resources to lure judicial officers with offers they cannot refuse – offers, which refusal, could make their kinsmen stone them to death – offers that would make such officers choose to end their careers abruptly as an alternative or dispense with their good names – offers that come in ego erichaericha (unspeakable wealth).

That the strangest judicial pronouncements in the history of Nigeria came from some of the political engagements in Anambra in recent years, flows from this context. It was such sordid political phenomenon that assaulted Nigeria with the Wilson Egbo Egbo and Stanley Nnaji, whose careers as judges ended with ignominy because of the uncanny and outlandish pronouncements in Anambra political cases.

Not until recently, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), continued to change by the months, as judges in different courts, continued to give one conflicting judgement over the other, which the contestants or interested parties, flaunted for their individual political quests.

Rather than fight with guns and dangerous weapons or engage in political assassinations, Anambra politicians try to assassinate their opponents at party offices with loads of cash. Just like policemen pay bribes to be posted to Anambra roads, party officials pay heavily to be posted to Anambra for political assignments, for obvious reason(s).

Indeed, outside the gruesome murder of Barnabas Igwe and his wife Amaka during the era of Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Anambra has not witnessed any major political killing since 1999 in the two decades the current political experiment has lasted.

But it maintains a high-profile position for other political crimes. Anambra is the first and only state, where a serving governor, was spirited away from his seat at the government house in broad daylight and was being led to Golgotha until help came. It is also a state where police and other security agents led thugs in broad daylight to destroy and burn government properties. It is in Anambra, perhaps, the only state in Nigeria, where the convoys of ordinary Nigerians, boasting their connections to powers that be, chase those of a sitting governor out of the road.

These are the political characteristics that define Anambra. Not shedding of blood! Certainly not political killings! The invasion of the home of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chukwuma Charles Soludo and the killing of security personnel attached to him, are therefore very strange. The incident certainly does not fit. It is akin to discovery in the kid what is missing in the loin of the mother goat that elders insist must be subjected to serious interrogation.

To therefore dismiss it as an open and shut case or cast it in the iron jacket of political killing, no matter how seducing the thought, may be a fatal mistake. Nobody would blame the ex-apex bank’s boss for concluding that it was political. For one, he is not a security expert. For another, he is the obvious target. Yes! He is probably the candidate to beat in the coming election, he intends to contest. So, to conclude that it is political, ought to come to him as the first instinct. It is natural. It is therefore an understandable emotional issue for him.

But the same could hardly be said of other keen observers, especially security operatives. Not to recognise that Nigeria is at nadir of security structure is not only a perfect example of living in denial but a demonstrable depiction of naivety or vice versa.

Soludo may be right that his political opponents are at work. He may be right to believe that they want to end his life to pave the way for their own political end. He is certainly entertaining the seducing feeling that winning the November 6 governorship election is as easy as his picking the ticket of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He may be right.

After all, as a former CBN governor, and among the best brains in Nigeria today, he deserves more than just the governorship position in Nigeria, but outght to be among the favourites for the presidency of Nigeria, especially now the South East where he comes from is making a stronger case for the position.

Sometime in 2008, shortly after Barak Obama, won election as the 43rd President of the US, Raila Odinga, the Kenyan main opposition leader, was in Nigeria as one of the guests to the 25th anniversary of The Guardian. Before delivering his address at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos, he had asked his audience how far Obama would have gone if he were a Nigerian politician.

The implication of that question is quite instructive. Odinga, was simply telling his audience at that august gathering, where the late Chinua Achebe also addressed through video conferencing that attaining political goals in Nigeria lies more on other factors than capacity or capability.

No doubt, Soludo's pedigree as an accomplished economic icon, astute university teacher, former CBN governor and now an effervescent figure on the political scene, ought to earn him automatic entry to Agu Awka, the Anambra seat of power. But this is not the first time he is contesting. If this enviable pedigree did not catapult him then, nothing says it would now.      

Therefore, much as it is a possibility that the gunmen who invaded his home might want to kill him to ensure he did not emerge the next governor of Anambra State, that may not be the only option of achieving that aim. In fact, if true, it is a new twist and not the character of Anambra politician.

This underscores the need to open the scope and perspective wider. No detail should be ignored, no matter how tiny, in the attempt to interrogate the incident and unravel the truth. The lure for a single-story option, must be resisted.

What is more? Quite recently, the South East has been witnessing some strange security breaches in which security operatives, particularly the police have been the targets in the main. In the instant case of the killing at Soludo’s home in Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, the same police were the major casualties.

A few hours earlier, some 25 souls were dismissed in Ebonyi by alleged Fulani herdsmen, baying for blood. Again, the Soludo attack is coming almost at the same time when Nigerians are being informed about the disappearance of a Nigeria Air Force (NAF) jetliner. Are these stand-alone incidents or is there a link somewhere? In an era where Takiya, the art of deceit as a warfare strategy, as seen in Ebonyi, where the killers, in the words of Governor Dave Umahi, acted as friends before striking, depicting the Isuofia attack as mere politics may be a deliberate strategy to send security operatives and other stakeholders in a different direction, perhaps for more devastating blows.

This must not be allowed to happen. The only way to prevent it, assuming this is the case, is eternal vigilance and for the security agencies to activate the highest level of intelligence and professionalism to beat the purveyors at their game. Unfortunately, the jury is still out as to whether this has been the case in recent years.

Whatever the case, the Soludo attack must be resolved and the truth unravelled. sends heart-felt condolences to Soludo, the people of Isuofia, Aguata and Anambra State Government over the incident. We however demand that the perpetrators must be fished out and punished. We are happy that arrests are being made already. We believe that our able security operatives are capable of unravelling this mystery. We cannot, like the rest of the Nigerian public, wait to see the faces of the beasts that did this. We not only pray that this will not swell the list of unresolved cases of killings dotting the crime register of Nigeria, we demand it!    




Posted on April, 2 2021

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