From the varied aftermath reactions to the August 30th violence; to the response from the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Navy on the ground, most importantly the state government's response to the violence perpetrated by the combined team of Navy and Police against the unarmed members of Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), is being increasingly scrutinised.
The Goverment of Mr. Obiano and his state’s muted rhetorically – is considered complicit and anti-igbo, who make the bulk of the members of IPOB that were killed and scores of others wounded on August 30. Mr. Obiano deliberate silence is highly insufficient to quell the anti-Igbo sentiment that abounds in the current regime of the former dictator, President Muhammadu Buhari.
I have keenly scouted all the newspapers, even the state government's owned media outlets to see if I can see any condemnation attributed to the Chief Security Officer-Obiano against the gross human rights abuse by the combined team of Navy and Police officers, but I have seen none.
I think this shows that the Governor is oblivious of his duties, and is simply against the inalienable rights to life of all citizens, covered under the fundamental rights provisions of the Nigerian constitution in section 33(1), which affirms that every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, except in execution of the sentence of a Court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria. Both the Police and any member of the armed forces do not have the legal right to shoot at peaceful demonstrators. Moreover, condemnation alone, remain ineffective without trials of the said officers who participated in such brutality.
The body language that often came from the state is problematic, it has also lay credence to the views in some quarters that the draconian 'shoot at sight’ order is embedded in the Anambra state government, and this incident of 30 August, was a repeat of several other violence against members of pro-Biafra groups in the past.
I tend to ask, why this same state government of Willie Obiano was so active during the transfer of Boko Haram prisoners to Ekwulobia prisons in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, in which he gave flimsy excuses?
This same Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra huriedly broke the record, as the first non-APC Governor to visit the President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, even before Buhari was sworn into office.
Why is it so difficult then to condemn this grievous human rights abuse under his nose, yet he could scamper to Abuja to congratulate Buhari even when the outcome of the March 28 election shows Buhari lost in his State?
Well, I have no qualms if Obiano is a pseudo member of APGA or a sympathiser of APC, the crux of this piece is that, Mr. Obiano as the Chief Security Officer in his state, is probably the only person who can reign in the violence against Pro-Biafra groups. His silence is telling. Either he’s unable to respond quickly or he’s reluctant to respond.
As it is now, common sense reveals high levels of organisation and co-ordination in the violence by these 'killers" (Navy and Police) and their supporters in the government . Therefore, I must say this brutality and silence are indicatives of a failure in democracy in Nigeria, from bottom-top.
By Chukwuemeka Onwubiko