Thursday, March 23

On Sit-at-home: Soludo Needs To Thread Carefully

By Tai Emeka Obasi

I do not totally approve of Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s method of putting a stop to sit-at-home. To me it’s too automatic on the surface without seemingly putting enough on ground to enforce it.

Listening to the new govervnor on Channels Television recently, he said something very remarkable – YOU DON’T SHOOT AN IDEOLOGY WITH A GUN.

He suggested engagement. Let him engage deeply first. I can say these people killing and kidnapping innocent people all over Anambra State are not real IPOB/ESN members but rather criminals hiding under the unfortunate opportunity created to enhance their nefarious acts. It could even be people being sponsored to destabilise the Southeast. This is Nigeria! 

But fact we can’t run away from is that many members of IPOB are seemingly enjoying the fact that sit-at-home is being enforced every Monday. It gives them ego threats that IPOB are being mentioned as controlling Southeast. That makes it very complicated and that is why Gov Soludo must thread carefully.

Most of the things our new govervnor says sound good but I have to repeat my advice to him early last week to avoid the temptation of granting interviews every other day. He’s an eloquent speaker and ever an interviewer’s delight. Hence every station will want to get on screen at least once every 24 hours. I don’t want a governor that talks all the time. Rather let’s see one that works all the time. 

He shouldn’t promise anything on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu without first going to negotiate with the Presidency. And he can’t go alone because MNK is not from Anambra. It’s a Southeast affair and there were governors before him. MNK’s release needs a very powerful delegation to the Presidency to negotiate for a politcal solution. If the governor promises IPOB anything on their leader, they will be counting the days and anytime they feel it was mere sweet talks we might walk into another spate of problems. Because you can’t kill an ideology with a gun.

Nonetheless, IPOB has to cooperate with the Prof. I’m very sure the man from Isuofia means well. His utterances about the group have been with appropriate respect and understanding that they have a right to self-determination.

The former CBN governor inherited a mess of a state. He not only met a completely bare treasury but also one hugely in debt.

He has to pay contractors being owed by HE Willie Obiano. He has to pay gratuities Obiano stopped paying since 2015. He has to service the mountain of debts Obiano accrued for him.

Therefore he needs every kobo he can lay his hands on. Four or five Mondays off businesses every month in all markets in the state is hugely affecting the IGR, which he needs badly.

Even if we get Biafra, we won’t want a nation with dilapidated roads. We want a nation with quality education system. We want quality healthcare. We want a clean environment. We want lots of beautiful infrastructure. We want steady power supply. We water clean water availability. Etc.

Prof Soludo is determined to provide all these and more. IPOB should assist him to deliver on his promises. Get all your members off the streets. Tell everyone of them to lie low so that the government will clearly know that what they’re dealing with are 100% criminals.

I have always supported IPOB and I have no regrets and will never have but I have not and can’t support any method they employ that is anti-people. Sit-at-home is impoverishing the Southeast. They must show genuine efforts to help government bring it to a halt.

Criminality, especially killing of innocent people, is not in the blood of real Igbo men.


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