By WILLIE OBIANO*
It is on a very sad note that I address the state today to condemn, in very strong terms, the violence that has been witnessed in Anambra in the past few days.
Since last weekend, some armed persons have unleashed terror with sporadic attacks on innocent citizens in various parts of the state
From the briefings I have received from security commanders, offices of some political parties, branded campaign vehicles and individuals occupying them have been attacked with killings and burning of vehicles observed. Other innocent road users have become victims of this menace with many losing their lives and others, their properties.
Between Sunday 26th and yesterday 28th September, 2021, attacks on citizens at Oko, Agulu, Obosi, Nkpor, Nnobi, Nnewi and other places have left about 10 people dead including an illustrious son of this state, Dr Chike Akunyili, husband of the late Prof Dora Akunyili, who was reportedly gunned down yesterday around Nkpor.
These are our own people dying every day and for what reason?
Ndi Anambra, these attacks and accompanying deaths cannot be justified and must stop now.
I have therefore conducted an extensive security meeting and have directed all security agencies to step up and confront this monster ravaging our land. I charge everyone involved in the security architecture of Anambra State to take very seriously this threat to our livelihood and boldly rise to confront same. Everything that needs to be done will be done and no stone will be left unturned in this effort. My directive to this effect is clear and I urge every security personnel on duty in Anambra state to do his utmost best to secure our people.
To all citizens of Anambra state and every person living and doing business in our state, I urge you now to join forces with us to confront this common enemy. We cannot condone this savagery for any reason whatsoever. I therefore call on all our youths in the state to rise up and protect our communities. Traditional rulers, presidents-general, clergymen, vigilante groups and all leadership structures must now take responsibility and in conjunction with the police, military and other law enforcement agencies work to restore order immediately.
To reinforce our commitment and seriousness on this issue, I on behalf of the state government wish to announce a twenty million Naira (N20,000,000.00) reward for any useful information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of these heinous attacks on our state. The people behind this must be unmasked and brought to book. I urge citizens to report to us anybody bearing firearm who is not a security or vigilante personnel, so we can deal with this monster once and for all. Call 07039194332 or approach any security deployment if you have any information. As the Americans say, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.
At this point, I wish to most heartily condole with the families of all those who have lost their loved ones in the course of these senseless attacks. I promise you that we will leave no stone unturned in getting justice for them. May their souls rest in peace.
Finally, I urge all citizens of the state to unite in this fight against all forms of terror, intimidation and tyranny. We will not succumb to invaders as I am convinced that no Anambra son will indulge in this kind of heartlessness. I warn all those promoting and participating in these violent attacks to leave our state or pay a high price, as we will definitely catch up with them.
To all law-abiding citizens and persons living in our state, I urge you to go about your lawful businesses, but we must now ALL go to work and take back our state. This is Anambra, the Light of the Nation, where darkness has no place. The events of the last one week will not be allowed to fester and, by God’s grace, we shall overcome.
Thank you and God bless.
* Obiano, governor of Anambra state, presented this address on September 29.