With moves towards the 2022 elections in full swing, Nigerians were shocked that Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Senator, representing Anambra South, was last Sunday attacked by unknown gunmen.
The gunmen, who opened fire on the Senator’s convoy at Enugu Ukwu in Njikoka Local Government of Anambra State, reportedly killed five people, including police officers.
The attack came on the heels of several such attacks in the South East geo-political zone of the country, raising fears that the 2023 general elections could be adversely affected by such negative actions.
In his reaction Dr Frank Freds Nwosu, who spoke from his Aba base in Abia State, noted that the threat of insecurity in Nigeria has been upgraded from the poor unarmed citizens to the high and mighty.
According to Nwosu, a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (MNIM), the recent attack on the convoy of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is an unforgettable landmark in this era’s political history, stressing that the authorities and eyewitnesses were yet to agree on the exact number of casualties in the dastardly attack.
Dr Nwosu said: “With a well-armed convoy of a known political pillar so fearlessly confronted and scattered, a clear signal has already been sent to all politicians in the Southeast of the country, that non-state actors are not only watching them, but also tooling to confront them.
“Without any effort to jeopardise investigations, media files are awash with street pictures of the attacked senator with the masses during his campaigns, and fraught with snide comments and complaints, delivering subliminal messages — that the people of his area are disgruntled about many things surrounding his political posturing.
“Issues with Biafra agitation, Fulanisation undercurrents, massive hunger precipitated by rising cost of food…these and more are matters that all Southeast politicians must address – and publicly come clear with their stance – or risk such mindless waste of lives to unknown attackers.
“Even what we all pretend to be ‘unknown-this-and-that’ are apparently, even obviously, creative Third Forces or Fifth Columnists emerging from the political hypocrisies of the incumbent political authorities.
“This portends serious danger for the political and economic fortunes of the Southeast. It even threatens the freedom of the accomplished Nigerian citizens to take a stand on raging political issues.
“It is a clearly unsavoury wind that is sure to birth an inauspicious political season, sooner than later.”
Contributing, Hon. Charles Anike, the National President of Eastern Union (EU), a political pressure group for the people of Old Eastern Region, the attack on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah was condemnable as it was shocking.
Anike, an Abuja-based political activist, said: “We condemn in strong terms the bloody attack on the Distinguished Senator, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah some few days ago.
“The attack and other similar attacks on our people is condemnable and we of the Eastern Union join all well-meaning citizens to not only condemn such, but urge the security agents to go extra miles to unravel the perpetrators.”
Anike continued: “For some time now, it has become a regular occurrence and of great concern for unwarranted attacks and killings of both highly placed individuals in Anambra State in particular. And for that reason, Gov. Charles Soludo since assumption of office, had not left any stone unturned in trying to bring the issue of insecurity in the state to a bearable minimum.
“Unfortunately, those efforts have not yielded the expected results, because it seems that the more he tries, the more the criminal elements increase their terror activities in and around the state.
“The attack and assassination attempt on Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah for whatever reason is unwarranted and condemnable on its entity, because the Senator is one of the Senators in the state, who have shown outstanding commitments to the empowerment and welfare of the people in his constituency in particular and beyond.
“The terror gangs in the State and its environs have in the recent time become more daring and have been directing their satanic attacks on the state’s lawmakers, kidnapping and killing their victims.
“The activities of these terror gangs in Anambra State in particular and South-East in general has got to an alarming rate and require urgent and emergency attention, if the people of the zone must participate effectively in the coming general elections.
“Our organisation, EU, has at different fora called on the governments and the leaders of the South-East zone to wake up from the slumber to unite against all forms of criminality going on in the zone.
“An English philosopher, Edmond Burke stated that ‘The only condition necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’.
“In this line of thinking, it is obvious that all the good men in the South-East have chosen to do nothing, hence the criminal elements are having free days and innocent blood are being shed daily in and around the zone.
“For the leaders to continue to pretend not to know that something very serious is wrong in the South-East, especially in terms of security, is a heinous crime and a dreadful transgression on the part of the leaders.
“It is very clear now, that those killer gangs have over time graduated from just merely kidnapping, killing and terrorizing ordinary citizens, they now have extended their terrorism to high profile individuals.
“Therefore, to keep folding hands and watching, or better still, hiding in Lagos and Abuja is obviously no longer the way forward out the menaces, because somehow as nature demands one thing or the other will always bring us home to the East.
“We have over the period tried to reach out to some of our leaders on the need for us to convene a South-East leaders and youth summit, where this very disturbing and dangerous development can be discussed and addressed before the 2023 general elections.
“But, it seems everyone among our leaders have been overwhelmed by the activities of the terror gangs. This is all how it started like a child’s play in the North East and leaders then watched without doing anything, but rather politicised it and embarked on blame games.
“Today, terrorism in the North East has become a global concerns. And the South-East leaders didn’t seem to learn from that, as they have also taken a back seat, watching things degenerate in the zone and the environs.
“Most of them pretend that they don’t know about the incessant kidnappings and killings, taking place daily in the East. Some others chose to blame various governments, while others blame non-state actors like IPOB or Fulanis herdsmen. The truth however, is that all the above are no solution to the challenges.
“The only way out is to start coming together to join forces to assist the various governments and security agents to end these menaces. The criminals are having free days because our leaders are still standing akimbo and not ready to get committed.
“We must learn and take a cue from our Yoruba brothers and set up a similar independent security outfit like the Amotekun Security outfit. Unfortunately, the Ebubeagu, which would have been of similar arrangement, was ill conceived and therefore detested by the people, just like they detested the Warrant Chiefs of the colonial era.
“That goes a long way to show how untrusted our present political leaders have become, as they have completely lost touch with the people. It is advisable they try as much as possible and urgently too, to restore confidence of the people, otherwise they are worse than colonial masters.
“Their lack of transparency and impunity is the major reason that has reduced them to be seen as mere task masters.
“The Eastern Union is offering its platform once again and calling on all well-meaning sons and daughters from the South-East to urgently come together for a peace summit across the South-East before the general elections.”
Chief Dr. Emeka Kalu, Director-General, Global Initiatives For Good Governance (GIGG), lamented that it was a sorry sight the was Senator Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil Ltd, was brutally attacked, leading to the death of one of his drivers and few officers in his security detail.
Kalu maintained that as an advocacy group, the GIGG condemned in totality this wanton show of barbarism for Senator Ubah, who had through his personal investment earnings been empowering Anambra youths and Nigerians in general.
Kalu stressed: “In the entire South Eastern region, this sorry state portends danger on the fast approaching 2023 general elections, and if not tackled, would heat up the polity and then getting the entire region highly occupied by stern looking security operatives, which will likely scare the people from coming out en masse to vote for their candidates of choice in the elections…
“Global Initiatives for Good Governance therefore demands that Governor Charles Soludo, in his discretion, should call an urgent security meeting with relevant stakeholders, to tackle the growing menace of violent killings and other related crimes in Anambra State.
“South Eastern part of Nigeria must not be polluted with violence, thereby reinvoking calculated attacks, tension and loss of lives and properties.
“We demand a violent, free and peaceful atmosphere in the Southeast and other parts of the country. We sue for coordinated National Security operations and a politically senitised Nigeria where people’s lives are protected, valued and taken care of and not a volatile and crime- ridden nation where terrorism and other forms of criminalities display its war chest.”
A Lagos lawyer, Barrister Emeka Iheonu, said: “The attack and several past attacks and killings in the South East portends a great danger towards 2023 elections in the South East.
“I really do not know if the perpetrators are IPOB members trying to dissuade those resident in the South East from voting while Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is still being held by the Federal Government of Nigeria or generally by politicians who are sponsoring gunmen for selfish reasons.
“If the attacks and killings continue unabated, people in the South East would be reluctant to fully participate in voting come 2023. This will also negatively affect the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.”
Another commentator, Dr. Kanayo Success Uchime, said, “The attack on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is highly condemnable. It is unwarranted, no matter the circumstances surrounding it.
“Southeast should not be turned into a theatre of war. We have had enough of that. Virtually every state in Southeast has one security issue or the other, and this is not healthy considering that the 2023 electioneering campaign is just about to commence.
“We need absolute peace in Southeast. That is where we are going. Anything short of that will definitely be detrimental to the forthcoming general elections.”
Also, Dr. Rexkennedy Saltlove, President/Executive Director, Citizens Rights and Empowerment Advocacy Initiative (CREMA Initiative), said the recent attack on Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah should give concern to all peace loving Nigeria.
According to him, “The failure of APC government to guarantee security of lives and properties under the Incompetent Buhari’s APC administration is worrisome, as it gives wicked and evil politicians blanket cover for nefarious and sinister operations.(Sunday Independent: Text, excluding headline)