Threat Of Emergency Rule: The Position Of Anambra State Council Of Traditional Rulers
1. At the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, the Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN), announced that the Federal Administration is considering the option of the state of emergency in Anambra State if the security situation in the state does not improve soon. The impression is thus given that a possible state of emergency was discussed at the FEC meeting, and Malami’s statement is a true reflection of discussions at the meetings on the security situation in the state which is preparing to have a gubernatorial election on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
2. If, indeed, the statement credited to the Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice is a fair summary of the FEC discussions and decision on Anambra State, it is our considered opinion that the FEC was not properly briefed on the state of affairs in the state. True, there have been considerable security challenges in Anambra State in the last two weeks. There are about 12 casualties of the new wave of violence, including Dr Chike Akunyili, a medical doctor based in Enugu and husband of the highly regarded former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Control and Administration (NAFDAC), Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili, OFR. Dr Akunili lost his life on Tuesday, September 29, at Nkpor Junction, Idemili North Local Government Area, while returning from Onitsha where the memory of the legendary wife was honoured by the Onitsha branch of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Alumni Association.
3. Yet, it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be justified to contemplate emergency rule in the state on the strength of the 12 violent deaths in the last two or three weeks. States like Zamfara, Kaduna, Yobe, Plateau, Niger, Benue, Borno, Katsina and Adamawa have lost thousands of people in recent times, yet successful elections have been held in them. The security crises in Niger and Borno have been such that mission aircraft were shut down there. Whole communities are occupied by bandits and terrorists.
4. In contrast, life is normal in Anambra State. All schools, markets and businesses are open. A lot of petrol stations operate for 24 hours. People engage in regular social activities like marriages, funerals and title taking. Thousands of vehicles move from places like Onitsha to all parts of the country and beyond day and night without incidents. Political parties are still campaigning for the impending gubernatorial election, mobilizing thousands of people to rallies.
5. What the Federal Government has to do to improve the security situation in Anambra State, which for the last seven years has been the best throughout the country, is to deploy more security forces to the state, provide them with necessary equipment and incentivize them by paying the security personnel their allowances promptly and improving their general welfare. What is more, the Federal Government has to provide the security the resources to engage in intelligence gathering.
6. The Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice has to perish the thought of a state of emergency in Anambra State. The November 6 gubernatorial election has to hold.
SignedHM, Obi Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe
HM, Igwe. S. I. Okafor
Deputy Chairman-Central Zone.
HM, Eze Chuma Onyia
Deputy Chairman-North Zone
HM, Igwe E. C. Nnabuife
Deputy Chairman-South Zone