Gov. Willie Obiano Political Career In Anambra State Is Summarily Over
By Ike A. Offor
Gov. Willie Obiano and President Mohammadu Buhari
Politics is a tricky profession and dicey game that is full of dangerous and perilous outome. Those who go into it with strong ideology stick with their strong principles irrespective of the outcomes or consequences. Those who are not very certain of their ideology but in it for mere politics and financial gains, dabble and fluctuate with their stands on ever changing situations in political arena.
Governor Willie Obiano is indeed a neophyte in politics, ordained and brought in from financial institution by the ex-governor Peter Obi to politics. So, he may not be such canny in handling political issues, which undoubtedly is very essential in politics. Though his knowledge as a technocrat could help him in handling issues regarding to governance, the matter of dealing with the public is altogether a different ball game.
What mistakes has Obiano made so far in his state that has damaged his political chances or career in the state?
Biafra Day procession massacre:
Though, it is a very dicey issue for a sitting governor of a state to speak or have a different stand from the federal or central government without political consequences, but speaking out on issues that go against the law takes gut. It is a very risky issue indeed. But keeping mute or sticking with your own political ideology or strong principles like human rights or freedom of speech requires a strong character. That lacked in Gov. Obiano throughout the burning issue surrounding the Biafran day processions killings.
It takes an experienced politcian or someone with strong socio-political principles to stick out his or her neck in such issues and survive it unscathed. Obiano has woefully dabbled around issues concering Biafra in his state and pointedly it has hurt his future political career very badly. He may or may not have realised it at this point in his political career but the damage has already been done. And he will be reminded when the time is close to the next election, unless some politcal ablution takes place from now onwards.
After the unlawful and unrestricted massacre at various points in Anambra state, the statement that came out of Obiano’s office pitched him against the people of his state. The best for him to have done was either keep mute in the case he is not sure or afraid of what to say or come out clearly and condemn the killings but keep short of supporting the cause of Biafra, as a sitting governor. But Obiano came out in the midst of condemnations pouring in from different quarters in Biafra region to speak as if he supports the security forces against his own people. Like it has been mentioned it is dicey but it simply requires canny political experience to toe that fine line. But Obiano failed woefully on that so, are other Biafran region governors.
It took a character like Gov. Ayo Fayose to condemn such unwarranted killings without taking side with the Biafran cause. Of course, Fayose is experienced in politics because he has been there before and he seems to have strong principles that he personally follows.
Willie Obiano was seen as coercing the security forces to come hard on the proposed Biafran Day anniversary, and his words thereafter squarely confirmed it.
It could be recalled that the IPOB and MASSOB clearly said and accused the governor of preparing with the security forces to murder Biafans on the Biafran Day anniversary. And the outcome confirms their words or inteligence information concerning collusion between Obiano and the security forces.
Fulani herdsmen killings and activities in his state:
This is again a dicey issue for a neophyte and someone without strong politcal convictions or ideology. It is easy for someone to speak out on evil meted out on the people of his state without being seen as a tribalist. The wording of one’s speech will clearly define one’s stand and consequent actions will bury any remaining suspicions. But limpidly, the governor appeared confused on how to handle that issue, though he came out to purchase helicopter to monitor the activities of the Fulani herdsmen. But those strong words of condemnation missed in all his speeches during the height of those attacks.
Again, he missed the opportunity to convince his people that he is on their side than dabbling between trying not to offend many siding with the president widely seen in his state as Fulani or Northern president. Just like other Biafran region govenors except Gov. Ikpeazu, who categorically condemned and took strong actions to protect his people against the marauding murdering Fulani herdsmen.
Trying to repair the damage done:
In today’s papers, the governor has vowed to foot the hospital bills of those injured in the security forces clash with the Biafrans in the Biafran Day anniversary processions. But this is coming too late to appease the people. The circumsatnces in which some of those victims were killed are very contestable and requires full scale enquiry.
About 50 Biafrans were killed in the impasse, also some members of the security operatives. The governor also called for calm over the crisis rocking Nkpor community.
Obiano made the pledge at Nkpor town hall when he came to sympathise with the people of Nkpor on the bloody clash between security operatives and Biafra agitators.
“We have compiled the list of the injured in different hospitals where they are hospitalised.”
The governor urged Nkpor people to always ward off undesirable elements who come into the community to tarnish their image.
“I came to sympathise with you for what happened. Before I came in as the governor, people were not sleeping, but now we sleep. Don’t allow strangers to disturb Nkpor.”
Obiano recalled how he deployed diplomacy to evacuate Boko Haram suspects brought into Ekwulobia Prisons and also gave befitting burial to Biafra war heroes.
These are coming from the governor seemingly because of his sense that some damages have been done bewteen him and his subjects. His speeches after this massacre was very damaging and against the people of his state though some would see it as just against the Biafran agitators. He, as a neophyte managed the situation terribly and I strongly feel that it has cost him his political future. Of course there is still opportunity for him to mend his ways and ambrace issues. The federal government is not going to win second term for him but his state members will be the ones to vote for him in the election. And as things stand now, he chances are very dicey and very perilous.