WRITTEN BY HON. TIMOTHY IFEDIORAMMA
Few days ago, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, warned that nobody or group had the right to stop election in Anambra state and insisted that the
November 18 gubernatorial election must hold as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state. He urged the people of the state to come out en masse to cast their votes to their choice candidates without any fear of intimidation and harassment.
Igwe Achebe, who stated this when the State leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, visited him in his palace, said that the traditional institution in the state had endorsed the rotation of governorship slot to every zone, just like the town Union and Ohanaeze Ndigbo had done, saying that the North should be allowed to complete the remaining four years before power would move to another zone. According to him, quote: “The election is for us not for the entire country. You cannot have a referendum in one part of the country without carrying other parts of the country along. The election must hold and nobody or group of persons will stop it. Nobody should come to the state to cause unnecessary tension”. End of quote.
No doubt, the position of the first class traditional ruler is not only timely but commendable. This is the voice of wisdom; for what an elderly man sees while sitting down, the young can never see, even if he climbs on top of a tree.
The question, especially for those clamouring for no election in Anambra State is, have you even sat for a moment and thought about the implications of boycotting the election? This is because wise people think before they act; they do not act before thinking. Based on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria - which Anambra state is still part of, discouraging or hindering people from exercising their franchise in an election is classified as treason. Succinctly put, it is terrorism and therefore a crime against the state.
Therefore, the next likely thing the federal government will do in this situation, which they had done in some states in the past, is to declare a state of emergency. This means that the constitution will be suspended for as long as it takes to restore order. An administrator from any part of the country the President so desires will be appointed for the period the state of emergency will last. Curfew will be declared and anything that moves during the curfew will be shot by the military. There will be no democracy, but God forbid.
Soldiers will be deployed everywhere. If state of emergency is declared, even for one week, the impact will be so devastating that we may not recover from it for the next five years. There will be no rule of law and other rights of the citizens. All the economic advancements made by ndi Anambra and the government will all be destroyed. The vibrant economy being jealously guided by ndi Anambra will be striped to shreds by the invading army! Anambra State will be looted to the ground, while armed robbers, kidnappers and other forms of insecurity will return to the state.
We all know the modus operandi of some security apparatus - which is shoot then ask questions later. Hence, many people may be killed for flimsy reasons and nobody knows who it will be. Many houses may be touched or even bombed on the claim that it is a hideout for terrorists. If these could be done in Borno, Yobe and Plateau states, why not elsewhere, if we fall into their hands?
Therefore, let us not give room for raping our fine girls and women, killing our young men and messing up our vibrant cities and villages! Those are the things commonly found in such set up where the constitution is suspended.
Ndi Ananbra should therefore not succumb to no-election in their state. Ndi Anambra, where is our sense of pride in our state and where is the wisdom we are known for? We must not be used to destroy our state which we have worked so hard to uplift to the envy of all! Anambra should not be used as a test case for insurgency against the centre.
All stakeholders should therefore rise and join the likes of Obi Achebe in sensitizing the citizenry on the implications of not conducting election in the state come November 18, 2017. It is time for adults to hunt the snake down before children will set the grass-thatched-hut ablaze in their quest to kill the snake hiding in the thatched roof. To be fore-warned is to be for-armed!