By Anayo Okoli
The PROPOSED visit of Kano State governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, to Abiriba, Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, may have been called off, following alleged security report made by the state government.
Shekarau, the ANPP presidential aspirant was billed for a private visit to the residence of Chief Okebulu Jombo, an ANPP stalwart on December 26, but Abia State government was alleged to have issued a statement, saying his safety was not guaranteed as it alleged that the community was in crisis.
The statement said to have been issued few hours to the scheduled time of the governor’s visit, claimed that there was an uncontrollable crisis in the community, adding that whoever was going there was taking a personal risk.
According Chief Jombo, Governor Shekarau is billed for his residence “for us to exchange ideas on politics and other issues.
“Unfortunately, just few hours to his coming, there came a radio announcement by Chief Anthony Agbazuere, Abia Commissioner for Information, alleging an ongoing crisis in my community and that the state government will not guarantee his safety.
“Shortly after the announcement, Shekarau called to inform me that he was on his way to board a flight when security information got to him that my community was engulfed in crisis and that he will not come again.”
Jombo lamented that he was disappointed “because the state government as well as security agencies were informed of this proposed visit. I have lost so much and there is nothing I can do as I cannot fight my state, but it is not good to work against those who do not share the same political view with you.
“Politics is a matter of choice, but they want to bundle us into one party and if you refuse, they will work against you.”
Chief Nnamdi Olebara, an ANPP stalwart and one of the directors of Shekarau Campaign Organisation, who later represented Governor Shekarau at the event, condemned the alarm raised by the state government which, according to him, should be a source of concern to all Nigerians.
“This is an embarrassment to the people of the state. It shows that the state government is jittery and we sympathize with Abia if their security apparatus is shaky,” he noted.
Olebara lamented that it was unfortunate that leadership in the state had degenerated to the extent of trying to alienate residents of the state from a good friend who would have come with something good, saying it had portrayed Abia State in bad light.
When contacted, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Chief Anthony Agbazuere, said the security announcement was made because the state government was not notified of Shekarau’s visit.
It would be recalled that the Acting Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Kings Omeire, had last Friday announced the visit of Shekarau to the state while briefing journalists.