By Vincent Ujumadu & Nwabueze Okonkwo
Awka— GOVERNOR Willie Obiano of Anambra State has directed the people of the state to brace up against the threat by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, that it would disrupt the November 18 governorship election in the state, urging them to rise to the challenge and confront any person or group that attempts to disrupt peace or cause chaos during the election.
This came as the leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday, led over 200,000 IPOB members on a thank-you visit to the Parish Priest of Blessed Iwene Tansi Catholic Church, Umudioka, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma (a.k.a Ebube Muonso) for upholding the truth always and for his consistent prayers.
Governor Obiano, who spoke in Awka, observed that security reports available to him indicated that the architects of the threats were from outside the state and wondered why such people should always be coming to Anambra to foment trouble.
State adjudged safest in S-East
Obiano, who addressed the citizens of the state at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka during a ceremony to give out millions of Naira to support mission hospitals in the state, said the state had been adjudged very safe and assured that it would remain so before, during and after the election.
Saying that the state was adjudged the safest state in the South-East, Obiano urged the people not to be disturbed by election boycott threats, but to be prepared for such persons, should they attempt any such ill-advised intention to disrupt peace during the election.
He said: “We cannot allow somebody from another state to invade our peaceful state and issue unwelcome directives to us. We will not fold our hands and watch such an individual motor in people from Abia, Enugu and other places to disrupt order in our state.
“Ignore the empty threats. Go about your lawful businesses and sleep with both eyes closed. I will keep watch over you with my two eyes open. I will let anyone who dares us know I am from Aguleri.”
The governor called on Anambrarians to take the threats as empty, saying that the majority of those at Nnamdi Kanu’s rally at Ekwulobia on Sunday were people from Abia, Enugu and other outside places, who should not be part of the elections in the state.
Kanu, had during a rally of IPOB members at Ekwulobia in Aguata local government area on Sunday, renewed his call on people to boycott the forthcoming election in the state.
He also reaffirmed the determination of IPOB to enforce his orders of no election in the state, irrespective of any challenge to stop them.
Kanu on a thank-you visit to Ebube Muonso
Kanu’s visit came shortly after shutting down Ekwulobia on Sunday during an IPOB rally, which according to Emma Powerful, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, was to make a statement that IPOB is serious in the quest for an independent nation called Biafra.
On arrival at the Obimma’s parish house, Kanu who did not make a public statement before and after his meeting with Obimma, simply told the mammoth crowd that he was in Umudioka to thank the priest for his prayers and to show an appreciation for lending his voice to the voiceless in the South-East.
Receiving Kanu and his members, Obimma, who is also the founder and Spiritual Director of Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, Idemmili North Local Government Area of the state, appealed to them to ensure that there would be no breach of peace in their struggle for restoration of Biafra.
Father Obimma, popularly called Ebube Muonso, prayed for the pro-Biafran agitators after a 30-minute closed door meeting with Kanu. He said he reached a consensus with Kanu on the way forward but did not disclose the consensus.
After the closed door meeting, Obimma described Kanu as a courageous leader but warned him to have a rethink on the threat to boycott November 18 Anambra governorship election, adding that any country or state without a leader is like a ship in a river sailingwithout bearing.
His words: “For me, it will be more problematic to say that there won’t be any election in Anambra State. It’s like somebody firing gun on his own toes. Kanu is a human being and an activist to the best of my knowledge.
“He requested to see me and amidst all odds, I granted the opportunity and we had some deliberations geared towards the good of Anambra State and Nigeria in general because I am a priest of God. Christ, when he died, reconciled both the Jews and the Gentiles.”
The fiery preacher, who threw his weight behind restructuring of Nigeria, lamented that people of the South-East and other zones are being marginalized in the scheme of things and called on Igbo stakeholders to sit up and speak against the injustice.
He said: “In our country Nigeria, it is certain that there is marginalization, nepotism and tribalism. We are one Nigeria but some people are being marginalized and that is the essence of all these agitations. In everything, let there be prudence and let us also pray for divine intervention because the heart of every king is in the hands of God.”