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Anambra: If Only We'ld Pause, Take Deep Breath and Recount

By Chuka Nnabuife

HAWKS are currently hovering in the sky above Anambra State. They have spotted some prey under and they are all spoiling for good meals as they ready their dives and swoops. 

Sadly, what happens of the state after the meals they are dying for does not perturb them now. They neither care nor bother whether after the meals they and their preys would fare better or worse.

The spin some of the hawkish reporters stream around ordinary events is turning them into extraordinary ones. Innocent discussions and topical discourses between government office holders and prominent traditional rulers, comments after  main events are currently being skewed and propped as altercations, spats and instances of squabbling to make sensational headlines that could set the land abuzz. Story tellers now want the world to believe that some high profile personalities in the state are engaged in a war of words whereas the reality is a far milder situation.

Even when the expressions are clearly presented frank observations and unequivocal observations by individuals, persons with subjective interests are currently mining and plumbing the matters to impregnate them and magnify them to appear like huge disagreements. 

The truth is simply this: The traditional rulers' body in Anambra State, speaking through their leadership, are not happy with the manner the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Chief Tony Collins Nwabunwanne communicated the suspension of the traditional ruler of Neni in Anaocha Local Government Council, H.R.H. Igwe Damian O. Ezeani to them, and they expressed it in a publicised letter. In the letter dated January 12, 2024, signed by the chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council (ASTRC), H.R.M. Nnaemeka A. Achebe (Agbogidi), Obi of Onitsha, the body made a request to the commissioner to facilitate their having an audience with the state's governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo on the matter, and for the updating of the over 10-year-old Code of Conduct for Traditional Rulers in Anambra State.

The other matter which happened earlier this month was an aside incident during the funeral of the octogenarian mother of the popular Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma (aka Ebube Muonso), the crowd-pooling promoter of the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke. 

At the event, an observation made by the head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Archbishop Valerian Okeke, in reference to Gov. Soludo's comment condemning the robust, if lavish, funeral ceremonies of the deceased woman, who is also mother of a state legislator, Charles Obimma, went viral immediately it was said.

Okeke noted that given the realities and challenges facing the state, government should not prioritise keenness for the implementation of the Anambra State Funeral Law of 2019. 

Beyond the embellishments in the trending versions of the stories, the basic factor in both developments is that they are just observations not banters or altercations. There were no incidents of row or charged exchange of words; no debate and no upbraid. But some reporters would skew and sensationalise the narratives, and invent spats to spice their accounts. Indeed, the bones of contention are simply that the parties in the  developments differ on grounds of administrative communication styles and they expressed their reservations over how certain laws of the state are upheld.

However, the hawks and hounds above sky hover and howl, eager to see Anambra boil as a result of the incidents.

The danger in charging up the situation unnecessarily is what the overbeating of the matters can lead to. It can sow bitterness and very bad blood to the extent of polarising the elites of the state. It can equally distract the progress so far made in the state through the harmony between the government and the traditional institutions on one hand and the church and government on another. Everybody therefore needs to do his or her best to douse, not inflame the matters. Aides and foot soldiers on all sides should not jump into the arena.

In typical homes, there are times when elders or Dad and Mom exchange hot words. At such times, children must stay away and most importantly, keep mum. Even when they see the awful or hear ear-fulls, they must keep their distance, for their safety and for the sanity of the family.

Most times, proper or improper conducts of children contribute a lot to the simmering and boiling over of the exchanges or the dousing. Often, when the 'younger' members of the household join or take sides, they do so out of subjective attachments to parties in the matter not the family. Hence it is wiser for the young ones to steer clear of the current developments in Anambra and allow the elders to sort out their matters. 

Over time, Anambra State has fared better when elders met behind closets and sorted out their matters. There are many instances to recall. Moreover, the current developments cannot even be ranked among the very knotty ones. But the earlier they are resolved, with every party putting Anambra first, the better for state.

One thinks that every sincere Anambra citizen should identify such things as security of lives and property; grassroots development; qualitative basic healthcare; global standard of education; infrastructure provision; clement environment for operation of business; youth employment; and regular improvement in human resources as his prime expectations from government.


Inasmuch as high quality of speech, politically correct comments and body languages are advisable (and should be inculcated where they are absent), what matters most, especially from governments in a state like Anambra is active delivery of radically transforming projects. A government with visible empathy and focus on such projects should be best for Anambra, and all parties - elders, young ones, stakeholders should strive to stand behind it, irrespective of the holders of the mandate.

Beyond all that, serious efforts should be made to settle all vexed issues identified in the current pulsation before the middle of this new year because if they remain and roll into preparations for the 2025 gubernatorial elections, they may snowball into bigger planks for mudslinging campaigns.

• _Nnabuife FNGE, FSNA wrote from Awka, Anambra State_

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