The people of lgbo extraction have a time tested adage which remains indelible in their folklore. It says mbelede nyiri dike, inana inbelede k eji ama dike. Casually translated, it means “emergency situations are difficult to a great man but great men are made out of emergency situations”. This is a cliché used to underscore the bravery of great men. Therefore, it is natural to conclude that great men are known through difficult situations.
In this context, it is important to stress the fact that the role played by Governor Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State during the recent security situation in the state was very outstanding, especially considering his response to the emergency situation occasioned by herdsmen’s onslaught on the people of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government.
Herdsmen attacks on communities in Nigeria have proven to be the emerging trend of insecurity in the country having waved through states in the Middle-Belt region (Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, etc.) and even to the South-west region. Notably, there was a particular incidence that involved the criminal abduction of a statesman in Ondo State, Chief Olu Falae.
This problem does not seem to give relevant authorities any concern as the lukewarm attitude of the federal government would show, not even from humanitarian agencies. But the Nimbo incidence drew the attention and thanks to the intervention of Governor Ugwuanyi who calm the frayed nerves in time of that unfortunate unwarranted adversity.
It was noted that on receiving security intelligence prior to the attack, the governor reportedly summoned the security chiefs in the state and was duly assured that officers and men of the security operatives were on ground at strategic places to prevent any such attack. But the people of the community were killed by the herdsmen invaders inspite of such prior intelligence information and assurances from security chiefs.
The governor quit blame game and hurriedly visited the community a day after the attack for an on-the-spot assessment of the extent of carnage to assess the extent of damages done by the monstrous herdsmen. Promptly, he called for response in tracking the invaders, their possible arrest and onward prosecution. He did not leave the situation in the hands of security officers alone; in fervent faith, he took the situation to God by declaring two days fasting and prayer for peace and security of the state as well as for the repose of the souls of the departed.
Heeding to the alarm raised by the state government, the heads of security operatives including the DSS, Police, NSCDC and others visited Nimbo and subsequently arrested some suspects in connection with the attack on the community. The governor also sought audience with President Muhammadu Buhari where he explained to him the security situation the state, what actually happened at Nimbo community with a view to arresting the situation, and to prevent such ugly incident from happening in the future.
The state government also constituted a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the Nimbo bloodshed, as well as other pockets of herdsmen attacks on Enugu people and recommend appropriate measures to ensure that any further attack is averted. This timely intervention calmed frayed nerves of the angry youth in different communities in Enugu State against possible reprisal attack.
As an interim measure, the state government set up not less than 472 Neighbourhood Watch Groups in all communities in the state to complement the efforts of the security operatives. This security measure is part of the resolve of the state government to ensure rapid socio-economic development in the state as this has reassured investors willing to come and invest in the state of the security of their lives and investments.
Jackson writes from Abuja