THE DISPOSITION of gover¬nors of South Eastern states, vis-a-vis issues con- cerning their states or the entire zone, leaves much to be desired. More often than not, these first citizens of their respective states choose to be reticent on critical issues affecting their people and indeed Ndigbo in general. The reason for their taciturni¬ty, though best known to them, has become worrisome and a source of concern to the people of the zone, who keep wonder¬ing why their heroes are ‘cutting liver’. It still remains a puzzle and indeed an embarrassment that far-away Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, was the first to openly condemn the recent arrest, in a manner akin to ab¬duction, of 76 hapless farmers from Ugwuleshi community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State by “fake solders,” following a clash with marauding Fulani herdsmen, when South-East chief execu¬tives were still chicken-hearted to speak out. Not even the Enugu State gov¬ernor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was bold enough to condemn the action of the herdsmen or the intimidation and humilia¬tion of his people by the over¬zealous and ‘mysterious’ secu¬rity men, during his belated and media-induced visit to the com¬munity. The governor disappointed not only the community, but a large number of his fans, when he failed to at least in strong terms, condemn the atrocities of the herdsmen in the commu¬nity and other parts of the state. Expectedly, Ugwuanyi, as the Chief Security Officer, CSO, of Enugu State, should have dur¬ing, before or even after the belated-visit, which took place 13 days after the incident, demand the true identity of the said “men in military uniform,” who stormed the community and whisked away 76 citi¬zens to another state, without the courtesy of giving him a hint as the CSO of the state. That alone is enough humiliation meted to the governor by the ‘security operatives’ behind the question¬able operation, but perhaps he was not smart enough to see it from that perspective This became more disturbing when neither the police nor or the ‘raid’, yet the state’s CSO never demanded any explana- tions. It rather took the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Indigenous Peoples of Bi¬afra, IPOB, to raise an eye brow. Just like Ugwuanyi, no other governor of South-East extrac¬tion was also bold enough to raise a voice, at least in the spirit of brotherhood, as injury to one is injury to all. Fayose is by no means Igbo nor is he related to the coveted tribe, but he was brave enough to condemn the arrest and called for the imme¬diate release of “the Igbo farm¬ers”. Where are our governors? Where are the people we gave or ‘who stole’ our mandates to speak for and defend us? Can they be counted when ‘push be¬came a shove’? This faint-heartedness of the South-East governors on issues of state and zonal importance sends a bad signal on the qual¬ity of leadership in the zone. Is it also not unthinkable that till date, not even one governor from the South-East has mus¬tered the courage to openly con¬demn the continued use of bru¬tal force on or killing in some instances, of Biafran agitators by security operatives. Although this write-up is not aimed at delving into the desir¬ability or otherwise of the re¬newed agitation, the realisation that those who are killed and or maimed are people from the zone places on the governors the onu former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, bowed out as the chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, following the expiration of his tenure in May 2015, the forum is yet to have a leader. Till today South-East gover¬nors and of course other politi¬cal elite find it difficult to speak with one voice on issues of zonal importance. Why? Who are they afraid of? Is it timid¬ity or the way they understand governance? One may not but still ask cer¬tain pertinent questions: where was Governor Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) when 76 hapless farmers from his state spent 15 harrowing days in prison cell for daring to defend their farmlands against herdsmen invasion? Where was Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (Ph.D) when poor farmers from his neigh¬bouring state were made to spend 15 days in a prison cell in his state on the orders of Abia State Magistrate Court? Where was the Deputy Senate Presi¬dent, Ike Ekweremadu (Ikeo¬ha) when his poor constitu¬ents spent 15 agonising days in prison custody for protesting the wicked destruction of their crops and farmlands by invad¬ers? Surely our late fathers and heroes, especially Dim Chuk¬wuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Gburugburu Ndigbo), must be turning in their graves! Perhaps, the blame may fall on the structures that be¬queathed
to at least condemn the mindless killings. The attitude of these leaders is in sharp contrast with that of their counterparts from other zones, who champion the cause of their people with vigour and every arsenal at their dis¬posal. The reactions of North¬ern governors and elite on the way security operatives were pounding suspected Boko Ha¬ram elements at the initial stage of the war against terror in the North-East should have taught the South-East governors what it means to be the CSOs of their states. Similarly the avalanche of condemnation, both local and international, that greeted the clash between the Army and members of Shite Muslims in Kaduna State should have also sent a message to Igbo gover¬nors. Also more worrisome was the case of Miss Ifesinachi Ani, a young Igbo girl from Nkanu, in Enugu State, who was abducted, forcefully converted to Islam, sold and married off to a Mus¬lim, but was rescued last week Since her rescue, the much the Enugu State government had done was to promise scholar¬ship to the innocent Junior Sec¬ondary School, JSS, 2 student, but nobody seems to be saying anything about prosecuting the evil mortals behind her ordeal. Where are the South-East gov¬ernors and our National Assem¬bly members? It is very mind-boggling and indeed embarrassing that since

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