Ikpeazu and the Python Dance By Godwin Adindu
Governor Ikpeazu’s fame is not in his dancing steps. His clansmen used to be musicians, The Apostles Rock Group, with Fusion as the master vocalist. When The Apostles ruled Aba and, even now, no one ever credited Ikpeazu with dancing wizardry. His early laurels were attained in the world of academics where he excelled and reached the apogee of learning earlier than his peers. So when the military, in a metaphor of blood, decided to debut their python dance in Abia, we knew it cannot be for Ikpeazu, not for Abians.
Governor Ikpeazu will not dance with the python neither will Abians. The python is not for our clime.
How can it be when the python is the third dangerous wild? The military has a way with framing and imageries. But, in this one, they betrayed their intention with the imagery of the python. Governor Ikpeazu understood the message. It is not in any way ambiguous. But, Abians have never ever wanted to dance with the python. In spite of the normal security challenges that are common in all societies, Governor Ikpeazu has led a peaceful and progressive state with an eye on raising the bar of investment and creating a haven for investors.
Thus, the image of a lawless state where the IPOB group is on the prowl is a misnomer and a misrepresentation. The IPOB group is an isolated group of enthusiastic youths who are expressing a genuine grievance in a nonviolent way. Ever since Nnamdi Kanu arrived the state from the Abuja prison, there has never been any incident between his group and the civil populace or the security agencies. On his part, Governor Ikpeazu has combined diplomacy and dialogue to steer a middle course between the group and the government.
This is why I consider the accusation from the opposition camp of lackadaisical attitude on the part of government over the IPOB phenomenon as being mischievous. There was nothing Ikpeazu could have done to prevent a non-violent group from expressing themselves in a democracy. Agreed that some of their comments were seditious against the Federal Government, they never in any way acted in such a manner as constituted a threat to the state government. Thus, if the aim of the opposition is to manipulate the situation to portray the state as being adrift and as where all ceremonial laws have broken down, they have shot themselves on the foot.
Indeed, such destructive criticisms seem to push me to believe the thinking that the whole military macabre dance could have been a high-wire power play inspired with the ulterior motive of declaring a state of emergency on Abia. This, too, has also failed flat, because Governor Ikpeazu is on top of the game. If the strategy is that Ikpeazu would incite the populace against the Army and the Federal Government, resulting in violent confrontations, then this think-tank is hare-brained and badly imbecilic. The whole trap has failed to catch its prey. As far as we are concerned in Abia, this too shall come to pass.
It is regrettable that anyone could see an opportunity for destructive propaganda in an unfortunate situation which has ignited tension, raised tempers and partially grounded activities in the last couple of days. There is a time when we all should relegate our political leaning and collapse into our common humanity and the time is now when there is a strange visitor. The Army are not friendly visitors and they have never visited a place without leaving a trail. Their dance, as the one of the python, has never been soul-lifting. It is a dance of blood and that is why we all must work with the Governor to find a peaceful resolution to this impasse.
There is no doubt that these are straitened times for the Governor and for Abia State. Yet, he has shown great leadership in the way he has managed the crisis. His constructive engagement with the military and the civil groups has worked successfully in containing the situation. More than anything else, what is haunting the state is rumour. The public must help the state by the way they use the new media. The greatest panic here is being created by the wrong information being disseminated through the online media.
After two years in the apex court that was a huge distraction to governance, Governor Ikpeazu requires an easement, a sort of reprieve like – “The Sun on the Rubble After Rain”. The Governor requires the sunlight of peace so that he could focus on his revolutionary visions of infrastructural renewal. He has taken many drastic steps that will progressively expand the frontiers of our human existence and he needs every cooperation so that he could accomplish these great initiatives.
All over the state, there are many unaccomplished projects. This is where the Governor wants to expend and dissipate energy and not on a dangerous python dance. This is why Abians cannot afford the macabre dance with the python.
Adindu is the President General of the Abia Renaissance Movement.