Insecurity: Scaremongering Won’t Help

Friday, July 6 was a near chaotic day in Anambra State. Shops, filling stations, schools and businesses were hurriedly closed, while traders in many markets started running helter-skelter without anything or anyone pursuing them. All this was triggered by a voice note on the social media reporting an attack by Biafra agitators enforcing a sit-at-home directive issued by Simon Ekpa, a renegade Igbo man living in far-off Finland.

Before then, videos posted by hoodlums enforcing the same sit-at-home directive in Ebonyi State showed them shooting at people and scaring others away from their shops. Another video showed them scattering the wares of women trading by the roadside, with a child who was abandoned by its mother seen crying. The next day another video showed the same hoodlums ordering school children and their teachers to lie down while they were flogged for daring to come to school against the directive given by the hoodlums.

Against the backdrop of these videos, when the voice note claiming that some parts of Anambra had come under attack was posted, many people panicked and began to run up and down. It is instructive that none of those who were running saw anything or anyone pursuing them until the initial panic subsided and things returned to normal.

The Anambra State Police Command, when contacted by this paper to confirm if any part of the state had come under attack, said there was no such thing and warned those spreading false rumours to desist from such.

Indeed, the insecurity in the Southeast occasioned by the activities of Biafra agitators known as Unknown Gunmen is such that the congregation in a church, traders in a market or students in a school can run into the streets at the shout by any fool about the presence of the gunmen. This is indeed a sad situation which those hoodlums are now utilizing to instil permanent fear among the members of the public.

It is a situation where the people themselves are helping the hoodlums to do their job willy-nilly. It is especially so when videos posted by the hoodlums are widely circulated by members of the public. Thus, fear has permeated the minds of many people in the Southeast to the extent that anyone could stay in the comfort of their room or in the bush and issue empty threats and people will swallow the bait.

True, there is insecurity in the Southeast Zone, but it does not help anyone to exacerbate it by engaging in scaremongering. Doing so will amount to playing into the hands of these hoodlums who will be satisfied the public is helping them to do their job.

We are therefore appealing to members of the public to refrain from scaremongering in order not to worsen an already bad situation. Rather, they should continue to cooperate with security agencies to expose the whereabouts of these felons who, we believe, live within or around the people. A video of the hideout of some of them in an area in Nkwelle Ezunaka,

Anambra State, which was shown after it was raided by security agents on July 1, revealed that the hideout was close to people’s homes which means the people were aware of it. Thus, either out of fear or out of pro-Biafra sentiments, those people living in the area refused to alert the security agencies. This is very wrong and will in no way aid in the efforts to rid the state of these undesirable elements

It was a welcome development to read that those responsible for the attacks in Ebonyi State were all rounded up by security agents shortly after their operation; just as four hoodlums enforcing sit-at-home in Enugu State were killed after the police encountered them.

It is unfortunate that some of youths are being misled by a criminally minded and demented fellow in faraway Finland who continually goads them to carry out attacks against their people and getting killed while the felon continues to enjoy himself abroad.

It is clear today that some people have turned the Biafra agitation into a private business which they use to extort money from unsuspecting Igbo people, mostly abroad, while they use the money to live big and sponsor terrorism against their own people back home.

It continues to beat the imagination how some people believe they can achieve Biafra by fighting their own people and destroying their homeland. Nothing can be more stupid. It is even stupider for anyone of them to believe that in the unlikely event that Biafra is achieved they would be the ones to lead the new nation.

Is it the felon stoking the fire of confusion from Finland or the illiterate ignoramuses being used to cause destruction at home that will become the leaders of Biafra? Not even the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, currently in detention, can lead Biafra if ever it is achieved.

It is still from among the present crop of leaders in the Southeast that the new leaders will emerge. It is just the fact. So, anyone deluding themselves that they will occupy positions in any new Biafra Republic is living in a fool’s paradise. Enough of this deceit and delusion! Biafra agitation has become one big private business!

From what we have observed, life under those currently propagating Biafra will be far more horrible and hopeless than presently experienced in Nigeria and the sooner those supporting them realize this, the better for them. As bad as Nigeria is, it is still better to live there than in a society led by those who operate by their whims and caprices and who can wake up any day and proclaim anything they like, whether people like it or not.

We urge members of the public to see this Biafra thing as a hoax and embrace civilized means of seeking redress before the evil they support swallows them further. Those who earlier saw sitting at home as a sacrifice to make in order to realize Biafra are now realizing their mistake.

From one day sit-at-home directives, it has now snowballed into one week as was seen recently. Soon, we will be told to sit at home for one month. Our stupidity must stop and it will start by people refraining from setting off false alarm bells as was the case recently.

Let’s continue to support the government as they continue in the fight against these hoodlums. The Igbo are not known to be foolish and should not let their businesses to suffer while unwittingly helping to enrich those doing business with Biafra agitation. Enough is enough!