Holding Anambra State hostage – New Age 19.11.04
The mayhem that a band of obviously sponsored thugs unleashed on Anambra State recently has remained in the headlines. NNAMDI ONYEUMA finds out how shocked Nigerians were and what their current reactions are:

• Federal Government is partisan
• Tribunal should be set up to try suspects
• The crisis is political
• It is embarrassing to PDP-led government and Nigerian democracy
• Federal Government can address the crisis
• Ngige should be left alone

Samuel Oga, Journalist
The Anambra issue is political. It is sad and quite embarrassing not only to Anambra people but also to the federal government. It is shocking to see an elected governor treated without respect. A state that produced some of Africa and world’s best in education and technology. I think the federal government is not being sincere in this crisis. They are taking sides, otherwise, who is Mr Chris Uba? Is he above the law? Agreed, he may have sponsored Dr. Chris Ngige to become governor, but does that give him the right to violate the law of the state with impunity? Is he the governor? So, you see, I blame the federal government. What happened in Anambra is enough to put him behind bars for years. Unfortunately we are in Nigeria where rascals control power and where two constitutions exist. One for the poor and the second for the rich, whether the source of the wealth is fraudulent or not, nobody cares. Those behind this ugly episode will not remain in government forever to continue protecting Uba.

Jacob Seun, Lawyer
There is no doubt that some people somewhere are playing politics with peoples lives. It is political and unless the parties involved tell themselves the whole truth, there is nothing that can be done which will last. A political issue needs political solution. I want the parties to sit down and talk it over. It is obvious that the crisis is continuing because the federal government has not shown maximum sincerity or honesty in the matter. And for an ordinary Nigeria like Uba to hold everybody hostage including a serving governor is unheard of. Unless the federal government removes itself completely, there won’t be peace.

Lanre Alaka, Banker
Actually, it is a disgrace. What is happening in Anambra should make the PDP-led government and all members hide their faces in shame. But of course, in this part of the world, politicians are shameless. I want to ask the players in this dangerous game what they stand to gain. Let the federal government, because I hear they are interested in the crisis, remove their interest so the people of the state can enjoy maximum peace. Governance is all about service. But what can one expect in a situation of confusion such as the Anambra case? The presidency should stop playing god and doing so to the detriment of people who would pay anything to enjoy peace. Government is not about formenting crisis. Like I said, it is about service. A word is enough for the wise. I hear Uba and Ngige are meeting. Why? After the destruction of government properties?

Segun Labiran, Engineer
The federal government is to blame. There are no two ways about it. First, they tactically resisted efforts to return the governor’s security details. And they went ahead to support a man who is sponsoring terrorism against a people’s government. Today, Mr. Chris Uba goes about with chains of policemen, yet an elected governor did not have security guarding him as provided by the constitution. In a normal society, someone should have since been arrested for spearheading terrorism in the state. In fact, he is supposed to be cooling his feet in jail. It is unfortunate that this is happening, and of course, only in Nigeria. Uba has shown Nigerians that he is bigger than the government and has no regard for the constitution. I want a tribunal set up to try all those involved, that is, if indeed, the federal government admits there is something bad in the action. I think most sincerely that those behind this recklessness should be tried and punished accordingly, if only to show us that they are not above the law.

Benson Edjewhorbo, Journalist
The problem in Anambra has a beginning. It has been said generally that Dr. Chris Ngige, the governor of the state was not the man the people of the state voted for, though he emerged victorious. So, against this background some sincere people are not happy that he became governor. On the other hand, between his so-called political godfather and government at the centre there is a deep-seated issue which is yet to be resolved.

Wale Ogundimu, Political Scientist
I think the situation in Anambra calls for caution. President Olusegun Obasanjo should stop this unnecessary waste of government’s resources. I was told he has interest in the case and the only way to prove this allegation wrong is to genuinely settle the differences between Chris Ngige and Chris Uba. It is a shame for a state which has produced renowned writers like Professor Chinna Achebe and scientists like Professor Phillip Emeagwali and a host of others. The crisis should be of concern to all Nigerians. It should be condemned so we don’t give hoodlums masquerading as godfathers chance to destroy our democracy.

Mike Abdullahi, Businessman
It is only in Nigeria that a governor can be treated like Governor Chris Ngige is being treated in Anambra State. Who will rebuild all the properties destroyed? Who will pay the bills? Government says it has no money, yet it is wasting billions just to support or cover wrong deeds of its officials and those sympathetic to its policies. We know the truth and not even, President Obasanjo can take away what is obvious to everybody. The federal government is fueling the crisis, period. If the federal government was not in the know, what stops it from arresting Chris Uba? Governor Ngige has suffered long enough to have peace and the presidency should for once show that it has conscience and that power is transient.

Kunle Dada, Engineer
It is very unfortunate. It is shocking that at this modern time such brazen abuse is going on. I think the federal government should have a re-think. History will not forgive those empowering Chris Uba to behave the way he is behaving. The federal government knows those involved, so if they want the crisis to end, they know what to do. Nobody is deceived.