…Questions Motives of Secessionist Agitation …Says Dialogue Is Only Panacea for Peace Newly sworn-in Governor of Anambra State, Prof Charles Soludo, on Thursday, extended an olive branch to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its militia arm, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, urging the organizations to work with his administration in tackling insecurity in
…Questions Motives of Secessionist Agitation
…Says Dialogue Is Only Panacea for Peace
Newly sworn-in Governor of Anambra State, Prof Charles Soludo, on Thursday, extended an olive branch to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its militia arm, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, urging the organizations to work with his administration in tackling insecurity in the state.
Delivering his inaugural speech in Awka, the state capital, Soludo questioned the motives of secessionist agitations, wondering if it was not time to interrogate the purpose of IPOB and ESN.
According to Soludo: “It is time to interrogate the purpose of IPOB and ESN. The politicians using it as a means must come out for a consensus regarding our future. The conspiracy of silence by stakeholders must stop.
“I challenge the group denying the killings to come out and work with my administration to ensure peace and security in the state.”
IPOB and ESN have been linked to several killings across the Southeast.
Absolving its members of any wrongdoing, the group insisted that some politicians and Governors use criminals to cause harm in the region.
Soludo also announced the suspension of all revenue collections in the state for one month and outlawed all cash payments to the Anambra government in motor parks, roads, or anywhere.
He made the announcement shortly after he and Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim were sworn in as Governor and Deputy Governor of Anambra by Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, the Chief Judge of the state.
Both took their oaths of office and allegiance at the Anambra Government House in a ceremony witnessed by hundreds of people.
In his address, Soludo said the new Anambra under his leadership would be a state of law and order.
He thanked the outgone Governor, Mr Willie Obiano, and the leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for their immense support.
He also thanked the people of Anambra for interviewing him and employing him to serve them as Governor.
Soludo, also a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), emphasised the need for peace and called on youths, politicians, and agitators to embrace dialogue as that was the only panacea for peace.
There was a momentary disruption of the ceremony due to a physical fight between Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of the outgone Governor and Mrs Bianca Ojukwu, the widow of ex-Biafran Leader, Mr Odumegwu Ojukwu.
Meanwhile, Prof. Soludo has apologised for the reported fight between Mrs Obiano and Mrs Ojukwu.
Soludo, in a press release by his media aide, Mr Joe Anatune, said the fight was caused by a breach of protocol.
“Prof. Soludo hereby apologizes to all Anambra people, friends and guests who attended his inauguration this morning as the Anambra State Governor for the breach of protocol.
“The breach was caused by improper communication which itself arose from a personal issue between the two parties involved in the breach.
“Steps are being taken to resolve the misunderstanding and restore the parties to their previous relationship.
“Anambra State has over the years been known for a huge stock of social harmony, and the stock will increase substantially in the years ahead as part of the concerted effort to accelerate the state’s development,” the statement read.