Peter Obi was the Governor of Anambra State between 14th June 2007 and 17th March 2014, the time within which this cringe-worthy crime took place. And so it’s natural to ask, what did our beloved Okwute know and when did he know it? Most importantly, what did his Excellency do about the horror visited on the subjects he swore to protect?
Recently, Civil Liberties Organisation through her South East Zonal Chairman, Comrade Aloysius Attah, issued a statement absolving the former Governor Obi of blames and grievances surrounding the Ezu River killings. But wait bro, not too fast. I’m not so sure that such a determination could be made of anyone, prior to a thorough and conclusive investigation, let alone the presiding governor at the time. That said, it’s also important to note that few accounts had reported some good effort on the part of the former governor in pushing the case forward. Per the reports however, some of his best efforts were stymied by Abuja since SARS was only answerable to the Inspector-General of Police. That for sure is one of the many travesties of our current administrative arrangement where the governor is the chief security officer of the state, but has to work alongside a police chief whose loyalty is expressed from without.
MASSOB, a group that claimed that nine of her members were part of the bodies discovered also believed the problem was not with Peter Obi. Later on, a panel of inquiry constituted by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs and National Security came out with nothing and has been described as a charade at best. One is curious to know if representatives from the southeast in the National Assembly were part of those committees. If so what did they know and what have they done about the case? If not, why not?
Besides setting up a panel of inquiry which clearly didn’t yield much fruit, was Governor Peter Obi convinced that he did enough? Even with the expected stonewalling of the investigation by the police hierarchy, there is no question that state governors in Nigeria have humongous powers and enormous influence on their own. Or were there concerns about a potential political blow-back for exposing the powerful interests behind this crime syndicate and then the decision to thread slowly? Or maybe Obi truly did his best but just couldn’t get past our notoriously convoluted, cash-and-carry criminal justice system. We have no way of knowing.
And then another question. How did OC Nwafor warm his way into Gov. Willie Obiano’s inner circle to become his Special Assistant in charge of security and stayed on till he was relieved of that position following the EndSARS protest, just few weeks ago? Could it possibly mean that the administration was totally oblivious of the litany of complaints against the officer in question and the huge baggage he carried on as the poster child of the atrocities that Awkuzu SARS had come to represent?
These are serious questions begging for genuine answers. For any individual who was or currently in a position of power or influence in both the past and present administrations in Anambra state, the question is what did you know and what did you do? Try they may but It would be extremely difficult for any of these political actors to walk out of this stench, sparkly white, no matter the effort to clean things up. More than anyone else, methinks it’s in their best interest to resurrect the inquiry and pursue it till justice is served and Alaigbo washed off the stain of this fratricide. Only then can our people proclaim with one voice: OZOEMEZINA.