*Calls for a national dialogue to discuss gains of the 1914 Amalagamation
By Myke Uzendu
Elder statesman and former chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Algebra State, Engr. Dan Ulasi, has asked the South-East Governors Forum to tender a public apology for humiliating traditional rulers and leader from the zone in Enugu on February 12.
Ulasi, who was guest at the Africa Independent Television (AIT) morning current affairs programme, Kaakaki, said that by keeping the traditional rulers and other leaders of the zone waiting for over four hours, during the meeting to draw up modalities for Community Policing model for the zone, it was the height of humiliation of the elderly and disregard for traditional institution by the governors.
He stated that “were it in the Northern or South-Western parts of the country, nothing of such can happen as they would never mute any such idea of humiliating their elders, not to talk of traditional rulers of such stature”.
According to Engr. Ulasi, “I was invited to the meeting and I was in the company of the traditional ruler of my town, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Nwafor Orizu, who is more than 90 years old and has been on the throne for more than 50 years, indeed the oldest traditional ruler in the country. We were in the hall at Government House, Enugu, from 10am to well past 2pm, yet the governors kept these custodians of our culture waiting and they (the governors) were said to be in a meeting with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) somewhere else for that period of time, and nobody came to explain to the traditional rulers what was going on or why they were being kept for so long, until several of them left the hall. Yes, they got angry and left the meeting venue.
“I think it is the height of insensitivity on the part of the governors. When the South-West governors decided on “Amotekun” nobody knew what they were doing until they launched it and had purchased over 500 vehicles for the body. When the AGF said what they did was illegal, they challenged him to go to court and he never went to court.
“The South-East governors must tender a public apology for humiliating these traditional rulers. Do you know the implications should they rain curses on these governors? It shows a people who are not part of the government at the center. But, that does not mean they should bring in elderly people like that in a hall and humilate them”.
The astute public affairs analyst also condemned what he termed “Army of Occupation” in the zone, insisting that the numerous road blocks are not yielding any positive result (apart from extortion) since rampaging herdsmen are committing crimes everywhere in the zone, killing people, kidnapping people and raping women and girls unrestrainedly.
“Those road blocks that you find in every two to three kilometers have not helped in any way to provide security to our people. Herdsmen are all over the places, committing crimes at random. Armed gangs are operating freely and kidnapping is going on everywhere. So, tell me, of what use then are the Military and Police road blocks to the people”?
Although he applauded the Community Policing concept, but said the way they are going about it is faulty from the beginning, expressing doubts if it will achieve results in the end.
He opined that the traditional approach to securing the communities could be more effective and called for it’s analysis and proper legislation to give state governors powers to deploy security operatives to secure people in their states.
He called for a national dialogue to discuss the gains of the over 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation, and also stated that the various component units of the country should be encouraged to state their greviances and proffer solutions.