ENDSARS: Obiano Shuts Schools, Churches, Imposes Curfew

October 22, 2020
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A Special Broadcast by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano on

the Growing Tension Across Nigeria Sparked up by the EndSars Protests, October on Thursday,

22, 2020.

Ndi Anambra ekenem unu

I am compelled to address you today by the growing tension

across the country ignited by recent efforts by Nigerian youths

to ask for a better Nigeria.

The events of the past few days remind me of the words of

Franz Fanon, the influential political philosopher who

observed that “each generation must discover its mission,

fulfill it or betray it in relative opacity.”

This generation of Nigerian youths has discovered its mission.

But the question everyone is asking is; will they betray or

fulfill it?

Great Anambra youths, I am immensely proud of what you

have achieved so far. But we must not succumb to the morbid

attractions of violence; no matter the provocation, no matter

how justified our anger and no matter how easy it all might

seem. Violence does not yield fruitful results.

The founder of modern India, Mahatma Ghandi warns that

“when violence appears to do good, the good is only

temporary; but the evil it does is permanent.”

Umu nnem, while our beloved state remains largely safe and

isolated from the boiling sea outside, we have also recorded a

few unpleasant incidents in our domain and there is justifiable

anger in the land. But we cannot give it a chance to consume

us all. Consequently, we are taking precautionary steps to

prevent further descent to lawlessness in Anambra State by

imposing a 24 hour curfew with effect from 8pm today until

we bring this rising tension under control.

Therefore, all schools and markets in Anambra State are

hereby closed. All gatherings by groups and associations

under any name or label from 8pm are banned. The law

enforcement agencies in the state have been duly directed to

enforce compliance. However, all law enforcement officers

charged with ensuring compliance to the restriction on

movement must resist the temptation of applying excessive

force while attempting to bring the situation under control.

We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes that created

the problem we are trying to solve in the first place.

Meanwhile, I wish to assure all non-indigenes living among us

in Anambra State of their safety and security wherever they

live in our dear state. The government of Anambra State will

not allow you to come to any harm.

Ndi Anambra, we may do well to recall that in response to the

nationwide demand by Nigerian youths for an end to the

gross violation of their human rights by the defunct SARS, my

administration had taken proactive measures to enthrone

justice and peace in our dear state. I have personally visited

all the facilities used by the defunct SARS and freed all the

prisoners in unlawful detention. I have set up a Judicial Panel

of Inquiry to listen to petitions from victims of human rights

violations by the defunct SARS. And more importantly, I am

happy to announce that we have set aside the sum of N200m

to be disbursed as compensations to people who have proven

cases of rights violations, torture and deaths from the

activities of the defunct SARS in Anambra State. This provision

is part of the 2021 Budget which shall be presented to the

State House of Assembly in a matter of days. Ndi Anambra,

this effort is made essentially in pursuit of a better society.

We know that no amount of money can equate a human life.

But we believe that a symbolic gesture delivered at the right

moment can heal old wounds and help aggrieved families to

find closure in these most traumatic times.

Ndi Anambra, the peace and security we have enjoyed in

Anambra State in the past seven years is under threat. All

hands must be on deck to save Anambra from this danger. I

urgently call on all religious leaders, traditional rulers, market

leaders, community leaders and leaders of the various youth

associations across Anambra State to rise to this immediate

challenge and speak to our youths and calm the boiling anger

in the land. Whatever we destroy in a feat of anger was built

by us, even if they were donated to federal institutions within

our state. We must do everything we can to avoid self-

inflicted injuries.

Ndi Anambra, the times we live in demand extraordinary

sacrifices. We must respond to it with patience, forbearance

and love. This is not the time for unrestrained emotions. This

is not the time for destructive rumours and conspiracy

theories. This is a time to reach out and touch one another

with love, to treat each other with kindness and to say to one

another with one voice; Nigeria is greater than her problems!

Umu nnem, we are the inheritors of a proud history. We carry

the inventive genius of the great minds that created the

famous Igboukwu civilization. Our ancestors practiced

pragmatic democracy before the Greeks stumbled upon its

fine theories. We rose from the ashes of a brutal Civil War to

rebuild our lives with relative ease. Ndi Anambra, our story is

different. So, we must act with a sense of history in moments

like this. We must not give in to regrettable anger and throw

everything away.

God bless Anambra State

God bless Nigeria

Willie Obiano

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