A civil society organisation in Enugu State, the Hill Top United (HTU), has called on the state Governor, Peter Mbah, to appoint a Special Adviser on Security without delay in view of the security situation which has been deteriorating since he was sworn into office.
Nelson Sylvester, alias Ofunwa, who had been representing Eha Alumona in Nsukka Local Government Area and was killed on the night of Sunday, July 16, in his residence by so-called unknown gunmen, has become the latest high-profile victim in a series of assassinations believed to be politically motivated.
Mbah had immediately after his swearing in, banned the Mondays sit-at-home enforced by the outlawed IPOB members to push for the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, from detention by the DSS.
However, the splinter group enforcing the sit-at-home, defied the governor’s order.
“The killing of Sylvester, a young man in his prime last night (Sunday), shows the urgent need to take the security crisis in Enugu seriously,” said the HTU in a statement signed by its leader, Comrade Augustine Uche Udeh, and the Director of Publicity, Chief Ambrose Ozoene.
“We are alarmed that not even the attempt by IPOB members to burn down Peter Mbah’s private company, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Oil Ltd on Chime Avenue in New Haven, Enugu, on Wednesday, June 19, 2023, could make his government take security seriously.
“Yet, security is one of the primary duties of every government in the world.”
The group said that a situation where the state’s security is entrusted to Mbah’s personal bodyguard for years, Mr Vincent Onyeabor, whom the governor elevated to the position of Senior Special Assistant on Security, is appalling.
While making reference to the similar security situation in Anambra State, the CSO noted that Governor Chukwuma Soludo appointed not just a Homeland Security Commissioner, China Anara, but also a Special Adviser on Security, Ben Chiobi, who is a retired Air Vice Marshall.
Granted that Mbah has yet to appoint commissioners, argued the nongovernmental organisation, he has appointed a number of special advisers.
“Why wouldn’t the governor look for a qualified person versed in security and intelligence matters and make him or her his Special Adviser on Security instead of saddling the state’s security with a pipsqueak who spent a few years in the Department of State Security (DSS) and on retirement became his personal bodyguard?” the group queried.
The CSO stated that Mbah’s foremost problem “is not the profound lack of legitimacy, as the Enugu people didn’t vote for him in the March 18 governorship election, but, more importantly, a terrible lack of capacity.
“Dr Chris Ngige, who later became a senator and Minister of Labour and Employment, did not win the 2003 gubernatorial vote in Anambra State, but the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rigged the outcome for him.
“Still, Dr Ngige was able to legitimize his governorship through excellent work no sooner than he fell out with the infamous Uba brothers who rigged the election in his favour.
“In the case of Mbah, who wangled his way to our state’s governorship in cahoots with extremely corrupt Independent National Electric Commission (INEC) persons, it is, however, different. Mbah is just not up to the job; the gubernatorial shoes are too big for him.
“The great spike in politically motivated assassinations across Enugu State since he assumed office bears an eloquent testimony to his ineptitude”.
Hill Top United urged Mbah to “shed his inferiority complex and sense of inadequacy and look for competent and experienced security and intelligence experts to assist stabilise the crisis situation pending the time the Enugu State Governorship and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal as well as the Court.”