How Fayose’s Audacity Exposed Ugwuanyi’s Naivety – By Nwobodo Chidiebere



“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion”.

–Alexander the Great.


According to the words of Martin Luther King, Jnr who said that the ultimate measure of a man is not when he finds himself in a place of comfort or pleasure, but when he sees himself in the midst of challenges and controversies.  The unabated atrocities of Fulani Herdsmen in some states, has revealed leadership qualities that make up some of Nigerian governors. While some gullible governors, out of sheer cowardice or myopic quest for political correctness, decided to play ostrich while there people were being massacred in their ancestral homes, by bloody-sucking vampires masquerading as herdsmen. Others, who understand what true leadership is all about, placed security of lives and properties of the governed as their number one constitutional duty. The case of Governors Ayo Fayose and Ifeanyi Uguwanyi of Ekiti and Enugu States, respectively, brought this classic example of two ends of ideological spectrum to the limelight.


On Friday night of May 20, 2016, Oke Ako community of Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State was thrown into mourning by suspected herdsmen, who invaded the community while they were sleep, killed two people and butchered others. Less than 30 hours after the ugly incident, Gov. Fayose as the Chief Security Officer of Ekiti State, rushed back from the PDP Convention in Rivers State. He condemned the barbaric killing of his people, visited the scene and consequentially issued a severe press release as follows:  “I have come here to commiserate with the people of Oke-Ako over the murder of two of our people by these evil Fulani herdsmen. I am also here to assure that this will be the last time your community will be invaded by Fulani herdsmen under whatever guise.  “I have directed that cattle rearing and grazing should stop in Ekiti State and those interested in cattle farming should henceforth do so in their own ranch.”

“No more movement of cattle from one location to another in the State and any cattle seen anywhere in Ekiti State apart from the ranch created for them by their owners will be confiscated by the government and their owners will be prosecuted. “A bill to this effect will be sent to House of Assembly for passage into law to criminalize cattle owners whose cattle are found moving from one location the other in the State.”



After taking a deep introspection on Gov. Fayose’s audacious reaction as regards man inhumanity to man exhibited by these cannibal-like suspected Fulani herdsmen in Ekiti, which propelled him to inaugurate local Vigilante groups to serve as community police. I tried in vain to juxtapose it with what happened in my state Enugu recently, and the mindboggling lackadaisical cum hypocritical reaction of His Excellency, Gov. Ugwuanyi to the gruesome murder of our people.


Before the Ekiti Killings, there were Benue and Enugu Killings, where over 400 were slaughtered in Benue State, another over 40 innocent people were slain in Enugu State, respectively, without much courageous response from these lily-livered governors. To add salt to injury, Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue Sate attended a meeting of Northern Governors Forum, where a statement emanated exonerating Fulani herdsmen of any complicity in the sadistic acts, without any counteraction from Gov. Ortom. This is height of ineptitude, incompetence, gullibility and a great disservice not only to both living and dead Agatus, but entire Benue State in general.


If Gov. Ortom’s delinquency of his constitutional responsibilities to protect lives and properties of Benue people irrespective of their tribes, can be said to be mortgaged on the altar of political affiliation with the government at centre—which failed woefully to curtail menace of Fulani Herdsmen. What can be said of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s immature and cowardly reaction, owning to the fact to he got security intelligence reports 24 hours before cruel invasion of Ukpabi Nimbo community on 25th of April, 2016 by dreaded Fulani herdsmen? If APC-controlled Federal Government could not send security officials to save lives of over 40 souls wasted in a space of two hours in Nimbo community, why couldn’t Gov. Ugwuanyi alert entire Enugu people on this calamity before it occurred?


Imagine Gov. Fayose in Ugwuanyi’s shoes, after getting wind of the attack, would he have allowed Ekiti people to be killed in cold blood not in Kano or Jigawa, but in their ancestral homes in Ekiti State because President Buhari refused to send soldiers to quell the attacks as a result of his political differences with the governor? Would Gov. Fayose have gone to Nimbo community to cry for the sake of cameras of media men and be seen the next day at Aso Rock slavishly and cowardly shaking hands and having hypocritical smiles with the same Commander-in-Chief who couldn’t   protect the massacred people of Nimbo community? Would Fayose have denied ever placing emergency calls to Villa for help immediately after the master-slave meeting in State House? Would Fayose even bother to visit a president that did not condemn gruesome butchery his people via press release; let alone national broadcast?


I want to state categorically clear, that I campaigned, voted, and supported Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as governor of Coal City state during 2015 general election. But I am not a sycophant that will turn blind eyes when my governor is derailing from his constitutional duties from placing collective interest of Enugu people above his selfish political aspiration. The lives and properties of Enugu people cannot become pawns in a political chess board. Enugu is a state of lions and cannot be led by a spineless sheep. President Buhari and Fulani tribe did not make Ugwuanyi Enugu governor; we made him. If Gov. Ugwuanyi is afraid of standing for his people not to incur the rot of Fulanis in Abuja, he may end up incurring the wrath of the same people of Enugu who voted him into power.


Everything rises and falls on leadership. Gov. Fayose has shown exemplary leadership when it mattered most. If Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State could set up vigilante groups to safeguard Abians, even when Fulani Herdsmen are yet to strike the state, why would Ugwuanyi keep ridiculing Enugu people and making them objects of mockery in the eyes of other Nigerians via his clueless, rudderless, spineless and sheepishly leadership? Enugu deserves more courageous, decisive and focused leadership than what we are getting now. 2019 is around the corner, political hurricane which may not even come from APC or PDP may sweep him out of Lion Building—Enugu State Government House, if he does not sit up now.



Nwobodo Chidiebere wrote from Abuja.




  1. In commenting on the article authored by Nwobodo Chidiebere who said he is from Enugu and campaigned for and voted for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyo during the 2015 governorship election in the state, it is pertinent to first reason that the columnist by his posturing that come 2019 the governor would be defeated if he seeks a second term in office seems to have begun 2019 campaigns for an unseen aspirant to the exalted position of governor who may have engaged him to begin a campaign of calumny so early in the day. Having been a witness to the very exhaustive preemptive steps taken by the governor to prevent that unfortunate Nimbo attack on April 25, 2016, it is, indeed, disheartening to imagine the title of Nwobodo’s write-up- How Fayose’s Audacity Exposed Ugwuanyi’s Naivety.

    One dares ask Mr. Nwobodo why Fayose could not prevent the attack on Ekiti community even when he knew of the Nimbo and the Agatu attacks and knowing too that some Fulani herdsmen were inhabiting parts of his state?. I would also ask the columnist to show in tangible terms what the reading of the riot act by the Ekiti governor has done in the circumstance and why all Fulani herdsmen have not been deported from Ekiti state.

    Again, his assertion that if Fayose had got information about the Ekiti attack a day before as the Enugu governor got the information about the Nimbo attack that he would have prevented it is totally a laughable assumption borne out of a desire just to attack unjustifiably. Is he saying that Fayose would have personally led a vigilante group to fight the invaders? Once again, let the record be put straight. When Ugwuanyi received the security report in the night of April 24, 2016, he promptly convened a state security council meeting that started at 10pm. All heads of security agencies in the state- state commissioner of police, garrison commander at the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu who represented the GOC of the division, state director of the Department of State Service and the state director of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

    He presented the reported red-hot the way it came and after due deliberations provided all logistical support for deployment of personnel and personnel were deployed to Nimbo. These are facts that continued to be laid bay and no one has disputed them. Unfortunately, the security agents who were deployed left their post early in the morning of that unfortunate Monday, paving the way for the marauding herdsmen to strike at about 6.30am. Now, let an impartial arbiter, not Nwobodo who is already busy canvassing for his choice candidate in 2019, tell me what the Enugu governor had not done to save his people.

    No human being with a heart is beyond the welling up of emotions in coming face to face with the dead whose remains were mangled in a ferocious attack as the one the governor saw that moved him into shedding tears. what was wrong in joining his subject in mourning the way they mourned at that moment of utmost grief? Let’s stop kidding. Why would the governor of Enugu state deny it if he put calls across to Mr. President? Would anybody take his mandate so generously delivered to him by the good people of the state who currently enjoy his unprecedented good governance and now lavish their love on him if he had called the president and said that he did? Does this urbane governor who served as federal lawmaker for 12 straight years have to call for anarchy like a motor park tout to please people with a rabid sense of doing things?

    Can somebody like Nwobodo come to the streets of Enugu to tell the residents that their governor who is seen in all fair-minded quarters as God-sent, even by all critical clergy men, is cowardly or not fit to govern them? My brother, most people may attack you physically while the modest respondents would tell you that, perhaps, you could only get a better governor from heaven. in Governor Ugwuanyi’s Enugu state, economic crunch in the country notwithstanding, salaries are paid on the 25th of every month, and profound infrastructure development projects dot the three senatorial districts, including bridges in Nkanu East where his predecessors dreaded even to visit and the long-abandoned University town of Nsukka experiencing unbelievable massive transformation in roads infrastructure.

    In conclusion, I dare say that anybody who is from Enugu state and lives in the state or visits the state regularly or even follows the trend of this present administration from public commentaries would not author this ignoble article.

    Comment posted by Uwakwe Abugu from Enugu


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