Celebrated Global CEO calls for urgent intervention over security crisis in Ihiala LGA, other parts of Anambra State
ISSEKE KINGDOM, Anambra State – In a poignant display of empathy and leadership, Valentine Ozigbo, a respected business leader and 2021 Anambra Gubernatorial Candidate, paid a courtesy visit to His Royal Majesty, Igwe Emmanuel Nnabuife (Ezeoha of Isseke), the Traditional Ruler and Clan Head of Isseke Kingdom in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Mr Ozigbo’s visit on Saturday, January 20, 2024, is a gesture of solidarity following the recent arson attack that ravaged the Igwe’s palace and 12 other homes in the town.
During his visit, Ozigbo, the founder of the eponymously named Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation, offered heartfelt condolences to His Royal Majesty, Igwe Nnabuife and the people of Isseke. He vehemently condemned the incident, labelling it “a severe act of violence and barbarism”.
Ozigbo’s speech, imbued with emotion, highlighted the stark contrast between the global scientific and technological advancements and the tragic incidents of arson, violence, and lawlessness plaguing Ihiala Local Government Area and other parts of Anambra State
“It is with a heavy heart that we confront the grim reality of our current situation,” Ozigbo lamented.
“In an age where the world celebrates remarkable advancements in science and technology, our discourse is marred by the bleak narrative of violence – homes set ablaze, lives senselessly taken, kidnappings, and an array of criminal acts that undermine the fabric of our society.
“Today, I extend my deepest sympathies to His Royal Majesty, the families of the seven households who have suffered immensely from this heinous act of violence, and to all the residents of Isseke Kingdom who share in this profound sorrow.
“This moment serves as a crucial call to action for the Anambra State Government and our security agencies. The persistent unchecked criminality not only wreaks havoc on our communities but also sends a distressing message of potential complicity or indifference by those in power.
“The people of Ndi Anambra are rapidly losing faith in their government’s capacity to provide the most fundamental of rights – protection and safety.
“This alarming trend demands immediate, decisive action. We cannot allow this state of affairs to continue unaddressed. It is imperative that we restore trust and ensure a safe, secure environment for all citizens,” declared Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc.
In an uncommon show of leadership, Ozigbo offered to collaborate with the authorities of Anambra State and security agencies in providing solutions to the insecurity crisis in the state.
“The prolonged siege on Ihiala Local Government is a clarion call for action,” Ozigbo declared. “I am steadfastly committed to collaboratively engaging with key stakeholders, including governmental bodies and law enforcement agencies, to overcome the security challenges plaguing not only Ihiala but the entire Anambra State.
“It is through united efforts that we can restore peace and safety to our cherished communities,” the two-time Global CEO Award winner added.
Recounted a harrowing incident involving Igwe Ikenga of Lilu, Ozigbo revealed he was with Igwe Ikenga in the United States when a video was sent to the monarch showing his palace in Anambra State being consumed by flames.
Ozigbo described the moment as “emotionally paralysing”, highlighting a disturbing trend in Anambra State, particularly in the Ihiala Local Government Area, where homes built through hard work and savings are frequently targeted and destroyed.
Ozigbo further expressed deep concern over a series of distressing events in the region, including the prolonged abduction of Hon. Engr Jude Obi, the former Transition Chairman of Ihiala LGA, and the arrest of Mr Christian Kennedy, the AVGS commander of Ihiala LGA, by military personnel — incidents that have reportedly occurred without intervention or response from the State Government.
Emphasising the severity of the situation, Ozigbo noted that while several border villages and towns in Anambra State are susceptible to security threats, Ihiala Local Government is particularly afflicted, describing the area as being under siege.
He called for a unified response to the crisis, asserting that addressing these “security challenges is a collective responsibility that requires immediate and concerted effort from all stakeholders”.
In response, Igwe Nnabuife expressed gratitude for Ozigbo’s visit and solidarity. He lamented the apparent negligence of the state government in the wake of the arson attacks, noting the absence of any government official visit or support.
The Igwe lauded Ozigbo’s attributes of thoughtfulness, humility, empathy, and emotional sensitivity, qualities he deemed essential for effective leadership.
Ozigbo was accompanied by notable figures, including Hon Chibuzor Udekigbo, the Labour Party House of Assembly candidate for Ihiala Constituency 1; Sir Izuchukwu Oraelosi, the General Manager of Ozigbo’s Foundation; a prominent son of Isseke, Engr Chukwuebuka Akaolisa; and several individuals from Isseke.
Ozigbo and his delegation met the Oluoha of Ihiala, His Royal Majesty Igwe Thomas Odibiegwu, at the Udoka Estate, Awka residence of the Isseke monarch where the courtesy visit took place.