Covid-19 in Abia, Anambra and Why Ndigbo Should Worry By Ori Martins

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COVID-19 pandemic has ungraciously visited all South Eastern states except Imo. In the last 24 hours, the dreaded virus reared its ugly head in Abia State. About two weeks ago, Anambra was given a most devastating blow by the global number one vicious attacker.

My concern here is that the dangerous entry of coronavirus into Abia and Anambra states is a wacko affair. As wacky as covid -19 sounds, it still waddled and waggled its poisonous fangs to Abia and Anambra states. These two states housing Aba and Onitsha respectively represent the industry and ingenuity of Igbo commercial and entrepreneurial potentialities. The two states are comprehensively central to the educational/academic, political, military, social and cultural metamorphosis of Igbo renaissance. In other words, whatever happens or affects these two states is usually greeted with an epoch making multiplier effect. This is not to play down the wonderful contributions of the other three states of Ebony, Enugu and Imo.

For instance, the legendary Zik of Africa was Nigerian president in the First Republic. He was Anambra. The premier in the East was M.I. Okpara, from Abia. Those two men were the two most important politicians in the East at the time. In the first military arrangement in 1966, General Ironsi was the head of state. He hailed from Abia. The military administrator, Eastern region, was Colonel (later General) Ojukwu. He was Anambra. Of course, Ojukwu knew this fact and he built his bunker in Umuahia, Abia State, during the Biafran days. Before the Nigerian madness started, the first two university vice chancellors the country ever had were Professor Kenneth Dike at University of Ibadan and Professor Eni Njoku at University of Logos. When the country returned from its pretentious amnesia and decided to announce CBN governors of Igbo inclination, the two states the oligarchs preferred their personalities were: Paul Ogwuma, Abia and Charles Soludo, Anambra.

And let me quickly add, the continental football brand, Rangers, was based in Enugu. But the man who founded it, Chief Jerry Enyeazu, was a scion of Aba, Abia State. And when the CAF Champions League became elusive to Nigerian clubs, it was an Aba based team, Enyimba, that broke the jinx in 2003 and gallantly defended it in 2004.

Between 1998 and 2003, notorious armed robbers invaded the South East and coloured the region with all manner of criminal activities that defied the interpretation and intervention of the security set up, Aba traders and artisans came up with Bakassi Boys that ultimately liberated the Igbo nation.
And, are you aware that it was in Aba that Oliver the Ogene King got his stage name of Oliver de Coque? Oliver was entertaining his fans in a square and was gyrating away to the admiration of all. A lady hollered repeatedly in Igbo: “Oliver dika okwe”. The coinage seemed impressive to Oliver and he embellished it with Congolese/ French flavour to arrive at : Oliver de Coque!

You see now, covid -19 is in both Abia and Anambra states. By the trajectory of this analysis, unless a drastic action is taken, the dreaded virus will most likely penetrate into all other states in a very dangerous demographic upsurge. Mind you, Aba and Onitsha are commercial nerve centres. The two states are industrial hubs. Both are gateways. They play host to, and satisfy Ndigbo’s quest for growth, development and progress which are anchored in self confidence, bold determination and collective survival.

Whenever Abia or Anambra is threatened, the entire Igbo county is endangered. A particular president wanted to conquer Igbo nation and so he descended heavily on Abia and Anambra states. This gave part to APGA and PPA. A coronavirus in Abia and Anambra states is a threat to Igbo nation in this era of pandemic. The fight against coronavirus must be fought whole and entire for us not to painfully graduate from pandemic to extermination.

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