You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32).
Ex-Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has been utilising considerable resources to project himself as a model Nigerian politician and leader. Nigerians are getting to know better. No sooner had he claimed at a public lecture in Lagos on May 1, 2017, that he has been wearing only one wristwatch in the last 17 years, as a mark of prudence, than pictures of him emerged on the social media showing him with different wristwatches in the last two years. He responded by hiring writers to rationalise his claim. It is doubtful if even one person took the simulated write-ups seriously.
On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, I wrote an article on the back page of a national newspaper entitled, “Quit Notice to Ndigbo: Anambra APC is a Tragedy,” based on the blunt refusal of the Anambra State branch of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to condemn the notorious June 6, 2017, order by a coalition of northern Nigerian youths to Igbo people to leave the North within 90 days or face grave actions, a refusal that many Igbo see as confirmation that the APC is, indeed, a northern party as portrayed by Igbo politicians, led by Obi, when he was Anambra State governor and chairman of the Conference of South East Governors. Obi quickly called the editors of the paper to protest against my assertion, claiming that he could not have done so because the Anambra gubernatorial election of 2014 was a straight fight between the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was then the ruling party at the national level. Without contacting me or crosschecking its record, the paper’s management the next day exculpated Obi of accusing the APC of being the Boko Haram party or a party by the North and the Yoruba to oppress the Igbo.
As the November 16, 2013, election was going on, Governor Obi ordered the Department of State Security (DSS) to stop Nasiru el-Rufai, now Kaduna State governor, from coming out of Olde Englishe Hotel in Awka, saying he had no business being in Anambra State to monitor the election for the APC. Dr. Chris Ngige, the APC candidate, who is now the Minister of Labour and Employment, was accused of attempting to sell Anambra State to Fulani Islamists. These facts are all available on the Internet and any search engine like Google or Yahoo! will quickly throw them up at the touch of a keyboard.
Basking in the euphoria of the victory in the gubernatorial election, Obi attended a function of the League of Anambra Professionals at Colonnades Hotel on Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, where he addressed an audience, which filled the large hall. Screaming and jumping up and down, he told the audience, mostly in Igbo that it have been a taboo if the APC had won the election.
No one is surprised at Obi’s politics of mind poisoning. He made all his money in Lagos without the Yoruba harassing him for a day for being Igbo. His new party, PDP, has resolved to have a northerner, most likely to be a Hausa-Fulani, as its presidential candidate in the 2019 general election. Far from telling Ndigbo that he should now feel distressed, he is angling to be the running mate of such a Hausa-Fulani presidential candidate. Politics of crass opportunism all the way.
On Sunday, June 1, 2009, the Lagos State police commissioner, Marvel Akpoyibo, directed that an Anambra State Government SUV carrying N250 million cash from Awka to 7, Aerodrome Road, Apapa, the private office of Governor Obi, be arrested on suspicion of money laundering. It was found out that the huge amount was from the government’s security vote. Meanwhile, Anambra was then overrun by armed robbers and kidnappers. Mark you, the money was not taken to Agulu, the governor’s hometown, but to Yorubaland! While Obi was striking the posture of an Igbo irredentist, his Next International built the biggest shopping mall in Abuja, and not in Igboland!
The 2015 general election made Obi take his divisive politics to a higher level. As deputy chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, Obi penetrated Igbo traders’ associations in Lagos and elsewhere,. They also penetrated various Igbo organisations, like Aka Ikenga and Ndigbo Lagos. Igbo persons with APC leanings were branded “osu” (outcasts). For the first time, we saw Ndigbo in Lagos at war with the Oba of Lagos and the Lagos State government. The result is the current policy of the Lagos State government to contain Ndigbo in Lagos. How many Igbo faces did you see in Lagos in the campaign by the state government to mark the state’s 50th anniversary despite glaring Igbo contributions to the state? Today, Ndigbo are out of scheme of affairs at the federal level and in Lagos, where they have the largest population and make more money than anywhere else in the world.
Obi is an expert at parochial politics. Senator (Dr.) Ngige, in a press statement in September 2014, when Anglicans in the state were protesting against the secret demolition of the Ebenezer Church in Nkwele Ezunaka, reminded NdiAnambra that it was Obi who introduced religious politics in the state. Before Obi became governor in 2006, NdiAnambra did not bother with their leaders’ sectarian preferences. Thus, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a member of the Salvation Army, which is not up to one per cent of the populace, was elected governor. Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, who belongs to the Pentecostal denomination, which is a minority, was elected governor in 1999. But Obi, seeing that the state is overwhelmingly Catholic, changed all that. Today, it is extremely difficult for a non-Catholic to become our governor. Rather than tell Anambra people that Chief Willie Obiano would do a great job as governor, given his credentials as an accountant, top banker and excellent manager of men and materials, Obi announced that it was the turn of Anambra North to produce the governor. All he wanted was to prevent Ngige of the APC, who is from Anambra Central, from succeeding him. Hence, the most homogenous and united state in Nigeria became divided along zonal and sectarian lines.
Despite seeking to create the impression of an Igbo lover, Martin Agbaso, who contested for Imo State governorship on the PDP platform in 2015 and has reportedly even joined the APC, was encourage to procure last May 22 the spurious order of mandamus from an Enugu State High Court proclaiming him the APGA national chairman. Obi wants APGA, the only Igbo party, destroyed forever because of his hatred for Obiano. He will fail, the way he failed in 2013 when he sponsored Maxi Okwu to falsely proclaim before an Enugu High Court that he, rather than Victor Umeh, was APGA national chairman. Okwu has since apologised for allowing himself to be used and is now working hard for Obiano and APGA.
• Nzeribe is an APC activist in Lagos, but currently in Uli, Ihiala, Anambra State, campaigning for Gov. Obiano.
Email: [email protected] 0803 709 5615.