Former three commissioners of Police in Anambra State during former Governor Peter Obi’s tenure as the state governor have exonerated him from the mischievous allegation of demolition of mosque and sacking of non indigenes particularly northerners from the state.
The Commissioners; AIG Gwary Usman, Alhaji Amusa Bello and Philemon Leha who were all northerners and CP in Anambra during Obi’s 8 years said the online allegations were a lie and fake news targeted at discrediting Obi as Alhaji Abubakar Atiku’s running mate.
They however called on the Northern youths to always verify any report that may come from overzealous politicians before acting othem, saying separate interviews that Peter Obi showed love to Northerners in Anambra state during their stay as police commissioners in the state.
Recall that some youths under the aegis of the Northern Youths Leaders Forum met with the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, recently, and urged the presidential flag bearer of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to reconsider the choice of Peter Obi as his Vice or risk losing their support.
They said they consider Peter Obi as anti-North in the way he treated the northerners when Obi was the governor of Anambra state, alleging that he demolished mosques and ordered the northerners doing business in the state to leave.
Speaking to our reporter, AIG Gwary Usman who was posted to Anambra state in 2013, became a Commissioner of Police in the state in 2014 before his promotion as as Assistant Inspector General of Police incharge of zone 9, Umuahia described as false the allegation of demolition of mosque and sacking of northerners, adding that such wound’t have happened when he was the CP, having come from the north.
Gwary said: ”it is not true, the allegation is false. It is completely false. I was in the state as CP and some people said that before me and I told them it’s not true. I was CP before he handed over to Obiano. To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of that . Throughout the time I was in Anambra, nothing like that ever happened. I strongly don’t believe such ever happened.
“Peter Obi you see is a nice gentleman. I can vouch for him. He is a detribalized citizen. I can tell you authoritatively that even if I wake of from slumber and you ask me this question, I will tell you that Obi did not and can never hate any Northerner. I am surprised that our people are being deceived” he said.
On his part, Alhaji Amusa Bello who was Commissioner of Police in Anambra State from 2006-2010 described the allegation as funny and fabrication that never happened, warning rumour mongers to desist from such act and support who God anointed to showcase what modern politics and leadership should represent.
He said it is unthinkable for anyone to associate Obi with violence or rascality as Obi never demolished any Mosque or asked anyone to leave the state aside criminals and kidnappers.
“I call on those behind this rumour to desist from that and look for fact. They should stop this pull him down syndrome that will never take them to anywhere. Peter Obi has a lot of credentials and lots of factors that favour him in his aspiration. He dresses simple and all that. Let them look for fact. He has emerged VP to Atiku, its God that ordained him. Let them support him.
“It’s a funny allegation. These are fabrications that never happened. Governor Peter Obi is a man of the people. There was no time he ever asked non indigenes, especially from the North or elsewhere to leave the state. I understand that it was the social media that such rumour emanated from that Obi mandated Northerners to be going about with ID card and I wonder which ID card.
“He never did such a thing. Incidentally, those of us from the command are from the North. So, nothing like that ever happened. Former Gov Peter Obi was frequently visiting police headquarters, making sure that people where ok. He renovated the headquarters for us. So there was no incidence like that. I don’t know where they got it from.
“They are just looking for a way of discrediting him but they won’t succeed because he is a man of the people, a simple man who doesn’t move with a long convoy. If you see him moving, you won’t know it’s a governor going. He sits at the front of his vehicle.
“He never asked any Northerner to leave the state and he never demolished any mosque. I was in Anambra state from 2006 to 2010 and he was governor during this period, no incident of this nature ever occurred”
Also vexed by the allegation of Mr Peter Obi’s anti-northern agendas being alleged, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Philemon Leha who also served as Commissioner of Police in Anambra during Peter Obi ‘s term as Governor noted that armed robbery and kidnapping was rampant in the state when he was posted to save the situation, exonerating Obi from any tribal remarks.
He said the Peter Obi he worked with cannot demolish Mosques noticed to talk of asking none Anambra people particularly from the North to go when he is a lover of people.
”Nothing like demolition or sending people away happened. What happened when I was taken to Anambra was twin crime of armed robbery and kidnapping. Obi chased the criminals away. That was what was happening in the state before my transfer to Anambra. On getting there, I discovered that the problem was caused by some police officers.
“I first investigated and got the names of the police of officers that cause this problem of covering the kidnappers and armed robbers. So I transferred them to the North and each state that I transferred them to, I brought the equal number and it was for the good of the state.
“So nothing like sacking Northerners ever happened, I, myself is a northerner. Northerners are among the people holding the economy of Anambra, how can a governor sack them? They are everywhere in Anambra including Awka, Amansea, Onitsha, Nnewi and so many places and are more than 2 million in number. How can a governor sack all of them. So, it is a lie. If anybody is saying that kind thing, the person is not being fair to the man and it’s not a way to go for our national development. Nobody ever thought of that when I was there”, he concluded.