By Jude Atupulazi
Three former Commissioners of Police (CPs) in Anambra State during the tenure of Mr. Peter Obi as governor have exonerated him from the allegation of demolition of mosques and sacking of non-indigenes, particularly northerners, from the state.
Speaking on different occasions on the subject-matter, the former police bosses were unanimous in rating Obi as a fair, humane and detribalized Nigerian, whose passion as the governor was for the good of all within his jurisdiction.
Dismissing the news of demolition of mosques as a lie and propaganda obviously planted by the opposition to discredit the Atiku/Obi Presidential ticket, they called on all well-meaning Nigerians, including Northern youths, to disregard the news, urging them to always try as much as possible to verify news before believing them.
The formers CPs in Anambra State, Gwary Usman, Alhaji Amusa Bello and Philemon Leha, who retired in higher ranks, expressed concern over the spate of fake news, especially on social media, targeted at impugning the integrity of credible Nigerians.
The three men are all Northerners and served during Peter Obi’s eight years.
Alhaji Amusa Bello, who was CP in Anambra State from 2006 to 2010, described the allegation as laughable at best and a figment of the author’s imagination. He also advised rumour mongers and purveyors of falsehood to desist from such acts and support, according to him, who God anointed to showcase what modern politics, leadership and management should represent.
He observed that it was unthinkable for anyone to associate Mr. Peter Obi with violence or rascality as Obi never demolished any mosque or asked anyone, aside from criminals and kidnappers, to leave the state.
In his words: ‘I call on those behind this rumour to desist from that and look for facts.
They should stop this pull him down syndrome that will never take them anywhere good. Peter Obi has a lot of credentials and several attributes that favour him in his aspiration.
Let them look for facts. He has emerged VP candidate to Atiku; it’s God that ordained him. Let them support him.’
Similarly, retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Philemon Leha, asserted that the Peter Obi he worked with could not have and did not demolish mosques nor asked non-indigenes to leave the state.
Visibly upset by what he described as a spurious allegation against Peter Obi, he said: ‘I am from the North and I know what I am saying. Northerners are among the people holding the economy of Anambra State and in what circumstances could a governor have sacked them? Numbering millions, they are practically everywhere in the state, including Awka, Amansea, Onitsha, Nnewi and many other towns and communities. Let Nigerians be assured that the allegation is a lie.
‘Anybody spreading that kind of rumour is not being fair to the man and that is not the way to go for our national development.’
Gwary Usman, who retired as an AIG described the allegation as false and wicked. In his words: ‘It is not true. The allegation is false and I was in the state as CP and I was better placed to know the truth. ‘Throughout the time I was in Anambra, nothing like that ever happened.’
Surprised at what he saw as the gullibility of the people, he submitted: ‘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 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.’