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Salimonu Kadiri

Jan 30, 2023, 12:27:28 PMJan 30
Although Obasanjo, won the presidential election of 27 February 1999 on the platform of PDP, he was defeated not only in his own polling booth but in the entire Southwest where AD won all the gubernatorial and state assemblies elections. Nevertheless, after Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar had been sworn in as President and vice President respectively, ethnic sentiments arose among some members of the AD. They reasoned that it did not look good that other ethnic groups in the country accepted Obasanjo but his own Yoruba ethnic group rejected him. Some Yoruba elders waded in to say that although Obasanjo like a ram had gored many of his fellow Yoruba, he should not be sacrificed for goring in as much as he had learnt the lesson for goring, especially, at Abiola when afterwards he narrowly escaped death in General Sani Abacha's gulag. Obasanjo himself seized on the ethnic sentiment to claim that he had become a born-again Christian while in prison. The AD elected Governor of Lagos State at that time, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was the only one who warned that Obasanjo was an un-beheaded cobra who AD should dare not go near. He was overruled by the Yoruba elders. Thus, in Obasanjo's all inclusive government, Bola Ige of the AD, was first appointed Minister of Mines and Power but later as Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Sometimes in November 2001, Bola Ige informed President Obasanjo that he was going to resign from his post in 2002 in order to have enough time to re-organize his party, AD, in preparation for the April 19, 2003 elections. Close to Christmas, and still Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ige travelled to Ibadan from Abuja in 2001. While Bola Ige was taking siesta on 23 December 2001, all his security guards disappeared in what was later claimed to be lunch rest. Assassinator(s) walked into Bola Ige's bedroom and rained bullets into him until he died. Up till date the murderers of Attorney General and Federal Minister of Justice, Bola Ige, have not been found.

As the 2003 general elections were fast approaching the AD decided not to field a presidential candidate to oppose Obasanjo who would be contesting for his second term in office but would field AD candidates in Governorship, state and national assembly's elections. Unknown to AD, Obasanjo had another plan which was to rig the election nationwide in favour of himself and the PDP. After the election, it turned out that all gubernatorial and state assembly elections in the Southwest, except Lagos, were won by the PDP. Belatedly, AD discovered that Obasanjo had decapitated all their five fingers when it stretched out a finger in ethnic solidarity to lift him up from political dungeon. In anger, Bola Ahmed Tinubu subsequently dumped AD to form Action Congress (AC). From that platform he financed the election petitions of all the outrigged AD candidates in the Southwest and Edo States.

Peter Gregory Obi, who is now a young darling of Olusegun Obasanjo who he wants all Nigerian youths to vote for as President of Nigeria, was 42 years of age when he contested in Anambra Gubernatorial election on April 19, 2003 on the platform of APGA. However, Obasanjo using the state security apparatus under his control as the President rigged the election in Anambra in favour of the PDP candidate, Dr Chris Ngige, who was about to attain the age of 52, implying he was 10 years older than Peter Obi. Dr Chris Ngige was sworn in as Governor of Anambra State on May 29, 2003, the same date Obasanjo's second term began. Soon after being sworn in, a rift arose between Chris Uba, who many in Anambra State recognised as a political gangster. Chris Uba claimed that it was him who sponsored Dr Chris Ngige's election and even saw to it that the ballot boxes were stuffed in his favour to win the election. Thus, he demanded that Chris Ngige should share with him the revenue allocations received on behalf of Anambra State from the Federation account, which Ngige refused to do. The senior brother of Chris Uba, Andy Uba was special adviser to President Obasanjo who had control over the security agencies. With the backing of the security forces, Chris Uba invaded Anambra state on July 10, 2003, destroyed government properties and abducted Governor Chris Ngige to a secret location where they attempted to force him to sign a letter of resignation. The Anambra radio station was occupied by the invading miscreants who announced falsely that Dr Chris Ngige had resigned as Governor. Public outcry forced Obasanjo to withdraw police support to Chris Uba and Dr Ngige regained his freedom to continue as Governor of Anambra State.

APGA gubernatorial candidate in the April 19, 2003 election in Anambra, Peter Obi, had filed a petition against INEC's declaration of Dr Ngige as winner of the election but it was not until July 2005 that the election tribunal heard the petition in which Chris Uba witnessed how helped to rig the election in favour of Dr Ngige. In August 2005, the election tribunal led by Justice Nabaruwa nullified the election of Ngige, who immediately appealed to the highest instance for election petition. On March 15, 2006, and nearly a year to the next Governorship election in Anambra State, the Appeal Court nullified the election of Dr Chris Ngige as Governor of Anambra and declared Peter Obi as the real winner of April 19, 2003, Governorship election. Peter Obi was immediately sworn in as Governor of Anambra State. Obasanjo's two terms of eight years tenure, according to the Constitution, was to end in May 2007 and Andy Uba's special adviser job to the president was also to end. Therefore, Andy Uba became PDP gubernatorial candidate for the April 14, 2007 election which he subsequently won in the usual manner and was sworn in as Governor of Anambra on 29 May 2007. Once again, Peter Obi went to Court and argued that the Constitution stipulates that his four years tenure as Governor began the day he was first sworn in and since he was yet to spend four years in office, the April 14, 2007, Gubernatorial election in Anambra was unconstitutional and should not have been held. The court agreed with Peter Obi and on 14 June 2007, the court nullified Anambra Gubernatorial election held on 14 April 2007 and reinstated Peter Obi as the Governor. Totally, Peter Obi governed Anambra State for eight years which ended in March 2014, some months before celebrating 53 years of age. The young and brilliant Peter Obi presided over the affairs of Anambra State for good 8 years but failed to turn Anambra to London, Paris or New York. As Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State, he stood unconcerned to watch the exodus of Anambra indigenes looking for greener pasture in Lagos reached climax in 2013, whereby Anambra vagrants converted spaces under bridges in Lagos to their residents, urinating and defecating everywhere. The Governor of Lagos State then, Babatunde Fashola, relocated the vagrants back to Anambra and Peter Obi protested that his Anambra people had the Constitutional right to reside and sleep under bridges in Lagos while he was pocketing revenue allocations he received from the centre on behalf of his people. While the Anambra people lacked potable water resulting in constant outbreak of cholera and dysentery in the State, Peter Obi boasted of investing billions of naira of the State's money in brewery. Deflating the investment balloon, Nigerians have been informed by the current Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, that the stock exchange value per a share in the brewery in 2013 was 50 naira, but the stock market value in 2023 is five naira. That was Obasanjo's anointed young President, Peter Obi, in action. Tomorrow is the total sum of yesterday and today, our wise people in Nigeria say. How young is Peter Obi among the Presidential candidates in the coming Nigerian election and how did he become Labour Party Presidential candidate when he had never been a worker or labourer since he was born? Those questions will be answered in part 6 of this essay. 

Tobe Nneli

Jan 30, 2023, 3:09:14 PMJan 30
Two Half truths/Disinformation

1. As Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State, he stood unconcerned to watch the exodus of Anambra indigenes looking for greener pasture in Lagos reached climax in 2013, whereby Anambra vagrants converted spaces under bridges in Lagos to their residents, urinating and defecating everywhere. 

R: Right to Freedom of movement is enshrined in the constitution and Igbo people (especially Anambrarians) have always migrated to different parts of Nigeria mainly for the purpose of commerce which they are popularly known for. Sir Louis Ojukwu (father of Odumegwu Ojukwu and the founding President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange) was one of such Igbos and in fact was popular for establishing one of the first transport companies that commuted Igbo traders/economic migrants to and fro Lagos. I don’t want to comment on the degrading language of “Anambra Vagrants” used by the author

2. While the Anambra people lacked potable water resulting in constant outbreak of cholera and dysentery in the State, Peter Obi boasted of investing billions of naira of the State's money in brewery. 

R: I wonder where the author got the information that there was “constant” outbreak of cholera in Anambra state during Peter Obi’s tenure. I lived in Anambra state for most of Peter Obi’s time as Governor and as a citizen who also had families in different parts of the state, it would be unfair to allow such disinformation stand unchallenged. Provision of clean water is a problem that is prevalent in the South East and by extension most parts of Nigeria. However, this article -  (written in 2016) explains this challenge while clearly pointing out that some of the most decent efforts to tackle water problem in Anambra state, we’re done by Mr Peter Obi.

No need responding to the effort to belittle Obi’s decent effort to create jobs in Anambra state which encouraged Intafact/Sabmiler to set up shop in Anambra and ended up as one of the highest (direct and indirect) employers of labour in the state.

Please, let us focus on issues (engage candidates manifesto and factually X-ray their performance especially during the period when they occupied public office) and make our write-ups look more objective and less partisan or worse still, seem paid-for.

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Tobechukwu Nneli


Jan 31, 2023, 11:48:33 AMJan 31
to USA Africa Dialogue Series
I hereby thank you for your submission on my article. Regrettably, you read my article with ethnic lens and therefore became biased in your judgments. I am aware of the Constitutional provision that every Nigerian is free to move and live in any part of Nigeria without molestation (Section 41). However, the right to move and live anywhere in the country does not confer on anybody the right to erect tent under the bridge or the backyard of another person. That was what the relocation of the Anambra vagrants in 2013 to their state of origin was all about. For ethnic warriors, the relocation of the Anambra vagrants in 2013 overshadowed the fact that more than five million people of Igbo ethnic group were living  prosperously in Lagos. I disagree with you that the Igbo are immigrants in Lagos or any other part of Nigeria since they are Nigerians just like any other person. I have the right to relocate to Onitsha if I can secure an accommodation and means of livelihood there and I wouldn't be an immigrant for that.

When it concerns cholera outbreak, it is not peculiar to Anambra alone as it affects every major town in Nigeria during raining season when river streams where most of our people fetch water for consumption are polluted. In 2010, there was outbreak of Cholera in Anambra as well as in 2013 when Peter Obi was the Governor. The cholera outbreak of 2013 was wrongly blamed on the discovery of 48 dead humans floating on river Ezu earlier in 2013 and which is the major source of drinking water in that area. The main reason for my reference to cholera is to highlight the priority of Peter Obi in investing the money of our people in Anambra in brewery while they lacked potable water to drink and cook. What more, his N50 per share in the brewery in 2013 is now worth N5 and you want me to praise him for his bad foresight and investment.

You mentioned Obi's encouragement of Intafact/Sabmiler to set up shops in Anambra. But what products are on sale in the shops? Some consumer goods imported with issued foreign exchange license  from crude oil export revenue, and mostly adulterated goods. In fact, Obi is an entrepreneur whose major concern is to import consumer goods and being an importer he is  absolutely an exporter of jobs from Nigeria and not creator of jobs. Finally can you please enlighten me on Peter Obi's Pandora Offshore Investment?

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