* I left a credit of 75 billion naira, no debt
On what land would a former governor who withdrew a princely sum of 200 million naira as severance pay, built a private house of 300 million naira, owed six months salary and left behind 70 billion naira be at the height of another who instead of debts settled pension arrears of 35 billion naira, left zero debt and surplus of 75 billion naira and took no kobo as paycheck?
It was the poser raised by former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, now Labor Party (LP) presidential candidate, raised for his former Edo State counterpart, Adams Oshiomhole, in response to the latter’s attempt to challenge his record in his eight-year term.
Obi, raised the issue by rejecting the claim of Oshiomhole, former national president of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who told his audience at the party’s youth meeting, Obi instead of fighting crimes in Anambra l was left to Willie Obiano as his successor, who began clearing the houses of kidnappers, including demolition, in Anambra State.
Oshiomhole, also accused the LP candidate of bringing the dreaded Bakassi Boys who committed numerous atrocities in the state.
But in a quick retort, Obi, through his spokesperson, Valentine Obienyem, said the records were clear on who did what on security at Anambra, adding: “It is unfortunate that a former governor , who should be informed, credits putting him in the state of Bakassi BOysters to Mr. Peter Obi, when a basic investigation would have shown to any genuine researcher that it was under Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, who was even before Senator Chris Ngige, that the Bakassi operated in the state.
He quoted his boss as having said countless times that part of his reason for delving into Anambra politics was his dismay at the dreaded group’s onslaught, such as extrajudicial executions, including the notorious case of Prophet Eddy of Nawguwho was beheaded by the unscrupulous Bakassi and the arbitration of the law, so that he could restore reason, humanity, decency and reason in society.
Dismissing the claim that it was after Obi that the demolition of the kidnappers’ homes began as a childish, condemnable and barefaced lie, he said, “Obi was actually the person who started the demolition of the buildings associated with the kidnappers. kidnappings in Nigeria that other governors have started. to imitate. Although evidence abounds, such as when various newspapers reported the demolition of houses by Obi as in https://thenationonlineng.net/obi-demolishes-kidnap-suspects-homes/amp/; https://newsexpressngr.com/ne s/472-Breaking-News-Obi-Keeps-Promise-Breaks-Kidnapper-King’s-Houses; https://www.nairaland.com/1084091/anambra-demolishes-houses-kidnap-robbery, but we will refer Oshiomhole and its ilk to the statement of key players in these feverish times.
He also cited the statements of Alhaji Bello Amusu, former police commissioners of Anambra State on the matter, where he said that Obi was responsible for the peace enjoyed by the state, in an interview contained in the (https://www .thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/09/29/bello-the-security-anambra-is-enjoying-today-was-as-a-result-of-the-efforts- of-peter-obi/) .
On how Obi approached security, he said: ‘There have been a lot of innovations brought to the police headquarters by Mr Peter Obi at his expense. He provided money, we built structures, and the state headquarters got a makeover. He funded the state headquarters, fenced it, provided infrastructure, purchased communications vehicles, armored cars, and provided weekly allowances to all officers and men of the state police command from Anambra. So morale was high. There were constant meetings with other services, the army and other paramilitary services of the state. We co-opted the vigilante. We worked together because we used the vigilante very well in Anambra State. I disillusioned the minds of my officers who countered vigilante training. I made them understand that they did not take over our duty. There has to be a synergy and that’s why I often invited them to meetings, to integrate them into what we were doing.
“Obi’s administration has provided over 600 patrol vehicles to various state security agencies including Immigration, NDLEA, FRSC, Nigerian Prisons, etc. 250 vehicles for vigilance groups in markets and communities. He began the demolition of property owned by kidnappers, and his chairmanship of the Southeast Governors Forum for years brought about the necessary synergy among governors to drive out the feared armed robbers from the Southeast. He launched the Security Trust fund.
He also cited DIG retiree Philemon Leha’s claim at https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/10/obi-laid-foundation-security-enjoy-anambra-retired-dig-leha/ to counter what he called “The shamelessness of Oshiomhole.”
Leha said: ‘People who don’t understand him call him ‘stingy’ because he doesn’t waste public funds like a lot of other politicians, but it’s really his philosophy that they don’t like. . From my observations as a trained police officer and my interactions with him, Peter Obi cares about Anambra State. He wanted to raise the state to a greater height, which he did. In the process, he strove to build a team of men, women, and organizations with good intentions for the state.
Indeed, he has contributed greatly to the success of my crime and crime fighting mission in Anambra State. Besides his support for security agencies, he promoted collective responsibility for security and initiated the demolition of properties owned or used by the kidnappers to deter their nefarious activities.
Quoting AIG Usman. A. Gwari who was in charge of Zone 9, Umuahia, Abia State on https://www.pressreader.com/nigeria/thisday/ where says: “When I arrived, the first thing I did was to make sure that there was a very good synergy between the police and the other security agencies. I started meeting with department commanders in my office; first on a weekly basis before later changing it to twice a week.
“And thanks to the former governor who provided virtually everything we needed to work, including all the logistics, but not without his calculator nearby. Obi was working simultaneously in all government institutions and then became a point benchmark and I was happy when Governor Willie Obiano came and continued where Obi left off because Obiano inherited all the institutions that Obi created Obiano consolidates on Obi’s foundations because Obi was truly an enigma and achieved by leaps and bounds.
“I can say yes without mincing words. Obi did very well because he helped us reduce the crime rate to a bare minimum, as violent crime like bank robberies was a thing of the past, the kidnappers of the State fled. The issue of the destruction of homes where criminals used to perpetuate crime in the state, began during Obi’s time, but was well publicized during Obiano’s tenure. Obi initiated it and sent an executive bill to the House of Assembly for the confiscation and demolition of the kidnappers’ property, I think so because that was the magic needed to deter people from the crime of kidnapping for ransom.
He also listed what Obi has done on security to include purchasing armored patrol vehicles for state security agencies; playing an instrumental role in establishing the naval outpost at Odekpe, which he backed with N200 million; fence of the Onitsha barracks and construction of its internal roads; providing for the first time more than 250 patrol vehicles to cities and state organizations, among others.
Emphasizing that no slander campaign would turn Nigerians away from the peace movement to take back their country to the likes of Oshiomhole, he reminded Oshiomhole that Obi’s choice to lead the peace movement was based on his track record as a leader who could be trusted.
“One such factor was his sole stance on the need for the feds to save money for the rainy day, during which the Oshiomhole-led group insisted it was already raining. and that nothing was to be spared. It is this savings philosophy that has enabled Obi to save over N75 billion for Anambra State among many tangible achievements even when people like Oshiomhole, without any tangible achievement, left debts of over N800 billion to Edo State.
Insisting on Oshiomhole’s incompetence to talk about Obi, he asked the correlation between a former governor who left more than 70 billion in debt to contractors and one who left none; a man who owed more than six years of pension and gratuity arrears and one who settled outstanding arrears of more than 35 billion naira and owed nothing before he left; a man who paid himself a severance package of 200 million naira with a house worth over 300 million naira and a man who received nothing; and a man whose moral example is inspiring against a man who is obviously controlled by money.