A former Commissioner for Information in Governor Peter Obi’s administration in Anambra State, Chief Joe-Martins Uzodike, has described information trending on some social media platforms on the supposed relationship between Obi and SARS operations in the state as false.
Obi is accused of turning a blind eye to the atrocities of the disbanded SARS in the state and engineering the demolition of Upper Class Hotel at Onitsha.
Uzodike, however, said Obi was beyond reproach in his conduct all through his two terms as governor.
He said Obi came into office when Anambra was facing grave security challenges and that he specifically interacted with heads of the various security agencies, especially during weekly security meetings and did not have reason to deal with or know Divisional Police Officers, such as the retired Mr. James Nwafor, mentioned by the fake news peddlers.
On the statement supposedly made by Nwafor, Uzodike observed that it was forged by the opposition to tarnish Obi’s image and that the former SARS official had refuted it as “mischievous, blatant falsehood, misleading and malicious publication”.
Uzodike also commented on the corpses found floating on Ezu River, saying when Obi received the information while on his way to the U.S. to attend a meeting with United Nations officials, he promptly boarded the next flight back home and was driven straight to the scene.
He recalled that Obi duly set up a probe panel, ordered autopsy, announced a reward of N5 million for anybody who could volunteer information on what happened, but that when the Federal Government waded into the matter, the ex-governor backed down.
Uzodike said all the bodies that investigated the barbarism, including Amnesty International, Civil Liberties Organisation, and Inter Society, all exonerated Obi of being complicit in the crime.
“Even MASSOB, after their own investigation, expressed satisfaction the way Obi handled it and exonerated him of any wrong-doing,” he added.
Uzodike regretted the willingness of some individuals to be used by some highly-placed individuals in government, including a governor, a gubernatorial aspirant, a Senator and a serving Minister, to destroy the image of Obi, saying they would fail again as Nigerians were wise enough to read in between lines.
Describing Obi as a stickler for due process and the rule of law, Chief Uzodike said that the Obi administration took stringent measures to check what he described as the unbearable menace of kidnapping and armed robbery.
His words, “Desirous to secure his people, part of what he did, backed by the law, was the demolition of the houses used by kidnappers. If you remember, for example, the house demolished at Oraifite had underground-like bunker where over 40 AK47 guns and other calibres of ammunition were found.”