Nwafor Okafor, Awka
A rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has urged detractors, especially from the South-East, to stop demonising the former governor of Anambra State and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party( LP) in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi.
Stating that the South-East saboteurs of the Peter Obi presidential bid were paid, Intersociety said there was no petition pending before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) against Obi.
The group stated this in a statement on Wednesday by its board of trustees chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi and two other principal officers of the organisation; Chinwe Umeche, and Chidimma Udegbunam
It said the statement had become necessary following what it called a re-emergence of malicious publications aimed at misrepresentation of facts which portrayed certain respected persons in bad light and linking Intersociety with such publications.
The statement partly read “The attention of the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has been drawn to resurgence of frivolous publications and out-of-date others on social media aimed at misrepresentation of facts and politicisation of same so as to portray certain respected persons in a bad light.
“The most unfortunate and annoying of it all was linking intersociety with such publications in bad faith, especially by making them to look newly issued. Another worrying part of it was clear misrepresentation of facts in connection with some happenings in the past targeted at demonisation of certain respected persons.
“The malicious publications, circumstantially speaking, strongly bear the trademarks of integrity challenged Igbo politicians working for their selfish aggrandisement or for integrity challenged political gladiators from outside the South-East region who pioneer the hateful and discriminatory policy of “born-to-rule” and “born-to-be-ruled.”
“Pieces of intelligence within our reach are pointing in the direction of two political camps as the oilers of the resurged attacks and publications: some serving and former governors of the South-East, especially those that woefully lost their parties’ recent presidential primaries; and malevolent political actors outside the
South-East and their appendages within this region working for its destabilisation in return for reception of ‘pittances of the graveyard.
” They have also recruited some self-acclaimed splinter agitators and internet warriors to do their biddings at the overall expense of the people of the South-East and their dignity and honor.
It must be clarified that in 2009, during the first tenure of Peter Obi as Anambra Governor, he was accused of moving N250m to be laundered and Intersociety took the matter up and petitioned the EFCC and the Inspector General of Police; urging the duo to forensically investigate Obi and recommend appropriately if he was found involved.
“Intersociety also launched its own investigation and in the end, it was discovered that it was a setup oiled by his political opponents who secretly placed some of his clerical aides under secret monthly pay so as to monitor and wire every movement made by the governor for malicious reasons.
“It was also found out that the N250m was meant for physical cash purchase of dozens of fairly used vehicles for some top Government appointees that operated for years without official cars. The vehicles were for ‘pay-on-delivery’ at Lagos. The EFCC and the Nigeria Police Force authorities, after their respective investigations found the governor not involved in ‘money laundry’ and the vehicles were later purchased, delivered and deployed.
“Since then, hired or paid agents have formed the habit of resurrecting the online version of the petition, especially prior to or during important electioneering. These, they do with intent to misinform and mislead the public and denigrate the person and character of the respected former Anambra Governor (Peter Obi).
The group added that just like in the case of the N250m falsehood, the paid agents had also formed the habit of resurrecting on social media, the Ezu River Police SARS killings following the nearness of 2023 Presidential Poll.