By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
For the avoidance of doubt, Obi’s flat and that of every other person living in the building was searched.
I have written variously about how people, especially those from Anambra, pray daily and move from one anti-graft agency to another for Obi’s indictment. He is noted, unlike them and their principals, for unadulterated integrity. They wish he sins a little, even if it is a forgivable peccadillo, out of decent respect for the frailty of human nature. As long as he has not agreed with them, they are increasingly restive. Must he live out your wishes, even when such do not appeal to him?
We issued a statement on the search conducted by the officials of the EFCC, on the 4-bedroom flat he lives in with other tenants. Even though Obi is living his normal live according to the dictates of his spirit that shuns flamboyance, some people are raising meaningless questions. If they are complaining that Obi lives in a rented apartment, what will they do if, like others, he has houses all over Nigeria? They will probably commit suicide. Do they want him to become an arboreal human being? Even at that, they will write how wicked he is, to leave the land to scramble space with monkeys.
Why are these people uneasy about the discovery that he lives with other tenants? Is it because Nigerians who did not know him before were marvelled that he lives in just a flat with people like the son of Dr. Leo Stan Eke( not the big man himself)? Is it because there secret yearning that the money should have been found in his flat was dashed? Is it because nothing was found in his house after the search, making him the first Nigerian of his status, whose house was searched and nothing was found? Is it because those that searched it spoke in sotto voices, about how incredible spartan his flat is? In their discomfort, they have become uncomfortable, issuing one statement or the other with alarming rapidity. One of them even said it was Anambra’s money as if anybody in Anambra said Anambra’s money was being looked for within the period Obi was the Governor.
What Obi paid or will pay in that building for 50 years will not even be enough to buy land where other former Governors live, including those of the APC man that were among those that issued statements. We know who owns the biggest plot in Ikoyi, opposite Army pay office!
Obi is not in competition with anybody! His younger brother who is managing the business he has interest in lives in choicest parts of Nigeria and overseas and probably drives the most expensive cares one can see in the country long before Obi became Governor, but Obi is not given to extravagance.
Going by the amount he had, long before he became Governor, as declared by him, he can probably buy off many such buildings, but worldly acquisition is not what gives him joy. If I calculate what he has spent on assisting in education in the country and beyond since he left office, it will probably buy off that building, but support to education and not acquisition is what gives him joy.
In Abuja, Obi also lives in a rented apartment. The irony of life is that whilst other Nigerians are happy over the revelation and are busy commending other Nigerians to emulate him, it is only Anambra people, ndi afo ojoo, that are reading other meanings into the entire episode.
They prayed that the probe of banks would affect him. They prayed that the probe of campaign funding would affect him. They prayed and have written countless petitions for the EFCC to arrest him. After the platform outing, they imported and paid some people to produce negative stories to whittle down its affect.
Today, I am sure some of them did not go to church, they locked themselves in their rooms chumming out propaganda to confuse Nigerians about the revelation that Obi lives frugally and in rented apartments.