FACT-CHECK: Did Peter Obi as Anambra Governor Order Deportation of Northerners to their States
Claim: The Labour Party presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Peter Obi, is in the eye of the storm with several allegations of bigotry, hatred and maltreatment of northerners levelled against him. He was said to have committed all these while he held sway as the governor of Anambra state.
Full Text: In a widely circulated article titled “The insolence of Peter Obi against the North and Northerners part (1): A personal experience or a community’s travails in the hand of a Tribal bigot,” the writer, AG Mahmoud, claimed that Obi ordered the deportation of Northerners of different religions to their respective states.
Mahmoud wrote: “It should also be noted that Peter Obi equally deported people of Northern extraction to Kaduna during his tenure as governor of Anambra state.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian of Middle Belt origin. Once you are a Northerner as far as Peter Obi was concerned, you are simply unfit to stay anywhere in Anambra state in his days as Governor.”
Read Also: Did Peter Obi Eject Northerners from Markets in Anambra? – PRNigeria News
In its attempt to confirm the validity of the deportation claims, PRNigeria conducted a fact-check on deportation that took place during the period when Obi was the Governor of Anambra State.
PRNigeria findings indicated that the Anambra state government ordered the arrests of beggars in the state and their repatriation to their respective states, mostly in the South.
The findings showed that the Obi government actually arrested beggars on the streets of Awka and Onitsha and swiftly repatriated them to their home states of Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom.
PRNigeria could not trace any credible media report during the tenure of Obi as Governor of Anambra where Northerners were repatriated or deported to any part of the North.
A report in the Leadership and Champion Newspapers on December 4 and 5 2011 merely stated that the Anambra state government issued a warning to all street beggars, especially children used by their parents to beg for alms, to vacate the streets or be arrested. 29 of such women who displayed their children as strategy for getting alms were arrested in Awka and Onitsha, and repatriated to their home states; Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom states.
The then Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Ego Cordelia Uzoezie, decried the attitude of some parents who used their children to beg for alms, and warned that any beggar seen in the state would be arrested and deported by law enforcement agents.
The Anambra State Government enacted a policy that did not favor beggers in general as is the case with even some Northern States who have done same. It is therefore not an identity profiling.
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