Peter Obi (file photo)
‘More than any other, we take serious exception to the humiliation and embarrassment, which Mr Obi suffered recently at London’s Heathrow Airport over the cloning of his identity’
By Valentine Amanze
Nigerian authorities have questions to answer over the identity cloning incident which led to the detention and questioning of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023 general election, Mr Peter Obi, at London’s Heathrow Airport.
The Neo Aricana Centre made the demand, while also calling on the Nigerian authorities, particularly the Nigeria Immigration Service, to explain to Nigerians what it knows about the incident.
The centre at the weekend insisted on the explanation since reports confirmed that the International Passport of the impostor, who had been passing himself off as Peter Obi, was issued by the Immigration Service.
It wondered how a government department, which is fully digitally compliant and which harbours the identity and bio data of Nigerians could duplicate anybody’s identity, let alone that of a prominent citizen of Nigeria.
In a statement by its Director of Public Affairs, Jenkins Udu, the centre condemned what it described as series of mischievous pranks being played around Peter Obi by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria.
The think-tank recalled with worry the frame-ups and blackmail which the APC and the government at the centre had been heaping on Obi, which included among others, the allegation that Obi was promoting insurrection and should be charged with treason; the unwarranted invasion of his privacy by tapping into and distorting the conversation between him and Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church, and now the cloning of his identity.
The ugly incidents, the centre said, revolved around the ruling party [APC] and its government as well as the agencies of the same government.
“To clear the shadow of doubt and uncertainty around these incidents, government should address Nigerians on them,” it stated.
The statement reads in part:
“The Neo Africana Centre is concerned about the frame-ups and a web of lies being woven around the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 elections, Mr Peter Obi, by the federal government and its agencies.
“Regrettably, all the incidents, so far, are scandalous and border on character assassination.
“More than any other, we take serious exception to the humiliation and embarrassment, which Mr Obi suffered last week at London’s Heathrow Airport over the cloning of his identity. This incident must not be glossed over. The concerned authorities, particularly the Nigeria Immigration Service, should take interest in the matter and explain to Nigerians what really happened. The impostor who cloned Obi’s identity did not issue himself Nigeria’s International Passport. The authorities who issued it should speak up.
“We warn that the frenetic turn of events since the February 25 elections leaves much to be desired. Government should not look the other way while anarchists rule and reign. A clear line must be drawn between politics and war.
“The ceaseless hunt for a candidate who participated in the elections is suggestive. It leaves the public with the impression that Mr Obi is seen as a threat to whatever the government and the APC represents. This reinforces the widely received impression that he won the election but was forcibly rigged out. Otherwise, why are his detractors desperate to put him out of circulation?
“This Peter Obi phobia is both pathetic and reprehensible. It portrays government as complicit in the drama of the absurd playing out almost on a daily basis around Obi. A government which chooses to play the ostrich should have no one but itself to blame if things get out of hand.”