Let me tell you about my personal encounter with Peter Obi about two decades ago. I was living in Port Harcourt along Ada George Rd, Off Kala in Obio Akpo LGA. Obi had a warehouse on Kala Rd. He was a major importer of canned products like Heinz salad cream, baked beans ketchups, sweet corn, corned beef etc.
His trucks bringing goods to his warehouse constituted real nuisance to traffic. It got to a point during the rainy reason where we could no longer access our homes and had to resort to parking in El Shaddai Nursery/Primary School before trekking home. So the chairman of Kala resident community, Chief Ogolo convened a meeting to chart the way forward. We were all asked to pay some money towards fixing the road and I was appointed as the treasurer.
Just when we were rounding up, Peter Obi sauntered in and I was quick to attack him for being the major contributor to the problem which burden was now on our collective neck. I honestly expected him to arrogantly shout me down and intimidate everyone. But what he did, disarmed most of us who were spoiling for a fight against this rich man. First of all, he stood up and apologized for coming late to the meeting, due to traffic at Aba, on his way from Onitsha. He averred that until that moment, he was not aware of the trauma his business activities were causing the residents and pledged to singlehandedly find a solution to our problem.
This meeting held on a Saturday and by Monday morning, heavy duty equipment were lined up, preparatory to the work. By Wednesday, remedial and rehabilitation work had commenced and by the following Monday, we were driving smoothly to our houses. Peter Obi had singlehandedly constructed drainages and resurfaced the Kala Road.
That showed me how noble the man was, long before he dabbled into politics.
Francis Bassey Inametti.