By Bola Kougbe
Tony Anenih, former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, has opened up on why the military administration of President Muhammadu Buhari kept him in jail for eighteen months.
Anenih, who launched a biography titled, ‘My Life and Nigerian Politics’ at Abuja on Saturday, said he was placed behind bars between March 1984 and August 1985 due to his wealthy status.
“The military regime of General Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon threw me into detention for 18 months on the basis of an anonymous petition that as a prominent and wealthy politician and leader of the NPN in Bendel State, the military administrator would not find his footing unless I was removed from the scene.
“I was sent to Kirikiri Prisons where I spent three months before I was transferred to Ikoyi Prisons”, he said.
The retired police officer maintained that he did nothing wrong to warrant such treatment.
He said, “I must emphasise it again and again that I did nothing wrong to anyone, the government or the state to merit a detention. My crime was that I was a wealthy, influential and highly respected politician.”
The ex-minister who gave an insight into the living condition of himself and other politicians in detention described the experience as hellish.
“Where we were staying, the bucket latrines or toilets had opening to the rooms. These buckets were emptied maybe once a week from behind, and if for any reason the buckets were not emptied once a week as the rule, you lived with the stench.
“At night, cockroaches, rats and lizards passed through these holes housing the bucket latrines into our cells after crawling on the buckets to disturb us. So, you could really not sleep for one hour without getting cockroaches perch on you”, Anenih said.