A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal has disagreed with Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State dismissing Peter Obi as an insignificant contender in the forthcoming presidential election.
Mr El-Rufai, while appearing on Journalists Hangout programme of TVC News on Thursday, argued that Mr Obi who is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), cannot win the election despite opinion polls placing Mr Obi ahead of other presidential candidates in the election.
Some polls had suggested Mr Obi leading while Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), respectively, were trailing the LP flagbearer.
The polls put Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as distant fourth behind the APC and the PDP standard bearers.
According to the Kaduna governor, some of the polls were not conducted accurately.
He added that Mr Obi’s party uses ethnicity and religious bigotry in its campaigns.
But in an interview on Channels Television primetime show, ‘Politics Today,’ on Friday evening, Mr Lawal dismissed Mr El-Rufai’s assertions.
Contrary to Mr El-Rufai’s claims that Mr Obi cannot garner the statutory 25 per cent votes in all states of the federation, the ex-SGF said majority of voters in the northern states were tired of the failed promises of the APC and PDP governments.
“People in Katsina are eager to vote for Peter Obi because the APC government has failed to protect them. They are now taking refuge at motor parks due to insecurity,” Mr Lawal said.
He pointed out that the electorate in Adamawa, Benue, Plateau, Borno and other northern states “are rooting for Peter Obi because they have seen the light.”
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Mr Lawal who served as SGF in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime, was pressured out of office following allegations of contract fraud.
He was tried by the EFCC but the court discharged and acquitted him of the charges.
Mr Lawal insisted that the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of Mr Tinubu and Kashim Shetima would be rejected by Nigerians at the polls.
He argued that the APC and the PDP were similar in the misgovernance that had plagued Nigeria since 1999.
Mr Lawal said he had seen the light which Mr Obi and the LP represent, saying, “The APC and the PDP represent darkness” in the governance of Nigeria.
“In this election, every Nigerian is determined to have a say. (Mr) El-Rufai will see the shock of his life,” Mr Lawal said.
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