The Director General of the Peter Obi campaign council, Akin Osuntokun, has asked the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, to devote his time to seeking God’s forgiveness for the calamity he “wrecked on a section of Kaduna state.”
This is as Mr Osuntokun accused the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, of being notorious and having the disposition to start a war.
Mr Osuntokun, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, was responding to Mr El-Rufai’s comment on the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Obi.
During an interview with Television Continental (TVC), Mr El-Rufai described Mr Obi as a Nollywood actor who stands no chance of winning the presidential election.
Mr El-Rufai also claimed that Mr Obi is a tribal and religious bigot.
In his response, Mr Osuntokun argued that if Mr El-Rufai agreed that the Labour Party would sweep the South-south and the South-east, and have the votes in the Christian part of the North, then Mr Obi should be addressed as a political heavyweight because not even the first republic politicians like the late Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe enjoyed such political dominance.
“It is ironical that a man who tags the Labour Party (Obi) with the tar brush of “ethnicity and religious bigotry” is the leading light if not the evil genius behind the weaponisation of religious cleavage indicated in the Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket of his political party. This has been template he brought Kaduna State politics,” he said.
Mr Osuntokun said Mr El-Rufai has marginalised Southern Kaduna, a zone with a large population of Christians.
“Another feather to his cap of unrestrained notoriety and bellicosity is not limited to Nigeria. Knowing fully well that a free, fair and credible election (and as attested by foreign observer teams), was not in the interest of his party in the 2019 general elections, he issued a threat to the latter on the eve of the elections:
‘Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags’.
“El-Rufai enjoys the dubious distinction of duplicating the carnage and festival of bloodletting on Kaduna State what his principal has visited on the larger Nigeria community in the past seven years. This is a governor who should hourly beseech the mercy and forgiveness of God for the calamity he wreaked on a segment of Kaduna State populace. That such a mouthpiece of the disastrous stewardship of the APC should presume to pontificate and cast aspersions on someone with a vastly superior record of public service is the height of insolence and impunity. It is in recent memory that El Rufai was one of the star proxies of their presidential candidate who couldn’t speak for himself at the Chatham house-to the humiliation and disgrace of Nigeria before a bewildered international community,” he said.
Mr Osuntokun said Nigerians would trust “credible” polls conducted that placed Mr Obi ahead of other presidential candidates than take Mr El Rufai’s words.
Asking who should be tagged a Nollywood candidate, Mr Osuntokun took a jab at the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
“Who best personifies the Nollywood world of make belief? Where else but in movies would anyone speak in tongues of the blu blaba boo variety? Or remind us that contrary to street side common knowledge, Atiku Abubakar was indeed ‘Senate president’, not vice president?
“The good news of Obi’s emergence is that win or “lose”, he has fostered a seismic change in the political configuration and culture of Nigeria. It is the dawn in which El-Rufai and the retrogressive forces he represents are going to be on permanent disorderly retreat. God does not start a project he cannot finish,” he said.
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