By Jennifer Y Omiloli
Mr. Peter Obi, former Anambra State Governor and Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has asked Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai to refrain from making reckless speeches.
The main opposition party has also cautioned Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over his unguarded comment, wherein he referred to its Vice Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as a tribal bigot.
Obi, who stated this while answering questions from journalists during a youth programme at Nnewi, expressed surprise at El-Rufai who, in his twitter account referred to Obi as “a tribal bigot”
The Kaduna governor had also alleged that Obi stopped him from moving around Anambra State during the gubernatorial election in the state in 2010.
Obi noted that he was shocked “to read such an outburst of hate from el-Rufai, especially when. The statement came unprovoked, suggesting that it was what he sat down to think of rather than thinking about how to solve the many problems plaguing the country.
“What His Excellency, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai said about me has been brought to my attention. I believe that as we grow older and are saddled with more responsibilities, we are expected to become circumspect in our thinking and avoid recklessness in our speeches and utterances.” Obi said.
“How does the circumstance he referred to relate to “bigotry” to warrant such a label? All I do for people like el-Rufai is to pray for them and encourage them to concentrate on doing those things that will better the lots of Nigerians rather than engage in hate speeches that will divide and destroy the country.” He continued.
He insisted that Nigeria did not need violence of speech “to solve her numerous problems at this difficult time in the country, when thousands of our brothers and sisters across ethnic divide are killed all over the country, including innocent citizens in Kaduna State; millions of our children from all the parts of the country are out of school and millions of Nigerian youths from all the parts of the country are without jobs.” He added.
According to him, our pre-occupation, especially among those that are in government should not be making reckless speeches. What our leaders should be doing today is seeking solution to numerous problems of our dear country.
Concerning the claim that he was arrested on the election day in Anambra, Obi said, “I am aware that during the said election he referred to, security agents merely restricted his movement because he has no business being in Anambra as I would not have any being in Kaduna on an election day.”
Obi cautioned Nigerians, especially those in positions of authority, to avoid the dominance of the vice of hate over the virtue of love in whatever they do.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan yesterday, the PDP has advised el-Rufai to face the myriad of problems he has caused in Kaduna state for which the people have resolved to vote him out and stop his attempt to further foul the nation’s political space by making comments capable of stoking religious and ethnic division in our country.
“Instead of fixating on our party and the soaring popularity of our Presidential candidate, we expect el-Rufai to show remorse that he was part of those who brought in the Buhari administration, which has inflicted so much pain on Nigerians in the last three and half years.” PDP said.