For the unprovoked reference to him as a tribal bigot, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Peter Obi, on Saturday said he owed Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir el Rufai prayers for the diatribe.
el Rufai in a tweet had described Obi as a tribal bigot who had him detained for 48 hours by security operatives in 2014.
The tweet has drawn emotive comments from different commentators, depending on which political divide they belong.
Obi In response to the tweet described the comments as hate speech even as observers say it was a barb intended to de-market Obi because of the 2019 election.
It is believed el Rufai’s motive is to spoil the Atiku/Obi chances in the north in the coming election.
In Nnewi, Anambra State, Obi expressed surprise at the unprovoked attack.
His words: “This is 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, Gov. 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.
“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.
“At this difficult times in our 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; millions of Nigerian youths from all the parts of the country are without jobs, 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 solutions to the numerous problems of our dear country.
“I am aware that during the said election he referred to, security agents merely restricted his movement because he had no business being in Anambra as I would not have been in Kaduna on an election day.”