Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has insisted that Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candiate deserves the votes of all patriotic Nigerians, saying only the unpatriotic ones would vote for his opponents.
Obasanjo made this statement on Thursday, January 19, 2023, while featuring in an interactive session organised by the Experiential Leadership in Africa (TEL-Africa) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
While calling Nigerians to support Peter Obi, Obasanjo said the former Anambra state governor possesses good characters, which his fellow contestants lack.
Speaking on why he declared his support for Obi against Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obasanjo said “I will be punished by God if I know what is right and I did not put it where it should be.”
He clarified that he mentioned in his letter that Obi has an edge, taking everything together; stating that “I take character, I take track record, I take vision and I take what you see in this man as a child of God.”
He recalled that during his New Year open letter to the youth, he had said he knows the major candidates a little bit and can say a bit about them as their mentor.
“Why should you as a Nigerian vote for somebody with the character, the reputation, the life of which you do not want your own children to be?” Obasanjo asked, stressing that “it is either you are wicked, you are unpatriotic or you are really, really a bad citizen of this country and then if this is who you are, what do you want God to do with you, and that is the way I see it.”
In a related development, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has denied endorsing the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
In a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Bashir Adefaka, the Sultan said he would not be dragged into politics less than 35 days before the Presidential election.
Abubakar warned those peddling falsehood of his purported endorsement of Obi and denial of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer, Bola Tinubu, to desist from such.
The Sultan said he is concerned with the security, peace and unity of Nigeria, especially as the nation is fast moving into its long-planned and heavily invested general elections.
According to the Abubaakar, he will continue to support all efforts that will lead to the success of the election process.
The statement reads: “The attention of Media Team of Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has been drawn to a statement circulating on social media titled, “BREAKING: SULTAN OF SOKOTO WRITES” with an opening credited to Sultan purportedly saying, “Hold me responsible if Peter Obi didn’t perform well, the problem of the North is from the north, not Peter Obi or an Igbo man, it will be worst and more deadly for the North if Tinubu wins, if they tell you an Igbo man is the problem of Nigeria, tell them Igbo man never rule Nigeria before and north is world poverty capital.‘
“Ordinarily the statement should not be dignified with a pinch of reaction but because of the need to put the record straight for the sake of truth-seeking Nigerians. Recall that this is not the first time such misleading statements would be circulated in an effort to climb on the influential personality and name of the Sultan to score political goals.
“Unfortunately for these pitiable political campaigners, the Sultan of Sokoto is – strictly speaking – a traditional ruler and leader of Muslims in Africa’s most populous country. Moreso, as a retired Army General, his discipline, commitment and unalloyed to Nigeria are non-negotiable.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the statement is fake because such an irresponsible write-up, credited to him, could not have emanated from anywhere near or around His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA.
“Between Wednesday and Thursday, the Sultan played host to several figures including the outgoing and new General Officers Commanding, GOCs, 8th Division Nigerian Army, Sokoto, Major Generals O. Bassey and Godwin Mutkut, respectively, Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Kashim Shettima, among others.
“It would interest Nigerians to know that Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, was not one of those that paid a visit to the palace, whether on Wednesday or Thursday. So, how some agents of discord whose stock-in-trade is to thrive on cooking falsehoods and peddling Fame news think that they can get through with this remains unknown to common sense.
“The simple challenge is to ask them to publish a copy of the letter purportedly written by the Sultan or a video or audio clip where he endorsed Peter Obi and denied APC Presidential Candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as contained in their peddled fakeness.
“If they cannot, and of a surety they cannot, they should desist from this indefensible claim and unpardonable lie using the good bane of His Eminence because it will backfire.
“It should, however, be made clear to the good people of Nigeria that this, like many others in the past by the Peter Obi campaigners, would not stop the Sultan from continuing to play his role as a multifaceted leader and father of all and so, his doors will remain open to all aspirants across all parties and other meaningful people from across the country.
“More important to Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar at this time and always are security, peace and unity of Nigeria, especially as the nation is fast moving into its long-planned and heavily invested general elections. He will continue to support all efforts that will lead to the success of the election process. So, let any incoherent claims of naysayers be ignored. Sultan is not a politician.”