The Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Peter Obi, on Saturday asked governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State to stop making inflammatory statements that could incite hate amongst Nigerians.
Obi was reacting to El Rufai’s tweet that Obi is “a tribal bigot.”
El Rufai had tweeted that Obi stopped him from moving around Anambra State during the governorship election in the State in 2010.
But Obi while answering questions from journalists on the matter at a youth programme in Nnewi, Anambra State, said he was shocked to read such an outburst of hate from El Rufai, especially when “the statement came unprovoked.
He said, “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.”
The former governor of Anambra State advised Nigerians, especially those in positions of authority, to avoid what he called “the dominance of the vice of hate” over the virtues of love in whatever they do.