“I am aware of what His Excellency, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, has said about me. I feel that as we age and acquire more responsibilities, we are expected to become more careful in our thoughts and refrain from being irresponsible in our words.
Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, has challenged Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai for tying him to his incarceration in Anambra State years ago.
Mr. El-Rufai, during a Monday interactive session organised by the Arewa Joint Committee in Kaduna, alleged that he was imprisoned in Anambra for 48 hours on the instructions of Mr. Obi, the then-governor of the state, nine years ago.
“In 2013, I travelled to Anambra State as a representative of the APC to observe the byelection for governor. “Your next guest, Governor Peter Obi, had me arrested and imprisoned for 48 hours in my hotel room,” the governor of Kaduna stated.
As the current governor, Mr. El-Rufai stated that he has the security authority to deal with the LP candidate, but he will not do so due to his northern heritage.
Mr. Obi was among the distinguished speakers during the event.
In his defence, the previous governor of Anambra branded the governor’s remark as reckless and inappropriate for public consumption.
“I am aware of what His Excellency, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, has said about me. I feel that as we age and acquire more responsibilities, we are expected to become more careful in our thinking and refrain from being irresponsible in our words and expressions.
“How does the situation he mentioned relate to bigotry to justify such a label?
He retorted, “All I do for people like El-Rufai is pray for them and encourage them to focus on doing things that would improve the lives of Nigerians rather than engaging in hate rhetoric that will split and destroy the country.”
Mr. Obi stated that he was unable to direct State Security Service (SSS) agents from Abuja to arrest Mr. El-Rufai at the time.
“At the time, the police commissioner was from Adamawa State, and the AIG was from Nasarawa. The GMD responsible for election planning was from Kano. I could not have possibly done that.” I never requested anyone to arrest you, chairman. As Governor of Anambra State, I have the first APC best policeman in Nigeria, and he is from Kano. Where will I issue the order and tell a man who lives in my house every day that I want to deal with his people, and he will comply?”
“I was a member of APGA during the 2010 elections when PDP was the ruling party. How can I order the PDP in Abuja to imprison anyone, when I myself was detained in my own local government?” Mr. Obi asked.