The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, caused a reaction when he revisited the ‘sin’ of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who he said got him arrested and detained for 48 hours as the then governor of Anambra State.
El-Rufai made the statement at an interactive session of Arewa Joint Committee in Kaduna.
The governor threw the audience including the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, into a hilarious frenzy when he joked that he had all the security architecture at his disposal now that the LP candidate was also coming into his domain.
According to him, Obi, who was seeking a second term in office on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, got him arrested and detained for 48 hours in 2013 when he visited Anambra to monitor the state’s governorship bye-election.
He said, “In 2013, I went to Anambra State as an official of the APC to witness the bye-election for governorship.
“Your next guest, Peter Obi, as governor, got me arrested and detained for 48 hours in my hotel room.
“Now I’m the Governor of Kaduna State and he’s coming to Kaduna. In addition to the police and the State Secret Service, I have one mechanised division of the Nigerian Army here if I need to arrest and detain anyone.
“But we are northerners, we are civilised. We don’t do things like that. I wish you all safe journey back to your destinations.”
Obi had, however, defended his position during a youth programme in Nnewi in 2018, saying El-Rufai was being overzealous by accusing him of bigotry, given the circumstances that led to his arrest.
He stated, “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 related 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 said.
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