The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has denied Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s claim that he ordered his detention during the 2013 governorship election in Anambra State.
Mr El-Rufai, while addressing members of the Joint Arewa Committee on Monday, recounted how Mr Obi, who was then the governor of Anambra State, ordered the operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, to lock him up in his hotel room for 48 hours.
The Kaduna State governor, who was then the deputy national secretary of the All Progressives Congress, said the incident happened when he went to the state as an observer to witness the supplementary election in Anambra State.
Reacting, Mr Obi described the governor’s comment as reckless, which should not have been made in the public.
He also noted that it was impossible for him to give such an order to the federally controlled SSS officials as a governor under the platform of APGA.
“What His Excellency, Governor 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,” he added.
Speaking further, Mr Obi said, “The police commissioner that was there then was from Adamawa State, and the AIG was from Nasarawa.
“The GMD that was planning for that election was from Kano. There’s no way I could have done that.
“My chairman, I never asked anyone to arrest you. As Governor of Anambra State, I have the first APC best policeman in Nigeria, and he is from Kano, so where will I give the order and tell a man who lives in my house every day that I want to deal with his people, and he will say yes?”
“I was in APGA during the elections in 2010 , the ruling party was PDP, how can I instruct the PDP in Abuja to detain anybody, even me as state governor was detained in my own local government,” Mr Obi said.