Wednesday, 7th June 2023

El-Rufai telling ‘blatant lies’ on arrest by Peter Obi, says LP spokesperson, Tanko

By John Akubo, Abuja
20 October 2022   |   4:09 am
Labour Party (LP), yesterday, criticised Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over “blatant lies”, after the latter claimed LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, arrested him in Anambra in 2013.

El-Rufai.<br />Photo/facebook/govkaduna

Obi suspends campaign over flooding, tasks other candidates to do same
Labour Party (LP), yesterday, criticised Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over “blatant lies”, after the latter claimed LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, arrested him in Anambra in 2013.

El-Rufai had narrated how he was arrested in Anambra State when Obi was governor.

An old footage went viral almost immediately, purportedly showing where El-Rufai, in an interview after the supposed arrest, said three AK-47 wielding operatives picked him “threatening that they have directive from Abuja to restrict me to my room.”

But Chief Spokesperson of LP Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Yunusa Tanko, at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, narrated what happened in Anambra in 2013, when he was the national chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC).

He said: “On November 16, 2013, I was the IPAC chairman. I was in charge of all political party leaders. We were at the Finotel Hotel in Awka, Anambra State.

“Normally, all complaints from any political party come to our table. We had a situation room, organised by International Republican Institute. El-Rufai and my humble self and many others stayed in the same hotel.”

He expressed dismay that El-Rufai was claiming that he was attacked or gagged, saying: “We really investigated and we called a press conference on the matter, signifying the fact that El-Rufai was, at that time, the Deputy National Secretary of APC, and so he should be allowed to perform his duty according to party dictates.

“And then, there was no ambiguity because the security present at that time was to protect all senior personnel of political parties in that hotel.”

He explained that Obi, who was the governor of the state at the time, had nothing to do with any security issue as claimed by El-Rufai.

“I have photos to prove how we addressed a press conference at Finotel Hotel, Awka, condemning the Department of State Services (DSS) for illegally detaining El-Rufai. He never, for once, mentioned Peter Obi.

“This same El-Rufai went to court on this same issue. Obi was not mentioned, rather it was the DSS, and he got a judgment against them. It was a PDP government at the centre and Obi was a governor flying the flag of APGA.

“The court awarded him N2 million in damages for unlawful detention. Go into the Internet and you will see the full details. Precisely, it was published in Premium Times and Sahara Reporters of September 24, 2014.

“So, all he has been saying are blatant lies, deliberately designed to rubbish our presidential candidate before northerners.

“This is targeted to continue to lie to our people in the north to create a division for personal interest. This kind of division has kept our country down for too long. But the people are now being reawakened to fight for their right. We urge them not to be deceived any more.”

MEANWHILE, Obi has suspended his 2023 campaign.

Obi made the announcement when he paid a courtesy visit to Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday.

His decision came at a time states in the country have been ravaged by flood.

Obi advised presidential candidates: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and others to come together and sympathise with the victims.

He said: “As you can see, today, flood is ravaging the entire country. And people are dying. People are being displaced. I personally stopped and told my people, ‘No more campaign, until we are able to visit some of the sites, at least, sympathise with those going through problems.’

“I came to take permission and ask him (Ortom) that I want to visit some of the sites in Benue, as I am going to do in one or two other states.

“I am also calling other presidential candidates to stop campaigning and see what we can do.”

On the allegation that he detained El-Rufai, Obi said he had no power to detain anybody, adding: “Ask all the security agencies if I, for one day, asked them to detain anybody.”