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Akin Osuntokun who is the Director General of the Labor Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council has lambasted Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai over his comments on the party’s flagbearer, Peter Obi.
Speaking in a recent interview, Osuntokun who was reacting to comments made by El-Rufai that Obi does not stand any chance of winning the forthcoming presidential election except in the South East and some Christian communities.
In a statement in Abuja, on Thursday, Osuntokun said El-Rufai, under whose watch hundreds of innocent citizens, lost their lives to bandits in Kaduna, is a champion of ethnoreligious bigotry.
He said the Kaduna governor’s attempt to paint Obi with the brush of ethno-religious bigotry was in fact, a sad reminder of El-Rufai’s historical antecedents as an ethnic and religious bigot who is the leading light behind the weaponization of religion in Nigeria’s politics.
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He said, ‘It is ironical that a man who tags Peter Obi with the tar brush of ‘ethnicity and religious bigotry’ is the leading light if not the evil genius behind the weaponization of religious cleavage indicated in the Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket of his political party.
‘This has been the template he brought to Kaduna State politics. And he has a long tendentious history of this behaviour.
‘On January 28th, 2013, El-Rufai tweeted that ‘if Jesus criticises Jonathan’s government, Maku, Abati or Okupe will say that he slept with Mary Magdalene’.
‘On April 6, 2016, he said “Here in Kaduna we have a significant Muslim majority, 70 percent and 30 percent Christian minority” Recall how he similarly (at his latest outing) denigrated ‘Christian enclaves in the North but how many are they?
‘At the height of the devastation of Southern Kaduna by the Fulani militia, his arbitration was that “tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost”
‘Another feather to his cap of unrestrained notoriety and bellicosity is not limited to Nigeria. Knowing fully well that a free, fair and credible election (and as attested by foreign observer teams), was not in the interest of his party in the 2019 general elections, he issued a threat to the latter on the eve of the elections. ‘Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags’.
Osuntokun further said El-Rufai should hourly seek the mercy and forgiveness of God for the calamity he wreaked on a segment of Kaduna State populace instead of castigating the LP flag bearer.