Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labor and Employment, claims that Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, created a WhatsApp message to appear to be the victim of an ethnic agenda.
Keyamo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council spokesperson, made the remark in reaction to a video in which Obi was seen reading a letter allegedly by a Tinubu group, urging people in the south-western region not to vote for him.
When the message allegedly from a “Tinubu group” was read out by the LP presidential candidate at a forum, it said: “Yoruba shine your eyes o, if you vote for Peter Obi, it is automatically voting for seaports in the south-south and south-east.
“The Igbos will stop coming to Lagos state to invest, rather they will go to Delta and Rivers states, they may even stop building houses in Lagos. It will affect a lot of Yorubas,” Obi read out.
Reacting in a statement on Monday, Keyamo said the group Obi referred to does not exist, adding that he lacks ideas on how to tackle the country’s challenges
“We wish to state that it is obvious Mr. Peter Obi deliberately concocted that message and circulated that offensive video himself as a campaign strategy in order to come across as a victim of some kind of ethnic agenda, whereas in truth, he is the real agent provocateur of an ethnic agenda,” Keyamo said.
“As the takeoff date for campaigns draws closer, Mr. Peter Obi has suddenly realised that Nigerians are beginning to burst his bubbles as his messages are bereft of ideas, depth and clear-cut solutions to our challenges.
“His messages are only full of false data and highfalutin jargons in what is clearly a disingenuous ruse to distract a scrutiny of his empty records as a Governor of Anambra State and nothing else. Hence his easy recourse to playing ethnic card and fanning the embers of hate.
“We find it utterly disgusting, demeaning and insulting to the sensitivities and sensibilities of Nigerians for a Presidential Candidate of the ilk of Peter Obi to make such a video parroting a spurious, unverified and sham message that has the potential of deepening our fault lines as a nation and further promoting ethnic tensions.
“This is completely unbecoming of a Presidential Candidate that hopes to unite this country. Again, we note that Mr. OBJ’s latest stunt is consistent with what is now widely perceived as his adoption of hate as campaign strategy, having consistently failed to rein in his known and identifiable supporters, mostly domiciled on social media, threatening political opponents with violence and death,” Keyamo said.