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The Labour Party (LP) has lambasted the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over what they described as ‘blatant lies’, after the former FCT boss had on Monday claimed LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, arrested him in Anambra in 2013.
Africa Daily News, New York had earlier reported that El-Rufai had narrated the story of how he was arrested in Anambra State when Obi was governor a decade ago.
Shortly after making the claim, an old footage had gone 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.”
However, 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).
His words: ‘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.
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He further added; ‘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 went on to express 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 had announced the suspension of 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.