The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council on Tuesday asked the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, to apologise to Nigerians over his divisive comment.
The call was made by the spokesman of the APC Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH.
Obaseki had warned that Nigeria will collapse completely if APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, wins the 2023 elections.
The governor, who made the statement in Benin on Monday at the inauguration of the Edo State Campaign Management Council of the Peoples Democratic Party, said no administration had done the kind of damage the APC government had done to Nigeria, noting that the debt profile of the country under the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd)-led government has hit N60trn.
Keyamo noted that Obaseki is parroting the hateful statement of his party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
He said, “We are extremely disappointed and shocked at Obaseki’s comment. It belittles his office as governor of Edo State and he has taken politics to an extreme that he shouldn’t have done. He has taken politics to play sentiment.
“First, it is his candidate (Atiku) who had gone around the country preaching divisive comments and calling on Northerners not to vote for Yoruba or Igbo candidates. That comment to date has drawn outrage from both local and international observers. And up till now, Obaseki and his likes have not apologised to Nigerians over that.
“What Obaseki is doing with the comment of Atiku is that he is trampling on the heads of his people in Edo State and the South-South. He is denigrating his people over whom he presided as governor.”
The Director, Media and Publicity of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Bayo Onanuga, in a statement on Tuesday, also condemned Obaseki’s remarks and described him as “toxic and obnoxious.”
Onanuga said, “For a man who swore an oath of allegiance to the sovereignty and unity of Nigeria to be a purveyor of ill-will towards the same country because of partisan politics smirks of total irresponsibility and recklessness unbecoming of a governor who has a constitutionally sanctioned duty to preserve the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.
“It is worth stating that we are not in any way surprised about Obaseki’s outburst about Nigeria’s breaking. He is, by nature, a divisive, obnoxious, and toxic human being that lacks the introspection and contemplation expected of a person occupying the office of a governor.”
Meanwhile, Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media Project, Crusoe Osagie, said the APC chiefs cannot deny that a dreadful fate awaits the nation if their party wins next year’s presidential election.
Reacting to APC’s statement that Obaseki should apologise for saying that the country would collapse if the APC candidate Bola Tinubu is elected as President next year, Osagie in a statement on Tuesday, said the APC and its minions are either living on another planet or require evaluation over their attempt to fault the governor.
He said, “The APC’s gang of hirelings, including a once-upon-a-time human rights activist, continue to pollute the public space with their foul and distasteful takes on the governor’s comment while failing to properly read the room to know that the Governor spoke the mind of the majority of Nigerians who have in the last seven years been impoverished by the APC’s disastrous misrule.
“What part of the call for reawakening by Governor Obaseki is the APC and their minions calling to question? Are Nigerians not victims of the party’s calamitous handling of the country’s affairs, which has today made the country the poverty capital of the world, with a disarticulated economy, excruciating debt burden and a hapless population pushing their way through insecure communities, dilapidated road network, among other failings.
“When in April 2021, Governor Obaseki raised the alarm that the Federal Government was printing money to run the economy and warned that if such practices continued, the Naira was heading to N1000 to $1 as against the rate of N500 to $1 at that time, APC and their lackeys screamed blue murder, playing the ostrich and denying the obvious. But today, what does $1 exchange against the Naira? Is N800 to $1 not equivalent to the warning the governor issued about a year ago?”