The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has distanced himself from a viral statement where he purportedly asked Nigerians to hold him responsible if the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, did not perform well if he is elected president in the forthcoming election.
A statement titled “BREAKING: SULTAN OF SOKOTO WRITES,” with the first paragraph reading, “Hold me responsible if Peter Obi didn’t perform well, the problem of the North is from the north, not Peter Obi or an Igbo man, it will be worst and more deadly for the North if Tinubu wins, if they tell you an Igbo man is the problem of Nigeria, tell them Igbo man never rule Nigeria before and north is world poverty capital,” has gone viral on social media.
Reacting to the purported statement, the Sultan through his media team described the statement as misleading information circulated by Peter Obi’s campaigners whom he described as pitiable political campaigners.
The media team in a statement signed by Prince Bashir Adefaka, said, “Ordinarily the statement should not be dignified with a pinch of reaction but because of the need to put the record straight for the sake of truth seeking Nigerians. Recall that this is not the first time such a misleading statement would be circulated in effort to climb on the influential personality and name of the Sultan to score political goals.
“Unfortunately for these pitiable political campaigners, Sultan of Sokoto is – strictly speaking – a traditional ruler and leader of Muslims of Africa’s most populous country. Moreso, as a retired Army General, his discipline, commitment and unalloyed loyalty to Nigeria is non-negotiable
“For the avoidance of doubt, the statement is fake because such an irresponsible write-up, credited to him, could not have emanated from anywhere near or around His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).”
The statement explained that between Wednesday and Thursday, the Sultan played host to several figures including the outgoing and new General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Eighth Division Nigerian Army, Sokoto, Major Generals O. Bassey and Godwin Mutkut respectively, and Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima.
The statement denied that Obi visited the Sultan, saying, “It would interest Nigerians to know that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Dr. Peter Obi, was not one of those that paid a visit to the palace, be it on Wednesday or Thursday. So, how some agents of discord whose stock-in-trade is to thrive on cooking falsehoods and peddling of fake news think that they can get through with this remains unknown to common sense.
“The simple challenge is to ask them to publish a copy of the letter purportedly written by the Sultan or a video or audio clip where he endorsed Peter Obi and denied APC Presidential Candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as contained in their peddled fakeness. If they cannot, and of a surety they cannot, they should desist from this indefensible claim and unpardonable lie using the good bane of His Eminence because it will backfire.
“It should, however, be made clear to the good people of Nigeria that this, like many others in the past by the Peter Obi campaigners, would not stop the Sultan from continuing to play his role as a multifaceted leader and father of all and so, his doors will remain open to all aspirants across all parties and other meaningful people from across the country.
More important to Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar at this time and always are the security, peace and unity of Nigeria, especially as the nation is fast moving into its long planned and heavily invested general elections. He will continue to support all efforts that will lead to the success of the election process. So, let any incoherent claims of naysayers be ignored. The Sultan is not a politician.”