The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the February 25, 2023 election, Peter Obi, has refuted speculations that he sponsored the burial of the father of journalist, Rufai Oseni.
Obi said the refutal became necessary in the light of speculations by mischievous persons that he sponsored the burial of the journalist’s father to gain favourable mention.
In a statement by his Media Office, on Monday, Obi expressed disgust at attempts by persons he described as sponsored blackmailers whom he said were bent on linking him with negative things in a bid to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.
He asked such persons to perish such thoughts and redirect their energy towards raising a better Nigeria.
Obi said: “Ordinarily, I do not get involved in name-calling and mud-slinging, neither do I attack people nor try to defame their personalities, in the course of my political journey.
“I have also avoided replying to cheap, wicked, or malicious blackmails publicly or openly in the same irresponsible manner they are thrown at me.
“Anyone who has followed my corporate and political life knows that I always stay on issues, with my focus on finding solutions to societal challenges and ameliorating people’s suffering.”
The former Anambra state governor said he needed to clarify issues, especially when a third party was involved.
He added that “the case recently where my name was mentioned in malicious and cheap blackmail against one of Nigeria’s best television presenters, Mr. Rufai Oseni, who has stood sternly for what is right and has challenged me fearlessly on some occasions while speaking truth to power.
“Let me state clearly that this is a categorical lie from the pit of hell. Everyone who understands my life will attest to the fact that I do not give anyone money to promote my name. I have never monetarily induced any journalist to speak or write in my favour.”
Obi further explained that he always honours invitations to social events like birthday celebrations or funerals, and this is something people have come to know.
He equally said, “Countless journalists, media personnel, the less privileged, the wealthy, etc., have all invited me to their occasions, and they will attest to the fact that I honour such invitations, especially when people are grieving.
“As it is obtainable in Igbo tradition, I always attend such events with some gifts, to support the celebrant.
“I have never been to Rufai’s village. Even at the point of writing this, I do not know where he is from. One then wonders why people could decide to tarnish other people’s image for no justifiable reason.
“To those involved in such evil endeavours, I wish them well and pray to God to have mercy on them.
“Our focus in Nigeria should be about rescuing the nation from the many challenges plaguing it. We should focus more on lifting people out of poverty.
“Millions of Nigerians do not know where their next meal will come from. We have millions of unemployed youths in their productive age.
“Finding solutions to these challenges should command our attention, for the progress of our nation — and that is what I remain committed to.”