Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State governor, has come under intense criticism from Nigerians for mocking a planned rally for Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party in Kaduna.
A Peter Obi supporter, Abdullahi Umar Zarma, had tweeted a call for a two-million man march in Kaduna for Peter Obi. Quoting the tweet, El-Rufai dismissed the possibility of 200 persons coming for the rally and referred to south-easterners as ‘imports’.
He said, “In Kaduna? Not Kaduna Twitter? – I hope you get Two Hundred persons on the streets… including those ‘imports’ that can’t open their shops on Mondays, and came on overnight bus last night!! I jus’ dey laff, wallahi tallahi!!”
Many tweeps did not not take kindly to the governor’s remark, with a number of people knocking him for being “a bigot.”
Responding to the governor, OTUNBA, @ManLikeIcey, said, “This is embarrassing coming from a sitting Governor. El Rufai has never hidden his bigotry so I’m not shocked.”
On his part, Emaenim Udoh, @officialemaenim, said “Obi candidacy has really threatened portfolios politicians. Imagine a sitting Governor sounding like Mushin Train. And someone said the owner of the state has spoken hahahahahaha. By force retirement dey hungry you
Also responding, Olaudah Equiano®, @RealOlaudah, wrote, “APC is desperate to ethnicize the elections because that’s the only way they can make some inroad in it. They’ve so desperately failed Nigeria with hunger, debt & insecurity that they’re naked with their pants down! Dear Nigerians DON’T FALL FOR THEIR BAIT. THEY’RE AN EVIL PARTY.”
On his part, Ayodeji Oyewumi, @iam_ayooyewumi, wrote, “Wow coming from a sitting governor. This man is worst than Buhari. He is a bigot. Why are we deceiving ourself about ONE NIGERIA pls.
“If a sitting governor can have the boldness to tweet this about a major tribe in Nigeria, what are we now talking about. Jesus wept!
On her part, NEFERTITI, @firstladyship, wrote, “El-Rufai draws oxygen from bigotry. He is angry Peter Obi has become the Face of A New Nigeria. 2 Million youths marching on the streets of Kaduna, carries a huge symbolism. It demystifies his messianic complex & sense of worth. My People, you know what to do. APPLY WHAT??????”
Another user, Dr Ayo Sogunro, @ayosogunro, said “Seriously, how do you find time for these petty shots on Twitter when your state is literally being seized from you by terrorists? What is there to laugh about in matters as serious as people wanting a better government? Do Kaduna people not deserve a functional president?
Aisha Yesufu said, “As Governor who has been muscled by terrorists you surely know better right? Since even you as Governor has been restricted and left with writing letter to ICCIF!”
Another user, Owo Ayodeji, @OwoAyodeji, said, “That @elrufai who is on the brink of losing his state against bandits had to respond to this shows how seriously the political class take the “structureless” Obi-dient movement. We’ve come a long way in a short period.”
On his part, Ose Anenih said, “The beautiful thing about the democratisation of social media is that you are not powerless. This hateful tweet disgracefully employs a racial stereotype that might expose peaceful marchers to real world harm. But you CAN act.
“APC is a curse. This is a very alarming tweet; and puts participants in the march in great danger by insidiously suggesting they are ‘Igbo imports’.
“We REALLY need better leadership in 2023; away from APC and this brand of impoverishing, divisive politics.
Another tweep, Oyin D said, “El Rufai just called the Obidient Movement IPOB by talking about shops that don’t open on Monday. My Kaduna people, you guys have been affected by terrorism in the last couple of years, this is the time to show this man that power truly belongs to the people. Come and walk with us.”
Adewale Adetona tweeted, “From a sitting governor? This is so unnecessary and definitely not a way to foster a United Nigeria. Our so-called leaders keep fuelling unnecessary hate and bigotry.”
Alhaji Yusuf tweeted, “What about us that can’t travel from Kaduna to Abuja throughout the week because of bandits? Decorum and civility is what you El Rufai should understand.