A hate-filled speech by Mahdi Shehu a group of Northern Christians which was barefacedly laden with complete lies, concocted fairy tales and half truths targeted to deceive, misinform and apparently ridicule his audience as uneducated, uninformed and unexposed people whose minds he could easily manipulate and ridicule, has attracted a sharp reaction from the Peter Obi Support Network (POSN).
The Network, in her press statement issued earlier today in Abuja and made available to journalists viewed Shehu’s lengthy vitriolic “message with shock and great disappointment.”
It further noted that Shehu resorted to ethnic and religious dog whistle campaign for his preferred candidate.
Describing Mahdi Shehu as an elder statesman, and someone of repute who should know better and be very careful with his standing as not to heat up the polity, except it was actually his purpose.
According to the Network, “… statements from Mahdi Shehu are dangerous for a country like Nigeria looking to reap the dividends of democracy.
“He is resurrecting an old style of divisive politicking that does more harm than good. Every Nigerian including Northern Christians have full rights in every part of the country including the South and they have always been welcomed with full arms open. He therefore needs to be called to order as the statements are unbecoming of an elder statesman of his standing…”
That “Mr Peter Obi is running to be President of Nigeria and not President of Biafra or Igbos or Southern Nigeria. His ambition is to guarantee economic prosperity and security for all Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, tribal, or religious affiliation.
“The Peter Obi campaign is a broad-based and all-inclusive campaign. His track record of inclusivity is not in doubt. It is callous for anyone to accuse Peter Obi of running to represent the interest of Biafra. Peter Obi is running to represent the interest of all Nigerians.
“Mr Obi had put it succinctly while addressing the Diasporans in Germany on August 27, 2022, that when Boko haram terrorists attack a place in Nigeria, they do not distinguish between Christians from Muslims or old from young; instead, they simply wipe out everyone available in their sight.
“Similarly, when unknown gunmen in the East attack and shoot, they do not care about the identity of their victims. Their bullet kills Muslims or Christians in their sight.
Mr Obi has also stated that Muslims in the North does not buy bread cheaper than Christians in the South. Poverty, suffering, and Insecurity does not look at religion or tribe, it is universal. Every Nigerian just as every human being want the simple things of life like comfort and peace of mind.
“We therefore tell Shehu Mahdi and his ilk that the era of their bigotry is ended. He is unexposed, ill-informed, and boiling with vitriol and myopia. He apparently has holed himself up in his little village all along and never visited any part of Nigeria to savour the beauty of our divergences. Hence does not know that there are so many Northern Christians and Muslims well settled and doing their profitable business in every South-Eastern city, for as many as six and seven decades, and more. Even in the villages.
POSN further noted that in Owerri for instance, there have existed for generations a whole section of the city occupied and dominated by Northern Muslims. Their children attend school with other indigenous children, speak flawless Igbo, build houses, and live with absolutely no interference and they thrive well and make their daily living there.
“Mahdi is exhibiting that horrible disease of envy that has led many extremists like him to commit atrocities against law abiding citizens simply because they were seething with hate and envious of their success and achievements.
He was consequently cautioned to refrain from spreading poisonous nonsense, pointing out that “.. if a penniless Lebanese or Indian can come into Nigeria and end up a multi- billionaire, why is it so bad, so painful to the Mahdis of this world that a fellow Nigerian and black man can come to Northern Nigeria, make money there, invest the money there; train northern children and leave the place better than he met it.
The network humbly ”requested Mahdi to tell us what he has contributed to improve the lives of fellow Christian and Moslem Northerners, Hausa, Fulani or Tangale.
It added that it’s people like Mahdi Shehu that have for decades been disinterested in educating and empowering the children of the North out of fear and selfishness. Now he is looking for outsiders to blame.
The statement which was signed by Comrade Sani Saeed Altukry as the spokesman of POSN, informed Shehu that, in Peter Obi’s administration, there will be no “Cabals” or “Nepotism” or “State Capture by a select few”. It will be all about Character, Competence and Capacity.
“We therefore call on all well-meaning Nigerians to ignore the statement by Mahdi Shehu and his likes, and focus on the real message of Peter Obi’s message which is economic prosperity and security for all Nigerians.