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Peter Obi Accused of Being Silent As Supporters Attack Sultan Of Sokoto

Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, has been strangely silent as his fans, known as “Obidients,” have been attacking and mocking Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, for dispelling earlier rumors that he was backing the troubled candidate.

The Obi campaign was previously criticized by the Sultan, who serves as the head of Nigeria’s sizable Muslim population, for its reckless attempts to “draw him into partisan politics” after it became clear that the campaign was responsible for false reports asserting that the religious leader had endorsed their candidate.

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Alhaji Abubakar gave a caution to the campaign to avoid making propaganda statements that are hurtful to the subjects concerned, particularly a revered and historic institution like the Sultanate, and he emphasized his non-partisanship in the statement that contained the reprimand.

Obi’s supporters attacked the religious leader on social media and other media platforms, using insults and slurs directed at his religion and ethnicity, incensed by Sultan’s categorical denial and stern rebuke, which further exposed the Obi campaign’s foundation of lies, exaggerations, and empty boasts.

Some of them claimed that his denial was the result of a fictitious “Fulani conspiracy” in which members of the Fulani ethnic group—the majority of whom live in northern Nigeria—were said to be working together to prevent the election of an Igbo president and, as a result, were hostile to Obi’s plans.

They also repeated contentious talk about Nigeria’s first military takeover in 1966, which resulted in the murder of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, an Igbo soldier in charge of the failed coup.

The Sultan was described as “an inept moron” and the “failed leader of a backward area responsible for Nigeria’s issues” by one of Obi’s well-known supporters.

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Other Nigerians, notably Muslim northerners who expressed shock that a required rejection of what amounted to bogus news could trigger the killings, have harshly criticized the statements.

Peter Obi, meantime, has refused to urge his people to stop attacking the religious leader to do so. Since he was unable to gain a significant endorsement weeks before Election Day, some have begun to suspect that he may be orchestrating the assaults because of his silence and reluctance to control his supporters.

Earlier, the NPP’s presidential candidate and former governor of Kano, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, ridiculed the supposed Labour Party challenge by comparing the party’s development during the campaign to the lifecycle of a laxative called Andrews Liver Salt, which when used on water causes bubbles to rise dramatically to the surface before disappearing just as quickly into complete silence.

Even though he had higher academic credentials and government experience than Peter Obi, he too was subjected to vile insults from the Obidients, including insulting ethnic stereotypes that cast him as “an illiterate northerner.”

Obi has previously been accused of risky exploitation of race and religion, two extremely combustible aspects in Nigeria’s high-stakes politics, to promote his ambition. During his stint as governor of Anambra, the state split into two warring groups of Catholics and Anglicans.

Many Nigerians, notably those from the north, believe he has the maturity and temperament to rule the multiethnic and multireligious country because of his silence while the Sultan of Sokoto continues to be mocked by his supporters.

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