Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) has taken to X, formerly called Twitter to dismiss speculations about giving monetary rewards or any other incentive for a journalist to speak or write in his favour.
Particularly, Obi in a personally signed statement on Monday said the rumours about him bribing popular journalist, Rufai Oseni by allegedly sponsoring the burial of his father are pure lies.
The former Anambra State Governor pointed out that he has always tried to avoid replying to cheap, wicked or malicious blackmail publicly or privately that are thrown at him but because this involves a third party, it has become necessary to clear the air.
According to him, he attends events he is invited to but for Oseni, whom he described as standing for what is right, he has never been to the journalist’s village nor does he know where he is from.
Obi therefore called on those behind the rumours trying to tarnish other people’s image to desist. He added that his focus remains on how to rescue Nigeria from the challenges plaguing it and ensure Nigerians live a better life.
He 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 blackmail publicly or privately in the same irresponsible manner that 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 the suffering of the people.
“I do however need to clarify a few issues, especially since a third party is involved. There is a recent case where my name has been mentioned in a 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. I have recently been mentioned to have bribed Mr. Rufai Oseni by financially sponsoring the burial of his father.
“Let me clearly state that this is a categorical lie. It is not true, cannot be true and will never be true. Everyone who understands or follows my approach to things will attest to the fact that I do not give anyone money to promote my name.
“I have never and will never monetarily induce any journalist to speak or write in my favour. When I am invited to birthday celebrations or funerals, people know that I do attend. 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. 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 that God will have mercy on them.
“I still maintain that our focus in Nigeria should be on rescuing our dear 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 with very little production going on in Nigeria to create jobs. Finding solutions to these challenges should command our attention, for the progress of our dear nation, Nigeria – and that is what I remain committed to. A New Inclusive and Sustainable Nigeria is POssible! -PO”