The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, has described as fake and irresponsible a report on social media purporting him to have endorsed Peter Obi for the presidency of Nigeria.
Speaking through his media office in a statement signed by Prince Bashir Adefaka, the revered traditional leader and leader of Muslims in Nigeria said it was irresponsible for anyone to link him with Obi, adding that at no point did he hold any meeting with the Labour Party presidential candidate. He also stated that there was no way he could have written any letter endorsing Obi or even utter the words ascribed to him. Noting that he does not engage in the endorsement of politicians, the Sultan urged the general public to disregard the purported statement.
He further challenged the “Obi campaigners” behind the fake report to prove him wrong by producing video evidence of any event at which he purportedly endorsed Obi.
The statement titled “ignore the irresponsible attempt to drag Sultan into politics of 2023 by Peter Obi campaigners” reads:
“The attention of the Media Team of Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has been drawn to a statement circulating on social media titled, “BREAKING: SULTAN OF SOKOTO WRITES” with an opening credited to Sultan.
“Ordinarily, the statement should not be dignified with a pinch of reaction but because of the need to put the record straight for the sake of truth-seeking Nigerians.
“Recall that this is not the first time such a misleading statement would be circulated in an effort to climb on the influential personality and name of the Sultan to score political goals. Unfortunately for these pitiable political campaigners, the Sultan of Sokoto is, strictly speaking – a traditional ruler and leader of Muslims in Africa’s most populous country. Moreso, as a retired Army General, his discipline, commitment, and unalloyed to Nigeria is non-negotiable.
For the avoidance of doubt, the statement is fake because such an irresponsible write-up, credited to him, could not have emanated from anywhere near or around His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).
“Between Wednesday and Thursday, the Sultan played host to several figures, including the outgoing and new General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Eighth Division Nigerian Army, Sokoto, Major Generals O. Bassey and Godwin Mutkut, respectively, Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima, among others.
“It would interest Nigerians to know that the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi was not one of those who paid a visit to the palace, be it on Wednesday or Thursday. So, how some agents of discord whose stock-in-trade is to thrive on cooking falsehoods and peddling fake news think they can get through with this remains unknown to common sense.
“The simple challenge is to ask them to publish a copy of the letter purportedly written by the Sultan or a video or audio clip where he endorsed Peter Obi and denied APC Presidential Candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as contained in their peddled fakeness. If they cannot, and of a surety they cannot, they should desist from this indefensible claim and unpardonable lie using the good name of His Eminence because it will backfire.
“It should, however, be made clear to the good people of Nigeria that this, like many others in the past by the Peter Obi campaigners, would not stop the Sultan from continuing to play his role as a multifaceted leader and father of all and so, his doors will remain open to all aspirants across all parties and other meaningful people from across the country.
“More important to Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar at this time and always are Nigeria’s security, peace and unity, especially as the nation is fast moving into its long-planned and heavily invested general elections. He will continue to support all efforts that will lead to the success of the election process. So, let any incoherent claims of naysayers be ignored. Sultan is not a politician.”