By Ononye VC
The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, has replied a former Special Assistant on New Media to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Reno Omokri, over allegations that he, Peter Obi, bribed Arise TV presenter, Mr. Rufai Oseni, saying that the former aide is tarnishing his image for no justifiable reason.
Mr. Omokri had posted a photo on social media and alleged that Peter Obi sponsored the funeral of Mr. Oseni’s father, giving him money in cash or via electronic means.
“AriseTV and Mr Rufai Oseni should kindly answer the following question. Did Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, fund the funeral of Mr Rufai Oseni’s father by giving him money in cash or via electronic means, either directly or through a third party, in August 2022, and has that influenced Mr. Oseni’s open bias in favour of Peter Obi, whereby Mr. Oseni use the AriseTV platform as a medium to campaign for and launder the image of Mr Peter Obi, and his undisguised personal animosity towards me for my refusal to support Mr Peter Obi’s presidential ambition?”
Mr. Obi regretted that his name was mentioned maliciously in a cheap blackmail by Omokri against Oseni, who he described as “one of Nigeria’s best Television presenters” and has stood sternly for what is right, even challenging him fearlessly on certain occasions while speaking truth to power.
The former Anambra State governor stated that the allegation is a categorical lie and that he never gives anyone money to promote his name.
He wonders why people like Omokri could decide to tarnish other people’s image for no justifiable reason and prayed that God will have mercy on them.
Obi 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.
Reno Omokri was the Special Assistant on New Media to former President Goodluck Jonathan
The ‘malicious, blackmailing’ Reno Omokri
“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