Nasir el-Rufai, former governor of Kaduna, says claims that he said President Bola Tinubu used religion to win the presidential election, are manufactured falsehoods.
In June, a Twitter user, Will. E, had posted a video where el-Rufai, flanked by Uba Sani, his successor, was seen addressing a group of Muslims in Hausa, shortly after Tinubu was declared winner of the election.
Will. E translated the video and accused el-Rufai and the APC of using religion to win the election.
The video sparked angry reactions on the social media platform.
Adewole Adebayo, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party(SDP) in the last election, described el-Rufai’s remarks as “provocative and inherently bigoted”.
Speaking at the launch of an autobiography and retirement programme of Ishaq Akintola, a professor at the Lagos State University (LASU), el-Rufai said he chose not to respond to the distortion of his statement because those involved have no regard for truth or accuracy.
“The recent furore and hysteria about my pre-inauguration remarks regarding politics and governance in Kaduna state and the electoral victory of the Asiwaju-Shettima ticket should be understood,” he said.
“I thank MURIC and many concerned individuals and organisations that rose to my defence and even offered accurate translations of my remarks and the key messages contained therein.
“I have chosen never to respond to these distortions and manufactured falsehoods like Islamisation, Fulanisation and the like because those that engage in these deliberate distortions will do so and have no regard for truth or accuracy.
“They have made up their minds about the message and the messenger whether I speak or not.
“So for those that care about the truth, my message in Kaduna was simple – leadership based on Islamic (and indeed, even Christian) principles is fair and equitable – and prescribes that a leader must be fair and just to everyone – whether Muslim (or Christian) or not.”
The former federal capital territory (FCT) minister added that he is “pleased to observe that the much-derided and opposed Tinubu-Shettima APC ticket not only won the presidential election, but has shown within weeks that the Muslim-Muslim presidency is capable of being fair to every one – Muslim and non-Muslim alike”.