The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has denied saying over 70 per cent of politicians in the country are “lunatics”.
Obi, while speaking on Sunday at the Men of Valour conference organised by the Revival House of Glory International Church (RHOGIC) in Abuja had said “lunatics” have taken over leadership positions in the country.
The former governor of Anambra State stated that over 70 per cent of politicians in the country should not be in politics and need to be flushed out, adding that persons in leadership positions who loot public funds are not greedy but “sick”.
He added that only a “lunatic” in government will steal N80 billion of the citizens’ money for personal use.
“Seventy per cent of those who are in politics today should not have any reason to be near there. I have said it before and I will say it again. Politics in Nigeria is a case where lunatics took over the asylum. They must be out.
“You must replace that asylum with people who are competent. This is the only country where the worst is leading; the best should lead. I have served there; I am a trader and I started gradually and entered into politics,” Obi had said.
However, the presidential candidate, in a statement issued on Monday by his media office, denied calling Nigerian politicians “lunatics”.
He stated that the report was the handiwork of “mischief makers”, who have been trying over the years to quote him out of context or twist his statements in a manner to set him against the people.
The statement read: “The attention of Mr Peter Obi’s Media Office has been drawn to an article being circulated, where Mr Peter Obi was quoted to have said that “70% of Nigerian Politicians are Lunatics”.
“Let it be made clear that Obi, not known for violence of speech, did not make the statement. It is the handiwork of mischief makers, who have been trying, over the years, to quote him out of context or twist his statements in a manner to set him against the people.
“Anybody who has listened to Obi, even when he was the governor, would know that he always, when he wants to show that the wrong people have taken over would talk in terms of lunatics taking over the asylum, which plainly means that those that are not supposed to be in a particular place have displaced the rightful people.
“Therefore, the use of “Lunatics” is always euphemistic. Obi has never and would never use it plainly to designate a given set of people as if to suggest they are mad, as the writer suggested he said about politicians. He cannot so degrade a tribe he belongs to.
“Obi assures all classes of people of his continued respect.”