Reactions to former President Olusegun Obasanjo's open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari continued yesterday, with All Progressives Congress, APC, cautioning him against inflammatory remarks that could set the nation on fire, saying criminality has no tribe.
APC's reaction came as Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, described Obasanjo's letter to Buhari as mischievous, ill-timed and irrelevant.
The party said while it noted public concerns over cases of violent crimes in some parts of the country, particularly the recent and unfortunate killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader, it was disturbed by comments from certain quarters.
APC said in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Issa Onilu: "Losing a loved one is never easy to come to terms with, particularly in such unfortunate circumstance. We join President Muhammadu Buhari's administration and all peace-loving Nigerians in extending condolences to the family of the late Funke Olakunrin on the sad and painful loss.
"However, the APC is disturbed by recent reckless and provocative statements ascribed to some leaders and interests in the country.
"Inciting actions and rhetorics are counter-productive and dangerous, particularly in a multi-ethnic country such as ours. Terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and other crimes must be condemned by all. There is nothing like an Isoko, Gwari or Awori robber because criminality has no tribe in the eyes of the law.
"We must remind ourselves that many of the recorded genocides all over the world started through unchecked prejudices and systematic profiling of racial, political and cultural groups. God forbid our dear country descends into such savagery.
"We reject the notion of a Nigeria where any ethnic group is unwelcome in any part of the country. Every Nigerian must be free to live and work in safety anywhere in the country.
"We must be wary of these leaders who now play to the gallery to incite, spread hate and intolerance in the country. Their interventions are not patriotic but in pursuance of their political and selfish interests.
"The APC urges President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, the National Assembly, our religious, traditional, political leaders and, indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians not to be distracted by these unpatriotic antics."
Obasanjo's letter blackmail, mischievous -- Mohammed
Meanwhile, Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, yesterday described Obasanjo's letter to the President as mischievous, ill-timed and irrelevant.
Mohammed, who spoke in an interview with Vanguard, said Obasanjo had nothing new to say to Buhari but to launder his image.
A member of the 2014 National Conference, Mohammed described Obasanjo's letter as not only ill-timed but also a calculated attempt to heat up the already tensed polity and blackmail Buhari and his administration.
The Kano-born politician said the former president was economical with the truth on the issue of Islamisation and Fulanisation and should tender an apology to Nigerians for trying to spawn ethnic and religious hatred in the land.
He said: "Obasanjo's letter at this time is most unfortunate, ill-timed and unhelpful to the country and those he is trying to educate because there was nothing new in the letter that he had not said before now.
"The truth of the matter is that some of Obasanjo's pronouncements in the said letter are not useful to anyone in the country because they were clearly written to inflict maximum damage on Nigeria and its people."
"For a man who has benefitted immensely from this country to have written such a letter to another leader shows that he was economical with the truth concerning all the issues he raised in the letter.
"The letter by the former President amply demonstrates the fact that he deliberately committed an act of great disservice to this country and clearly shows a brazen act of shamelessness on his part as a former leader of this country.
"The totality of the contents of the letter shows that he is either ignorant or mischievous in his desperate attempt to hoodwink some ignorant persons against the person and government of Buhari and this cannot take the former President to any place of importance that he is angling for.
"However, the point must be made that if the intention of Obasanjo is to use the instrumentality of the so-called letter to blackmail Buhari and his government with the intention of getting some relevance of benefit from it, he has already failed woefully."
It will be recalled that Obasanjo's letter to Buhari, the third of its kind in recent times, elicited both commendations and condemnation from a broad spectrum of Nigerians.