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Diasporia News of Monday, 16 January 2023


Peter Obi describes ethnic agitations as products of failed leadership

Peter Obi at Chatham House, London Peter Obi at Chatham House, London

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said the various ethnic agitations across Nigeria are a product of failed leadership.

Fielding questions during his address at Chatham House, London, Obi said equity, justice and fairness would solve the problem of agitation in the country.

Asked by a member of the audience at the event, Ajiboye Tunmise, from Huddersfield University, about his alleged refusal to condemn the activities of members of the secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra, Obi said, “Many are not following me. Even yesterday, I spoke about Biafra being ended 53 years ago. It’s all over the place in the cyberspace.”

The former Anambra State governor said he condemned all agitators, but added that it was not enough to condemn them. He said it was important to identify the causes of the various agitations in the country.

“I condemn all agitators, but in condemning them, you have to look at what brought about these agitations all over the place.

“Not only IPOB. We have (the) Yoruba Nation movement and all sorts. When you have created this level of massive poverty where 63 per cent of your population is poor, you’re going to create all sorts of problems,” Obi said.

He also stated that the unemployment rate in the country added to the ethnic agitations being experienced, noting that all was a cumulative effect of leadership failure over the years.

“I was speaking to a British minister this morning that we have about 40 per cent unemployment (rate) and about 60 per cent youth unemployment (rate), young people in their productive age doing nothing. If you have 15 per cent unemployment rate in Britain today, you’re going to have massive agitation. Nobody will be able to leave his house.

“So, what you’re seeing is a cumulative effect of leadership failure over the years which will be solved by good governance; when people start seeing justice, fairness and inclusive government and doing the right things, all those things will start reversing themselves. And that is what I and Datti (Baba Ahmed) are offering,” he said.

Obi added that he would engage all agitators in the country, insisting that there was nothing wrong with that approach to resolve the issue.

“I will talk and discuss with agitators, and there’s nothing wrong in that. People agitate in my house and I talk with them,” he stated.