By Miftaudeen Raji
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has said tribalism and religion are some of the reasons Nigeria has remained as the world’s capital of poverty.
Obi lambasted former Kano State Governor and presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP Rabiu Kwankwaso, saying the NNPP candidate has been playing on ethnicity and religion at the expense of competence and focus on rescuing the country’s economy.
The Labour Party candidate made the assertion in an interview with Arise Television Morning Show.
Obi described the comments by Kwankwaso that Northerners will not vote for him (Obi) because he is from the South East as tribalistic.
Kwankwaso had said, “What I’m telling you is that if anybody from the South-East now, under this circumstance, becomes the presidential candidate of our party or any other party, the implications is that because of the activities and other issues that are really on the ground, northern voters will certainly go for their northern candidate and another party.
“So, the thinking is not whether I like it or I don’t, the fact remains that everybody will lose. He will lose and I will lose.”
In his reply to Kwankwaso, Obi said, “The comments from Kwankwaso is why we are where we are today, we vote for Incompetence based on the primitive ponsideration of tribe & religion.”
Obi noted that Nigeria is in a critical situation, and needs an economically-savvy leader to salvage the country.
He said Nigeria and its economy are in a coma and only barely survive.
According to him, the country will soon default on its debt servicing due to myriads of economic woes in the country.
He said, “We choose to vote for incompetence based on a primitive consideration of ethnicity and religion.
“Tell me, today, you can’t travel from Abuja to Kaduna by air, by road, or by train. Is it because somebody from the South-East is in charge?
“You can’t travel from Abuja to Minna by road, is it because somebody from the South-East is in charge?
“Yesterday, we had an attack on the presidential convoy in Katsina, is it because a person from the South-East is in charge?
“Show me where you can buy food cheaper.
“You have not talked about electricity, or that people are prospering in the North because northerners are in power? In the South-West, because they are in power or in the South-East.
“We have a huge problem and if you don’t know, this country will soon default on their debt servicing.”
Obi referenced reports by the Debt Management Office that Nigeria’s debt profile has hit N41.6 trillion, having risen by N2.04 trillion in the first quarter of 2022.
The DMO had said, with the increase in the country’s debt profile, its total public debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) now stands at 23.27 per cent, as against 22.43 per cent on December 31, 2021.
The Office, in a statement, had said that the amount represented the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, adding that the comparative figures for December 31, 2021, were N39.56 trillion or $95.78 billion.