Before I delve into the main course in this very articulate and concise opinion piece, I would like to unequivocally state that as a writer, my job is not to impress anyone but to tell the truth, no matter how bitter it may be without any fear or favor, and no matter whose ox is gored. This article will be focusing on a former Governor of Anambra State and presidential aspirant, Peter Gregory Obi, bringing to the limelight his flaws and past activities which can neither be ignored nor concealed.
There is no debating that there is any among the lots of presidential hopefuls we have in the country today that is as smart and highbrowed as Mr. Peter Gregory Obi. This man has reeled out a lot of reliable information that can possibly help rescue our nation from the quicksand it currently sinks in. He has been described by many Nigerians as a man concerned about ensuring the betterment of his dearly beloved country.
But in the course of finding pragmatic and long-lasting solutions to numerous problems bedeviling our country, must Peter Obi present half-truths to Nigerians? In a bid to impress Nigerians, and gain their support, he has given out inaccurate information, be it intentionally or unintentionally, which many Nigerians never cared about or were too lazy to bother about and verify.
Where exactly did he get his data from clarifying how Nigeria’s poverty rate if put together with China’s and India’s surpassed that of the two Asian countries. The number of citizens living in penury in India alone is far above the population of Nigeria. A Comprehensive Analysis of India’s poverty rate as presented by the World Bank revealed that over 270 million Indians were living below the national poverty line.
There was a video I watched last month in which Obi said that he handed over to his successor 72 billion naira in cash and 150 million dollars as Anambra State’s generational fund. I became skeptical when I realized that politics is a game that can be played in different ways. Then I embarked on research, and from my findings, I discovered that Peter Obi left office in 2015, with a domestic debt of 3 billion naira, and external debt of over 30 million dollars for his successor. So, how was leaving 75 billion naira possible when the state had domestic and external debts. In the last quarter of 2015, Peter Obi had a face-off with Willie Obiano and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), with the political party asking him to provide evidence that he left 75 billion naira in the state government’s coffers. He was also accused of contract liabilities. Indeed, Obi left a good debt record before handing over power to Obiano, but deceiving the public that he left behind such a huge amount of money wasn’t the right thing to do.
I haven’t also forgotten what he said about his 28-year-old son, Oseloka Obi at the Brekete Family Show. He said his son works in the United Kingdom, had no car, and has to earn to buy himself a car, but Obi’s son possessed a car which he got for himself. What was Mr. Peter Obi trying to insinuate here? What point was he trying to prove? Is he trying to be politically correct?
Whatever we say as prospective or aspiring political office holders in this digital era will never easily go into evanescence because there are people out there who for one or two reasons may be skeptical about us, and would always want to get their facts right about the candidates they are dealing with. Mr. Peter Obi needs to learn from this image-tainting act and retrace his steps.