The candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, has taken a swipe at President Bola Tinubu over a viral video of his long convoy following his arrival in Lagos from Europe on Wednesday.
Obi’s comment comes amid the outrage being expressed by Nigerians over the large convoy of President Tinubu during a recent visit to Lagos State.
He spoke on Thursday at St. Faith Cathedral, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Awka, during the burial of the late Dean Emeritus of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Maxwell Anikwenwa, who died at 83.
He said leaders who ask followers to sacrifice for a better Nigeria must also lead by example.
According to him, there was a need to cut down on the cost of governance, which has always been his position about governance.
Obi, who said he had not seen the viral video of the motorcade, spoke like many other critics of the president on the same matter, describing it as absurd.
He said: “I have not seen the video you talked about, but let me tell you what I have always said: that present Nigeria requires that all those who serve and lead must do so by example.
“The behaviour, character, and public conduct of those who serve must be in consonance with what society requires today. You cannot continue to preach to the people to sacrifice without sacrificing.
“The sacrifice must start with the leaders, visibly, measurably at all times, because the people are suffering and we must all be at the forefront of the suffering.”
Obi, while speaking on the life of the late Archbishop Anikwenwa, said: “He is not just a pastor of God, but a great Nigerian who contributed to this country beyond his pastoral work in building a better Nigeria.
“He is involved in advocating for a better Nigeria, good governance, and others. He was a great Nigerian and a great Igbo man, and I am not surprised about the number of people at [this] burial ceremony today.”
A statement from the Obi-Datti media organization, which was signed by Diran Onifade, pointed out that not since the creation of Nigeria by the British has such a mindless and embarrassing exhibition been purveyed by a politician.
“Not even the military known for their brash and unbridled display of raw naked power dared to exhibit such recklessness.
“The present Nigeria requires that all those who serve and lead must do so by example. Their behavior and their public conduct must be in consonance with what society requires today.
“We cannot continue to preach for the people to sacrifice without sacrificing, too. The sacrifice must now start from the leaders, visibly, measurably at all times because the people are suffering; and we must now be at the forefront of the suffering,” the campaign organisation said.
Obi’s call for sacrifice by Nigerian leaders comes about two weeks after Tinubu in a Democracy Day address on June 12, 2023, called on Nigerians to sacrifice more in the wake of the removal of subsidy on petrol by the federal government, which had not only pushed the cost of petrol up but equally led to skyrocketing prices of goods and services.