By Olayinka Oyegbile
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election has faulted the claim by President Bola Tinubu that the country was bankrupt.
Speaking to journalists at the departure hall of the Akwa Ibom International Airport at the weekend, Obi said the president should not complain about the state of the economy because the government since its inauguration had not behaved like a nation in bankruptcy.
Pointing to the profligate like styles of government officials he asked, “You say you are bankrupt and you are hiring aircraft, is that the life of a bankrupt person? There is a lifestyle for bankruptcy.” He said the money spent to attend the last United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by the government was enough to lift the economy from the state of morass in which it is now. President Tinubu delegation to the last UNGA had reportedly spent over N390m on the one-week trip.
On the issue of empty treasury, the Labour Party candidate told Tinubu to stop complaining but rather bend down and work to reverse the trend. According to him, former President Muhammadu Buhari did the same by complaining about the state of the economy for eight years without doing anything about it.
He said, “Buhari told us that he met a bankrupt treasury. For eight years he didn’t improve on it. He made it worse. This government came in again and it is giving the same excuse. No, no, no… Tell us what you are going to do and where you are going, that is all,” adding that complaining and wringing of fingers cannot solve the enormous economic problems left behind by the Buhari administration.
Obi told the president, “Tell us this is where we are, and this where I want to take you to. Anybody who is campaigning for office should know it is not going to be an easy ride. If a company wants to hire a new MD you have to tell us how you will do it, you don’t get a job on a blanket platform”
He advised Tinubu to focus his attention on getting the job done, “If the one there before was doing well we won’t hire a new one. We didn’t hire you to come and tell us how bad things are. You must tell us how you intend to lift us out of it. That is the way it should be. We know it is bad, you tell us how you intend to lift it out of that bad situation.”
Tinubu had on May 28, 2023, on the eve of his inauguration told Nigerians not to pity him because he begged to be their leader and would discharge his duties as expected when sworn in. He had said, “We have corruption, insecurity and many problems confronting us… but don’t pity me. I asked for the job. I campaigned for it. No excuses. I will live up to expectations, I promise you.” Tinubu said.