The Nigerian Presidency has launched a scathing rebuke against the Labour Party presidential candidate from the February presidential election, Peter Obi, accusing him of nursing “unhealthy post-election trauma” and aiming to undermine President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
The reaction came in response to Obi’s critique of budgetary allocations for the Vice President’s residence and Nigeria’s delegation to the climate change summit in Dubai. Stanley Nkwocha, the spokesperson to the Vice President, denounced Obi’s remarks as self-serving and politically motivated.
Nkwocha highlighted Obi’s comments, where he alleged that the current administration sponsored over 1,400 delegates to Dubai for COP28 and criticized the proposed N15.5 billion budget for renovating the Vice President’s residence.
He dismissed these statements as attempts to deceive the public and score political points.
In a strongly worded statement, Nkwocha clarified that the renovation project for the Vice President’s residence was initiated in 2010 under the Jonathan administration but had been abandoned.
He emphasized that the decision to revive the project was not instigated by the Vice President but by the present FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, who saw it as wasteful to leave a substantial government-funded project in a derelict state.
Nkwocha invited discerning Nigerians to objectively assess what constitutes wastefulness, pointing out that the government’s move to revitalize abandoned projects demonstrates a commitment to responsible governance.
Additionally, Nkwocha drew attention to Obi’s tenure as Governor of Anambra State, where the completion of abandoned projects was prioritized.
He questioned the disparity in views, highlighting that Obi’s actions then were not criticized as wasteful, unlike the current administration’s efforts.
The Presidency’s reaction underscored a defensive stance against Obi’s criticisms, portraying them as misguided attempts to disparage the government’s initiatives while highlighting the proactive steps taken to address incomplete and abandoned projects.
The verbal sparring between political figures sheds light on the ongoing tension within Nigeria’s political landscape, with criticisms and counter-criticisms becoming a hallmark of the post-election period.