Tinubu Faces Backlash from Atiku, Labour Party Over Poverty Remarks


President Bola Tinubu has acknowledged the widespread poverty and suffering in Nigeria, asserting that the country is not alone in facing such challenges. He urged against the vandalism of rail tracks and theft of electric cables, calling these actions sabotage. Speaking in Lagos while receiving a delegation from the National Assembly on Eid-el-Kabir, Tinubu stressed the need for a new value system and productive economic strategies during difficult times.

Tinubu stated, “Yes, there is poverty; there is suffering in the land. We are not the only people facing such, but we must face our challenges. We must find a way to eliminate banditry and terrorism so that farmers can bring out food from the farmlands.”

He further emphasized the importance of good infrastructure, saying, “If you do not have good roads to bring the food to the population, even if you grow the food and you are losing 60-70 percent to damage, you will pay the price.”

Tinubu’s comments, however, drew sharp criticism from former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party (LP). They accused him of making excuses for the economic hardships and multidimensional poverty afflicting Nigerians.

Criticisms from Atiku and Labour Party
Atiku Abubakar, through his Special Adviser Paul Ibe, criticized Tinubu’s administration for failing to address the root causes of poverty. He remarked, “The poverty in Nigeria is multi-dimensional. It was exacerbated by the policies of the Tinubu administration that did not prioritize production and cutting costs. Tinubu’s trial-and-error policies have continued to dig the country deeper into economic degradation.”

Similarly, LP’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, expressed disappointment with Tinubu’s statements. Ifoh said, “It is disheartening to hear Mr. President mock his citizens by saying Nigerians are not the only ones facing poverty. This administration needs to be reminded that it was elected to reduce, if not eliminate, poverty, hunger, and disease.”

National Assembly’s Support
Despite the criticisms, Tinubu commended the National Assembly for their support, highlighting the collaborative efforts to tackle the nation’s challenges. Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who led the delegation, expressed confidence in legislative measures to improve Nigeria’s business environment.

After the meeting, Tinubu met with the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, to further discuss the nation’s progress.

As Nigerians continue to grapple with economic hardships, the debate over Tinubu’s policies and their impact on poverty remains a focal point in the nation’s political discourse.

Mike Ojo

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