Peter Obi’s comment as Anambra Governor that “education is not meant for the poor” continues to rankle as the presidential candidate of the Labour party intensifies his appeal to young Nigerians ahead of the 2023 contest.
Following a weekend declaration of his plan to purportedly “give Nigeria back to youths”, a comment that has drawn criticism as ‘dubious’ and a ploy to ‘hand Nigeria to IPOB’, the former Anambra Governor has faced fierce pushback from young Nigerians on social media, including Twitter, where several of his policies that negatively affected youths whilst in charge of Anambra have been highlighted.
Chigozirim, one of the young Nigerians who reacted on Twitter, dismissed Obi’s youth-friendly posture with a comment referencing his fee hike as Anambra Governor and glib justification that “education is not meant for the poor.”
He said: “The man who increased the Tuition fees of Anambra State University from 65,000 to 119,000 for Non-Professional Courses and 230,000 for Professional Courses. And when he was confronted, he said “Education is not for the Poor”
Similar reactions trailed Peter Obi’s comment, with some young indigenes of Anambra state recounting how his administration’s exclusive focus on profit extraction drove young residents of the state to the margins, unable to afford basic amenities.
Indeed, under Peter Obi, poverty rose in Anambra state from 20% in 2004 to 68% in 2010, marking a 238% deterioration according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In a popular OP-ED, incumbent Governor of the State, Prof. Soludo, described the effects of Obi’s management as “the democratization of poverty – mass impoverishment of the people of Anambra.”