Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, stirred anger with his public endorsement of the botched naira redesign policy of the CBN causing hardship with the resultant scarcity of the currency sparking protests in banking halls and parts of the country.
Obi expressed support for the widely-criticized policy with a public statement urging Nigerians to accept the CBN’s rushed timeline for the implementation of the currency change even in the face of long queues for the new notes due to poor circulation.
His statement drew backlash as Nigerians criticised him for alleged desperation to preserve ties with destructive forces in the nation’s ruling class, despite pretentious claims as the ‘man of the people’.
Adewale Mutiu, a resident of Oyo state where public protests have been staged over the policy, said it was “irritating to see a so-called man of the people voice support for a policy that has affected businesses and prevented the poor from being able to access their meagre savings or even purchase food.”
Another Nigerian called Obi “an agent of confusion” and a “selfish man” with claims that his support for the “evil policy” reveals him as a “hypocrite who cares only about himself and his presidential ambition, not the feeling of the masses.”
Others highlighted Obi’s status as a ranking billionaire who is detached from the public and cannot reasonably empathize with them.
“The chief importer and exporter surely doesn’t know how ordinary Nigerians are feeling, hence his support for the CBN nonsense. Although he feeds the public with lies about having one shirt, he flies around in a private jet and hired choppers, and owns one of the banks frustrating the efforts to circulate the naira, so he can access millions in a day if he wants,” Chukwuma, another Nigerian, said.
“I wasn’t surprised to hear him back that policy. I just hope that it will finally open the eyes of Nigerians to the conman who postures as one thing but is actually another.”
“He wants to unite Nigeria but he divided Anambra into a warring field of Catholics and Anglicans; he says old people should not be allowed to rule but he defended Atiku in 2019 by saying that age is irrelevant in leadership; he says he is the best man for the job but cannot produce his records as Anambra governor. This man is a liar and a pretender, and Nigerians are best advised to reject him,” he concluded.