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Umahi accuses Obi of inciting Igbos, uninformed people against Tinubu’s govt



Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has accused former Anambra State Governor and presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 presidential, Peter Obi, of inciting the Igbo people and other uninformed Nigerians against the administration of President Bola Tinubu over his (Obi’s) stance against the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway.

Umahi who made the allegations on Wednesday while speaking during the flag off of compensation for owners of property affected by the highway project, claimed that Obi did not have the interest of the country at heart and would not fight for the people after getting them into trouble.

Obi has been vociferous in condemning the multi-billion dollars project as well as the demolition of properties along the corridor to pave way for work to commence.

In a series of tweets on X on Tuesday, Obi had labelled the 700-kilometre coastal highway project a misplaced priority that will deepen poverty and loss of livelihoods of Nigerians with the demolition of people’s businesses.

He also expressed his sadness that the demolition was being carried out at a time Nigerians were reeling under the yoke of poverty and hunger as a result of the poor policies and implementation by President Tinubu’s administration.

“Contrary to the dictates of reason and the necessity for compassion in the pursuit of public policy, the federal government has kicked off the controversial Lagos-Calabar coastal highway,” Obi had written.

“The outcry against this project has been overwhelming because it contrasts with the prevailing situation in the country at this time.

“The sight of this insensitive demolition is, for me, heart-wrenching. As we watch this tragic theatre, livelihoods are being wiped away. Lifetime investments are being laid to waste while jobs are evaporating as the bulldozers roar. Habitations of the aged are being overturned by bulldozers of power.

“This hasty flag-off is in utter defiance of widespread outcry by the public especially business and property owners whose investments are directly affected by this project. No one knows the outcry that will herald this project as it progresses towards poor rural landscapes.

“Thousands of jobs are about to be wiped out while in one case investments above $200 million are about to be lost. Over 100,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector face clear and instant extinction,” he added.

But while reacting to Obi’s criticism, Umahi condemned the LP chieftain for taking the stance against the project, and accused Obi of going around to condemn people, thereby bringing judgment upon himself.

“It brings to some of the comments made by my brother, his Excellency Mr Peter Obi, I am not supposed to comment about it because some people have already done the work,” the former Ebonyi State Governor said.

“And I know what Arise Television brought courtesy of Channels Television, they were bringing similar scenarios when His Excellency Peter Obi was the governor.

“He made a statement saying ”Any infrastructure that stands in the way of the road must go. And there would be no compensation paid.” That’s what he said.

“But look at me, by the human face of the renewed hope agenda administration, we are even paying for people who are illegally staying on the coastal line, and don’t have valid infrastructure and valid documents.

“That is mercy, that’s mercy… You know some people darken counsel without knowledge. You know there’s the devil in the details.

“When you condemn people, you bring judgment upon yourself. And that is what Obi has done.

“And I think he’s inciting some of the south east people that are not well informed. He is inciting them. And gets them into trouble. And he doesn’t go to fight for them. Wisdom is a defence. And I want our people to have wisdom because I am involved.

“There’s is no inhumanity meted to Landmark, that matter should be buried because I was there. And so we fought everything possible. Even some people donated property to save his two big infrastructures. That’s appreciation. But some people have taken sides along with him to play politics,” he added.

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