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Peter Obi: Nigeria Sinking Like The Titanic But Leaders Still Living in Conspicuous Consumption 

Peter Obi: “The first thing you do as a leader who inherited a difficult situation is to lead by example.”

The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 Presidential Elections, Peter Obi, has said that the ongoing situation in Nigeria can be compared to the Titanic, as he said that Nigerian leaders, with their ostentatious lifestyles, are acting like the country is not going through difficulties.

The former Anambra governor said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday night, where he was discussing the state of Nigeria as the country celebrated Democracy Day, marking its 25th year practicing democracy on Wednesday.

Obi said, “The first thing you do as a leader who inherited a difficult situation is to lead by example, and it starts by your own style, your behaviour, your conduct, how you manage resources. You cannot say that things are difficult when you’re living in conspicuous consumption. 

“Nigeria today is the country with the highest amount of people without homes – over 24 million, yet you’re spending twenty-something billion to build a house for one person.”

The former presidential candidate compared Nigeria’s situation to the Titanic, as well as an airplane going through turbulence, as he said, “You’re supposed to show a clear plan, it is not enough to say we’re going to go through problems. If we’re going to go through problems, this is very simple. 

“You enter a plane, there is a bad weather, there’s going to be a turbulence. The pilot says, we’re going to go through bad weather, it’s going to take us maybe one hour, two hours because of this weather, and he follows it through. That is not the time- in that bad weather, everybody, even the crew, are asked to sit down. That’s not the time to start serving food and wine and everything when everything is up and down.

“I always say what happened to the Titanic is what is happening in Nigeria. While it was going down, people on the upper deck were busy dancing until the whole thing collapsed, that’s what is happening now. We should change and do things rightly. We can change and manage corruption and everything and all that.”

When he was asked what he believes should be done, Obi then said, “You start by living like somebody who is coming through difficulty, who is facing difficulty, who wants to change things. That’s how we do it. You don’t engage in what we’ve been doing- buying vehicles, partying and everything as if things are normal when you say there is difficulty. You need to deal with the issue of cutting the cost of governance, that’s where you start. You need to deal with the issue of massive corruption.”

He also mentioned, “I’ve served in a system where I came in and found that things are bad, and we start by cutting the cost of governance.”

“The role of a leader is not to remind people of the past or mention the past or think about the past. Your role is to show the path by doing things that are right. Change starts from you, by you if you decide to walk the right path, that’s how it starts,” Obi added.

He was then asked if he believes his popularity has increased since the last election, to which he replied, “Mine is to continue interacting and being part of the process of building a new Nigeria that is possible, because we can’t go on this way. We’re heading into a disaster, we must do things rightly.

“Like I always said, I’m not desperate to be president, I’m desperate to see Nigeria work, and work for the poor people of Nigeria. The system has been very uncaring for the people of Nigeria, and we must succeed. Work where we have to remove this criminalised system, corruption that we the politicians have unleashed on the country and make it better.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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