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The presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has been accused of trying to induce Nigerians with foodstuffs and other items in order to vote him in as president in the coming elections.
This was as foodstuffs bearing his name, that of his vice-presidential candidate, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed, and the logo of his party were seen pasted on bags of rice and groundnut oil with the inscriptions, ‘Vote Obi/Datti 2023’, ‘Obi/Datti 2023’, amongst others.
The development attracted knocks across the board as some Nigerians accused Obi of hypocrisy.
Saturday PUNCH reports that Obi has a reputation for frugality and has a popular saying that he does not give ‘shi-shi’ (money) to anyone in achieving his political ambition to be president.
In a bid to mock political opponents who are accused of vote-buying and other forms of inducement, supporters of Obi, known as OBIdients also use the slogan, “We no dey give shi shi!”, which loosely translates to, “We don’t give bribe for votes”.
Reacting to the now viral photos, many Twitter users kicked against this, noting that Obi was just like the ‘old politicians’ he claimed to have come to dislodge.
Among them is a Twitter user, @StFreakingKezy who tweeted, sharing a photo of a large collection of LP-branded bags of rice, “Labour Party sharing rice?”.
Also reacting, @Akeemfadare, wrote, “People deceiving people. They are fake people. Everything about them is fake.”
Another user of the micro-blogging site, @Elvisgolden3, wrote in pidgin, “No be dem say dem wan raise the standard of campaigns?”
In reply to Elvis’ tweet, Tunde Musa-Ekene wrote in pidgin, “Rice no be shi shi naa!”, mocking the LP.
Although another Twitter user, @Sarki12r tried to protest Obi from the blame, noting that he (Obi) might not be aware of the packages, criticisms still poured in.
Also reacting, the spokesperson of the African Action Congress, Femi Adeyeye, told our correspondent that Obi was not any different from other ‘older and recycled politicians’.
Obi is not behind it – Campaign team
Reacting to this development, the Peter Obi Support Network, Mr Jones Onwuasoanya, noted that Obi did not sanction the move and did not have control over what Nigerians would do to win votes for him.
He said, “I have to restate that Peter Obi’s presidential campaign is a people-driven campaign. Obi does not need to give anybody anything before he is voted for. What he gives is the message of progress of Nigeria and making the country work for all Nigerians.”