The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, suspended his political campaign to visit the flood victims in Benue State. The two-term governor of Anambra State also donated N5 million to the victims of the devastating flood.
Pictures of the presidential candidate’s visit surfaced on social media with Mr. Peter Obi addressing the victims and sitting in a canoe during his visit to Daudu, Benue State.
Empathy or Politics
The announcement of the candidate’s visit has faced mixed reactions from the Nigerian public. While some, especially members of the opposition parties, heavily criticized Mr. Peter Obi for taking advantage of the victims’ situation for political gain, others have praised the former governor for being sympathetic to the suffering of the victims.
With many Nigerians divided on whether the presidential candidate’s actions were political or truly empathic, let’s consider his actions when he wasn’t vying for a political post.
In 2012, Peter Obi’s second tenure as the Anambra State governor, the East and Western part of the state faced a similar flooding incident. In response, the governor not only gave the flood victims relief materials, he also visited the flooded areas, walking through the flooded regions. He also led an on-site team to first hand plead with the victims to relocate to another location.
The big picture
The suspension of political campaigns by Mr Peter Obi to visit the flood victims is a big statement in the former governor’s political journey. He is also the first presidential candidate to take such steps.
What you should know
The last federal government report stated that the flood had displaced over 3 million people, killed about 603 people, drenched 340,000 hectares of land and destroyed over 82,000 houses. These figures show that food inflation is imminent as key agricultural-producing states are not left out.