Learn From Kenyan Experience, Obi Charges Nigerian Leaders

By Jonathan Okpanachi

Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Sunday, charged political leaders in the country to learn from the recent experience of Kenyan and demonstrate true leadership by listening to the citizens.

Recall that protesters stormed the parliament of Kenya over a new bill to increase taxes. Kenya’s President William Ruto under 24 hours announced tax reforms after mass protests turned violent a day earlier, leaving 23 people dead, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

Obi, via his X-handle on Sunday, said, “We, the Nigerian political leaders, should take a strong lesson from the recent Kenyan experience. When the Kenyan public realized that their government was not making sufficient sacrifices and prioritizing resources effectively, they spoke out, demanded change, expressed their dissatisfaction, and protested.

“In response, the president demonstrated true leadership by listening to the people’s demands and acting accordingly, recognizing that government should be driven by the needs of the citizens, not by our own consumption agenda.”

He said the government took immediate measures to reduce unnecessary expenditure and demonstrate fiscal responsibility, including canceling budgets for the First Lady and Second Lady’s offices, dissolving 47 state agencies.

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The former Anambra State governor said Kenya also suspended non-essential travels for government workers, freezing the purchase of new cars for officials, and reducing the number of advisers by half.

Quoting him, “Another notable instance was when the president was accused of chartering a plane to America. Instead of dismissing the concerns, he responded transparently and addressed the issue.”

Obi said Ruto’s acknowledgment of the people’s demands exemplifies responsive governance, adding that, “In contrast, we, the Nigerian leaders, often arrogantly do the opposite to genuine grievances of our suffering citizens. Instead of addressing legitimate concerns, and being accountable to the people, we resort to using public funds to pay media thugs to insult and abuse those who speak truth to power.

“We, the Nigerian leaders, must abandon these detrimental habits, stop the feasting, and start making sacrifices for the greater good of our suffering masses.”

According to him, “True change and progress will require leaders who are sincere, willing to listen, act responsibly, and prioritize the welfare of the people over personal or political interests.

“If we make the necessary changes and make the needed sacrifices, a new Nigeria is possible!”

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