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Lagos-Calabar: I focus on constructive dialogue, inclusivity, rather than divisive politics— Peter Obi replies Umahi

…Says Umahi’s claims of inciting Igbos against FG baseless

 

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 election, Peter Obi said his “focus is on fostering constructive dialogue and inclusivity, rather than engaging in divisive politics.”

 

Obi stated this in a statement via his verified X handle on Thursday in response to the minister of works, David Umahi’s accusation that Obi was inciting people of the south-east against the federal government over the Lagos-Calabar coastal road project while speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Wednesday.

The LP presidential candidate described the allegation as a “baseless distraction,” intended to tarnish his character.

Umahi had said Obi implemented the demolition of structures for road infrastructure while he was governor of Anambra.

The former governor of Anambra however, said his “focus is on fostering constructive dialogue and inclusivity, rather than engaging in divisive politics.”

Obi said he would not reduce himself to the level of those who wallow in ethnic politics.

He stated, “Regarding allegations of incitement against the government, I firmly reject these unfounded accusations aimed at tarnishing my character.

“My focus is on fostering constructive dialogue and inclusivity, rather than engaging in divisive politics.

“Claims of incitement are baseless distractions. I have always advocated for unity and advancement, refusing to partake in reactionary divisive politics.

“Worse still, I have never and can never descend so low as to base my political aspirations on any sectional or ethnic interest.”

Obi has repeatedly criticised the federal government over the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Project, describing the project as a misplaced priority.

The federal government commenced the construction of the 700-kilometre Lagos-Calabar coastal road, which is expected to run through the shoreline of beach resorts in Lagos, while traversing eight other states.

The project has elicited controversy over funding, and the businesses that would be affected during construction.

The former Anambra governor said the “insensitive” demolition of structures for the project was “heart-wrenching”.

Reacting to demolition of structures, Obi said while he was governor, he clearly stated that all structures obstructing existing roads and lacking approval would be removed.

He challenged anyone to show evidence on whether the “demolished structures on existing roads or ongoing businesses were not encroaching on the road and built without government approval”.

Obi said it amounts to false equivalence to compare his actions as governor with the current Lagos-Calabar coastal road project.

He said, “I never proposed creating a new road that would disrupt existing structures.

“My actions were strategic, aiming to prioritise the repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure over projects that risked disruption and destruction.

“This approach aimed to safeguard the livelihoods of Nigerians and ensure the efficient use of resources,” he said.

 

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