A founding member of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George has condemned the decision of the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to take his campaign train to Edo State amid the ravaging flood that has displaced 12 communities in the state.
Speaking on Channels TV’s ‘Sunday Politics’ monitored by HotNewsInNaija, George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP noted that he wondered the kind of leader the major opposition party’s presidential candidate plans to become if he’s elected president in 2023.
The one-time military governor of Ondo State was asked about his opinion on the call by the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, that all presidential candidates should suspend their campaigns and respond to the current flooding said to have affected more than 2 million people in 34 of Nigeria’s 36 states. It has also resulted in the death of 600 people and the partial or total destruction of over 200,000 houses, UNICEF gathered.
Atiku, a two-time former vice president who has contested and lost presidential elections and primaries since 1993, campaigned in Edo State on Saturday.
Although Atiku announced the suspension of his campaign after the Edo rally, George feels it was insensitive for him to have campaigned in the state in the first place.
During the programme, Bode George, member, PDP Board of Trustees said “if you are campaigning to win the hearts and minds of the Nigerian people, anything that would disrupt their state of mind should be your major concern.
“Because if you are going out campaigning, all you are telling people is trust me, I will manage the resources and the crisis of this country for your benefit. Once you have a major concern, an environmental disaster of this level, it calls to reason that people should be emphatic, people should show some concern for the lives and properties of the people they are wooing.”
Speaking on Obi’s call, the PDP Chieftain said, “I agree that suspending a campaign for one or two days and seeing how much you can contribute physically, financially, morally to further strengthen the belief of the people that we have good managers, who could run this country for them.
“I would advise them (the PDP) to do the same (as Obi), because if we are going out and we’re trying to woo the hearts and minds of the people, anything that would destroy their perfect state of mind should also be our major concern. It makes a lot of sense both political and also spiritual. You know, you cannot close your eyes and pretend that you didn’t know what is happening…this terrible effect on the lives of our people.
“I will plead with our party, the managers, to please suspend it (campaigns) and also key in morally, the contribution to NEMA, whatever advice they will give those in government and do something so that it would be impactful on the mindset that this party has so much sympathy and concern not only to take their votes, but to give something back to them.
Criticizing Atiku further, the 76-year-old said leadership is not about taking from the people but the ability to identify the people’s pain points and solve them.
“And you know politics, as against politricks, is defined as the management of the resources of the land for the benefit of the people and the management of crises that alleviate their suffering is also part of what is different as politics.
“Everything out of this premise is called politricks. So, don’t just keep telling them, vote for me, vote for me. They are in crisis. Most of them have lost their properties. They’ve lost their homes.
“You are not showing any major concern. What kind of human being, what kind of leader do you want to be?
“All you want is the icing on the cake and forget about them. These are the same people you are going to ask “please trust me, come and vote for me on voting day”. They’ve lost a lot of their properties. Some people have even died. It’s a major concern for God’s sake. Our party that I know, because I was part of the management for 10 years, would have been at the forefront, trying to appease to the people.”
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