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It’s embarrassing  —  Obi regards Ukraine’s food donation to Nigeria as national disgrace

Ukraine recently donated 25,000 tonnes of wheat as emergency food assistance to 1.3 million vulnerable, crisis-affected people in Nigeria's northeast.

Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, during post-election proceedings at the presidential election petition tribunal in Abuja. [Twitter:@AlwaysJayjam]

This is coming days after the Eastern Europe country donated 25,000 tonnes of wheat as emergency food assistance to 1.3 million vulnerable, crisis-affected people in Nigeria's northeast.

The food donation is said to be part of Ukraine’s humanitarian initiative launched by the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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In a series of tweets on Monday, March 4, 2024, Obi thanked Ukraine for helping Nigeria in the fight against hunger despite its political situation.

He said the country’s rare generosity was a demonstration of shared humanity, adding that the gesture should earn Ukraine greater global solidarity.

The former Governor of Anambra State, however, lashed out at the Federal Government over the current state of Nigeria’s economy.

He said it is disheartening that Nigeria which was once economically confident and “blessed with vast arable land and abundant natural resources, now relies on a war-torn Ukraine for food assistance.”

Obi linked the donation to years of leadership failure in Nigeria saying it’s embarrassing that Nigeria received food donations from a country with less population and land mass.

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He said, “This national disgrace stems from years of leadership failure, necessitating urgent reflection and a reordering of our national priorities and resource management and allocation.

“Instructively, Ukraine, with a population of 43 million on 603,728 km2, outshines Northern Nigeria, covering 744,249 km2 with a young, energetic population exceeding 100 million.

“In 2015, Ukraine’s GDP per capita was $2125, compared to Nigeria’s $2680. By 2022, despite being at war, Ukraine’s GDP per capita exceeded $4000, while Nigeria’s regressed to $2184.

“Ukraine cultivates over 60% of its arable land, whereas Nigeria has over 60% uncultivated arable land. Despite the conflict, Ukraine feeds itself, and exports agricultural products worth over $ 25 billion which is about the same value as our crude oil export earnings, and it serves as a strategic global food supplier, even providing aid to a peaceful yet unproductive Nigeria.”

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He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to aggressively invest resources in agriculture and address insecurity to enable farmers to return to their fields.

This according to him would reverse the current economic downturn and bring about productivity within four or five years.

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