Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga

last updated Thu, Feb 2, 2023 4:38 PM

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2 mins read

Peter Obi's 'I didn't know Abuja had IDP camps' statement sparks reactions

By Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
| Updated 16:38 02/02/2023
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As Nigeria's February 25, 2023, presidential election draws nearer, political parties, their followers, and candidates are busy visiting the nook and cranny of the country, soliciting votes and support from eligible Nigerian voters. 

But Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party or LP, is doing something different. He is visiting the camps of internally displaced persons or IDPs amid campaigns. 

Yesterday, February 1, he visited the IDP camp in Wassa, a suburb of Abuja, the federal capital city. 

In the past several years, IDP camps have sprung up across Nigeria due to flooding, communal clashes and other forms of insecurity that have continued to displace thousands, including children.

A 46-second video a Twitter user, @NKEM #PeterObi2023, shared showed Obi being welcomed to the camp in Wassa by IDPs. 

However, this Wassa visit was not the first time Obi visited IDP camps. In the past several months, he visited the camps of people displaced by flooding and insecurity in Kogi, Benue, Bayelsa, Rivers and Anambra states.

Those visits have endeared him to many electorates, especially youths, who believe his actions show that he empathizes and identifies with victims and the suffering population.

Perhaps the February 1 visit is different because the election in which he is one of the major contenders is just three weeks away. Other contenders are busying themselves with hot campaigns across the 36 states, and many expect Obi to do the same and consider visiting IDPs later.

In the video, Obi said, “security of life and property of the people is our number one priority, and we must deal with it decisively because these people must go back to their respective homes.”

However, Obi cut controversy when he said in the video that he did not know Abuja had IDP camps. 

"I didn't know Abuja had IDP camps till today; it's shocking. This is a failure of governance, and Nigerians cannot reward APC by re-electing them again in 2023," he said.

His statement has generated reactions on social media resulting in the video being retweeted 2,168 times and liked 5,665 times. While some users expressed shock at Obi's ignorance, like him, others are surprised that Abuja has IDP camps. They blame the ruling All Progressives Congress for failing to secure Nigerians.

"Abuja has IDP camps? Same Abuja the president leaves in?" one user, @emmarnoel, wrote.

"I have been in Abuja for more than 30 years… I never knew Abuja had an IDP camp… like seriously… I never knew the name Wassa in FCT. It's a pity that for the past eight years, the government of APC couldn't do anything to remove them and rehabilitate them… omg… I feel pain," another user, @Princefaith85, wrote.

Another user wrote: "Abuja has many IDP camps… Wassa, behind games village, around Kubwa, and a lot of small clusters of them scattered around the FCT." 


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