Obi seems to be Poverty-Shaming the North, but is he? (

Obi seems to be Poverty-Shaming the North, but is he?

IN a series of tweets on April 18, Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi said, among other things, that he was committed to lifting people out of poverty and I remain committed to transforming Nigeria starting from the North to every part of the nation. This predictably rankled many northerners, particularly northern Muslims, who understood the tweet as a backhanded, stereotypical vilification of their region.

Why did Obi isolate the North for special focus in a tweet about poverty and the transformation of Nigeria

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), of the 133 million Nigerians who writhe in unspeakably stifling multidimensional poverty as of the end of last year, 86 million (which represents 65 percent) live in the North.

The North constitutes 54 percent of Nigerias population (and 70 percent of its landmass), so if the region makes up 65 percent of the nations poorest population theres clearly an imbalance.

Given that context, its reasonable that Obi chose to call attention to the poverty in the North, as he had done many times in the past, and to invoke it as the launching pad of his commitment to transform Nigeria. (Had he spotlighted the South, he might also have been accused of regional selfcenteredness)

But to expect all northerners to process Obi message the way I did is to have a limited understanding of human behaviours and motivations.


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