The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has decried the rise in the poverty rate in the country.
A recent National Multidimensional Poverty Index Report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that at least 63 percent (133 million) of Nigerians now live in abject poverty due to a lack of access to health and education facilities as well as unemployment.
The survey was the largest in the country with 56,610 people sampled in 109 senatorial districts in the 36 states of the country.
Obi, who reacted to the report in a post on his Facebook page on Friday, blamed the development on chronic leadership failure.
The former governor of Anambra State challenged Nigerians to seize the opportunity provided by the 2023 elections to reject greedy leaders mismanaging the country’s resources.
He wrote: “The trending of multidimensional poverty if not arrested immediately will damage state capacity and effectiveness and therefore disarray economic and social policies that will reverse the trend in the future.
“If we combine atrocious fiscal decline with grand and pervasive corruption and the level of incompetence of public leadership to such generalized poverty, we will end up a completely collapsed state, thrown back to state of nature.
“How on earth is it that 63 percent of Nigerians do not have access to the most basic sanitation and nutrition? How come 63 percent of our citizens cannot approach a clinic or health center within two hours?
“It is now time to end politics as usual, time to disband the army of greedy and self-serving politicians in Abuja and elect those who are connected to the people and those who share the pains and deprivations of the working and unemployed youths, abandoned women and deprived children across Nigeria.
“I will disrupt this trajectory of failure and wickedness in high places across Nigeria and give Nigerians back their country so that every child will have access to good schools, good drinking water, good sanitation, good health care, and their parents good jobs and the joy of being a citizen of a country that is lifting millions from poverty into shared prosperity.
“If China lifted 750 million from poverty in about 20 years and if India reduced poverty from 50 percent to 20 percent in about 15 years, we could do even better.
“We can wipe off multidimensional poverty in less than a decade. Let’s do it together, let us end the corruption and incompetence with our votes.”