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Grains from Ukraine: Ogunlesi to Peter Obi: You are a disinformation agent

Nigerian poet, journalist and blogger, Tolulope Ogunlesi, has knocked the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, for his alleged statement on social media following the recently donated 25,000 tonnes of wheat from the Ukraine Government as emergency food assistance to 1.3 million vulnerable, crisis-affected people in Nigeria’s northeastern region.

Obi had posted on his X handle that it is disheartening that a war-hit nation is now donating food to Nigeria.

According to Obi, while the gesture from Ukraine is laudable, it speaks volumes as to the failures of the Nigerian government to cater for its people.

He noted that this development underscores a national disgrace that “stems from years of leadership failure, necessitating urgent reflection and a reordering of our national priorities and resource management and allocation”.

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The former Anambra State Governor said this act of human solidarity testifies to a rare generosity of spirit of the people of Ukraine, one which obi says should earn them greater global solidarity.

He stressed that a situation like this emphasises vigorously the importance of sound political leadership as the first concrete requirement for any nation desiring to develop and enhance the standard of living of its citizenry.

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

Reacting to the statement, Ogunlesi said it is “disheartening that Peter Obi wants to make himself a disinformation agent by all means. 

“Distorting narratives, omitting crucial info, ignoring solutions.”

According to Ogunlesi, the said donation was an initiative of the United Nations Humanitarian Intervention specifically for the North East of Nigeria, which he noted that the LP candidate is aware of.

He advised Obi to fact-check before making any post, saying such a post would be making him an agent of disinformation or one that is playing ignorant politics with everything.

He wrote: “It is disheartening that @PeterObi wants to make himself a disinformation agent by all means. Distorting narratives, omitting crucial info, ignoring solutions.

“The WFP statement clearly says it’s a UN humanitarian intervention specifically for North East Nigeria which as you might know, is slowly emerging from a devastating insurgency (Thank you to the Nigerian Armed Forces etc for degrading BH and ISWAP).

“So, that grain is going directly to the most vulnerable people IN THE NORTH EAST. And the UN has been involved in humanitarian assistance in that region for many years now. It’s not new.

“The same UN and other parties provided substantial assistance to Anambra State after the devastating 2012 flooding – so I’m sure you, Mr Peter Obi, know what “humanitarian intervention” means. You were Governor then.

“Have a sit down with your Twitter handlers, endeavor to Google before posting, and stop playing ignorant politics with everything.

“At the same time as this donation is happening, Nigeria is getting set to harvest dry season wheat that was farmed in Nov 2023, in a program supported by the AfDB.

“It’s still early days, and there’s a long way to go, but if you want to talk about food security in Nigeria, and you cannot acknowledge the increasing focus on domestic wheat (and other grains) cultivation, then you’re merely a malicious political actor, seeking cheap attention on social media.

“Also, Google ‘Grain from Ukraine’ Initiative to better educate yourself https://mfa.gov.ua/en/grain-ukraine.

“Ukraine has historically been one of the world’s biggest grain exporters, and this thankfully manages to defy the Russian invasion. 

“Are there lessons Nigeria can learn? 

“Most definitely! 

“Is Nigeria making efforts to grow more grain? 

“Most definitely! 

“Thank you AfDB and other partners.”

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