Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has explained that he can never celebrate his birthday with the way things are in Nigeria.
He says he cannot celebrate his birthday with the current state of Nigeria in what he described as deplorable, with cases of killings and kidnappings.
Obi, who on Wednesday would mark his 62nd birthday, on Monday said that friends, members of the Labour Party and Obidient Family and supporters could visit hospitals, orphanages and homes for the aged and people with disabilities, and offer them such generous gifts to mark his birthday.
He lamented that within July alone, which is his birth month, over 200 people had been killed in sustained violent attacks in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, while in Benue State, over 100 people had been killed in recent times, with the latest being 27 persons killed in Adogo Ugbaam, Akpuuna and Diom communities in Ukum Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement on his Twitter page on Monday, the former Governor of Anambra State wrote, “Wednesday 19th July 2023, marks my 62nd Birthday. While I remain immensely grateful to God for His infinite mercies, I still maintain my decision of over 20 years, that I will not celebrate my birthdays in today’s Nigeria, with the current deplorable state of the nation.
“However, some friends, members of the Labour Party, and Obidient Family and supporters have asked how they can join me in celebrating that day, and even present some gifts.
“Let me humbly and respectfully appeal to all those who desire to celebrate me with any kind of gifts, to look around them and extend such gifts to the people in need, especially in these difficult times.
“I urge them to visit hospitals, orphanages, and homes for the aged and people with disabilities, and offer them such generous gifts. They can also visit schools of basic studies in remote areas and support them with the basic amenities they need.
“Those who wish to do more can visit various IDP camps in different parts of the country. I intend to do the same thing. Aside from sharing my time and resources with the less fortunate people around me, I plan to raise money for schools, hospitals, etc.
“I have already said that the sacrifices for a better Nigeria must now start from us, the leaders and the well-placed. The state of our nation must give us cause to pause and ponder. There is far too much insecurity, violence, and bloodshed.
“This month alone over 200 lives have been lost to sustained violent attacks in Mangu LGA in Plateau State. Similarly, in Benue State, over 100 lives have been lost in recent times, the latest being 27 persons killed in Adogo Ugbaam, Akpuuna, and Diom communities in Ukum LGA.
“There are also many other cases of kidnappings and killings in different parts of the country. I want to celebrate in a New Nigeria where the lives and properties of citizens will be secure. I want to celebrate in a productive Nigeria that can create opportunities for our youths.
“I want to celebrate in a Nigeria that works for all and which Nigerians can be proud of. This, and not my birthday, is the true celebration that will be beneficial to all Nigerians.
“As Nigerians, we must always expand our imagination of the possible, believing as we do that a New Nigeria is possible.”