Infrastructure Comment: Peter Obi Carried Opposition Politics Too Far – Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has mocked 2019 Vice-Presidential candidate of PDP, Peter Obi over his controversial comment that President Muhammadu Buhari could not stimulate economic growth by building critical infrastructure.
In the latest installment of his weekly column, Adesina said that the premise of Obi’s assertions was faulty.
Adesina wrote: “Former Governor of Anambra State and running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, flew into the eye of the storm some days ago, when he said on the breakfast show of a television station that the Nigerian economy couldn’t be driven on infrastructure development.
“Mr Obi, my friend of many years, and member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) simply carried opposition politics too far, and got himself into a jumble. What did he spend eight years doing as Governor of Anambra State? Building and developing infrastructure to boost the economy of the state. If not infrastructure, then what? Why then did he say this? “You can’t use infrastructure to drive economic growth. You invest in education and the SME (Small, Medium Enterprises) sector instead to deal with poverty.”
“I think the successful businessman and former Governor got completely flummoxed, perplexed, bewildered and bemused, all in the process of trying to run down the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which has been doing great things in infrastructural development in the past six years.
“Obi said the thing was to invest in education and the SME. By Jove, where would education or SME be, without infrastructure?”
“And by the way, what is infrastructure?” Adesina asked before going on to answer his own question.
“The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities like buildings, roads, power supply, bridges, airports, and others, needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. How does education function without all these? And how do SMEs succeed without them?
“Our dear friend, Peter Obi got trapped in a labyrinth, became confused and confounded, all in the name of opposition politics,” he wrote.
He noted that even the Biden administration in America recognized the importance of infrastructural development to economic growth.
“President Buhari had always lamented the decay and collapse of infrastructure this administration inherited in 2015. No roads, no rail, no power (where is the power?), rickety airports, no bridges, nothing. And he said there couldn’t be development without infrastructure. So he set his sights on reversing the trend. Today, only cynics, skeptics and naysayers would deny the strides made in infrastructure: roads, bridges, rail, airports, pipelines, and many others. By 2022, when most of the massive infrastructural projects are commissioned, even the blind would see it, and the deaf would hear.
“While Peter Obi tries in vain to run down infrastructure (we forgive him; he got confused by petty politics), the American government under President Joe Biden has enunciated what it calls The American Jobs Plan. And what is it anchored upon? Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports, and transit systems. In fact, Kamala Harris, the American Vice President says; “Infrastructure is the foundation of a good economy. And when we invest in infrastructure, we create good jobs. That’s exactly what the American Jobs Plan will do.”
“Heck! I say heck again! What then was our Peter talking about? The Okute missed it, and missed it big time. That is what unbridled and virulent opposition does to an otherwise good man,” Adesina wrote.