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Fact-checking Peter Obi’s comment everyone would rather starve than he borrow for consumption

Claim: A Twitter user quoted presidential aspirant, Peter Obi, as saying he will rather everyone starve than to borrow for consumption 

Our findings show presidential aspirant, Peter Obi, said he would rather everyone starve than borrow for consumption. 

Full Text

Peter Obi, a former governor, is  seeking to become Nigeria’s president under the flagship of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was the vice presidential candidate of the party in the 2019 general elections. 

Recently, a Twitter user, Jack (@Jack_ng01), shared a post with the claim that Peter Obi said he would rather people starve than borrow for consumption.

 “Under my watch not a Kobo will be borrowed for consumption, instead we all starve,” he was quoted as saying.

The user attached to his post a screenshot of a video on Arise News where this claim was said to have been made by the aspirant.  

Screenshot of the Twitter post

Other users took to the comment to share their opinion.  

A user named Comcombility (@A_zhed) noted that no country exists without borrowing. 

“He has also said no country exists without borrowing and in fact, Nigeria can still borrow more. However, what is most important is what borrowed funds are used for,” he tweeted. 

Another user Austyno (@AustynoUsh) noted that the quote extracted didn’t do justice to the point the aspirant made. 

“You make it look like he would starve people but he was actually coming from somewhere,” @AustynoUsh commented. 

Francis Eze (@francisneze) questioning the rationale of borrowing to eat said the aspirant is not against borrowing but borrowing for consumption.

“He’s not against borrowing. But he’s against borrowing for consumption. Do you borrow money from people to just eat? How do you pay them back after using it to eat?”

Did Peter Obi actually say this or was he taken out of context as suggested by some in the comments section?

Verification

We searched and found the original video shared on Arise News. This video with the caption “we need someone to get us out of this (APC) – Peter Obi” had 110,000 views as of Tuesday, April, 19, 2022. 

Watching the 38 minutes 15 seconds video, we observed that around 13 minutes to 16 minutes into the video, Mr Obi spoke on borrowing for consumption when asked if everything was okay with Nigeria’s debt status. 

“Let us be specific about what we are borrowing; he asked me a question, what will you do? I will do it differently. Nigerians will know the reasons for borrowing and it must be borrowed for production. Nobody will spend a kobo or a dollar of borrowed money for consumption, instead we will all starve. That is why I told everybody there is nothing to share again, we must rebuild this country for the future of our children. 

Screenshot of the YouTube video. 

Conclusion 

Our findings show the claim that presidential aspirant, Peter Obi, said he would rather everyone starve than borrow for consumption is true. The aspirant made this comment to emphasise his opposition against borrowing for consumption, which he believes is not good for the economy.

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