Labor Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi has declared that Nigeria is under the control of the elite.

Obi made the claim Monday in his speech at London’s Chatham House.

The “alarming insecurity” in the most populous black nation has caused the loss of many lives and property, he noted.

Obi also noted the consequent decline in food and economic production in recent years.

He denounced an “immense trauma” that has compromised “the mental health of communities and has caused discontent with the Nigerian project.”

“The economy is in crisis with a worrying debt profile aggravated by the theft of oil in a proportion that is difficult to imagine.

“Two economic recessions in six years and a dismal energy sector significantly limit production and social life.

“The Nigerian state is in the grip of an elite gang and a rentier economy that concentrated power in the hands of those who came to influence primarily through their wiles rather than affirming the people,” he said.

The 51-year-old standard bearer stressed that such leaders do not have the incentive to serve the masses.

Obi accused politicians of exploiting ethnic and religious sentiments to rise to positions of authority.

He said: “The people in whose sentiments they seize power often become the main victims of such a political downfall which has turned Nigeria into a failed state with a worsening crisis of leadership.”

Nigeria has overtaken India as “home to the world’s largest group of absolute poor, even though they are seven times our population,” Obi fumed.

While India’s poverty rate is 16 percent, Nigeria’s is 63 percent, the LP candidate told the audience.

Noting that 133 million people are classified as multidimensionally poor, he said the “unacceptable” situation must change.