•Says: ‘We can move Nigeria from money-sharing to producing country’
By Vincent Ujumadu & Dennis Agbo, Awka
PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, presidential aspirant and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has painted a gloomy picture of the situation in Nigeria, warning that the country was dangerously going down hill, but assured that he has what it takes to fix it if elected the next president of the country.
Obi, who addressed Anambra delegates and other stakeholders in Awka as part of his ongoing consultations across the country ahead of the PDP presidential primaries, regretted that emphasis among Nigerians has been to share, rather than emphasizing on production before sharing.
He said: “JP Morgan, an international organization, has said that Nigeria is no longer an investment destination despite her enormous economic potentials. Nigeria is going down and mine is to warn the delegates while making their choice during the primaries to do the right thing.
“I am committed to this project and I know that I have what it takes to turn the country around for the better.
“I have gone to all parts of the country and found out that the people are suffering so much. If I become president, we will emphasize more on production formula than the present situation of sharing formula. All we do in this country is share and share, with less emphasis on production.
“I am optimistic that the country can be fixed and it needs someone who is equipped like me to fix it. Among all those aspiring to contest in all the parties, no one is more equipped and qualified than me”.
He reminded the stakeholders that Anambra is a PDP state, adding that the state must take its rightful place in the party, not minding the present problems in the state branch.
“My appeal is that we should go to the primaries as a family as all eyes would be on Anambra delegates”, he told them.
He also urged the delegates to receive all the aspirants coming to campaign in the state well as all of them are in the market shopping, adding that he is not in enemity with anybody.
Also addressing the gathering, the director general of his campaign organization, Doyin Okupe said it would be sheer wickedness to deny Igbo the presidency in 2023, arguing that the country would be lucky to have Peter Obi as president of Nigeria.
According to him, many notable Yoruba people hold the same view and are working hard to ensure that an Igbo man becomes the next president.
He added: “Those parading themselves in Yoruba land ought to understand the meaning of equity. I recall that Igbo people unanimously voted for MKO Abiola in what had been adjudged the freest election in Nigeria.
“Though I am eminently qualified to contest, I cannot because I know it is the turn of Igbo and that Peter Obi is more qualified to occupy the position.
“Peter is the best among those who are coming from the East and he is better than all others that are aspiring to be president.
“This man has gone around the world seeking knowledge and he is the most imminently qualified to lead this country”.
After the interaction, the Anambra delegates passed a resolution urging other Igbo presidential aspirants to step down for Obi so that the South East would go to the primaries as a united body to present their best.
The motion was moved by Chuba Oranusi, a former member of the State House of Assembly.
We can move Nigeria from money-sharing to producing country
Mr. Peter Obi also reiterated that it is possible for Nigeria to move from a country where money is literally being shared to a country of productivity.
He cited examples of counties, even in Africa, that have far smaller land mass and lesser population, even when they are non oil-producing countries, that have better productivity outputs than Nigeria.
Obi spoke yesterday on Arise Tv Morning Show where he was interviewed by a panel of top journalists that included a former Presidential Adviser, Mr.Ruben Agbati.
He stated that fixing power in Nigeria was not a rocket science, but a concerted effort that involves fidelity to utilisation of fund even if the funds are borrowed.
Obi disclosed that the late Prime Minister of Nigeria, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa was the first to borrow money to build Kanji dam, stressing that the country can still borrow and invest it well than share the borrowed money.
On education, he stated that his first, second and third love were education, disclosing that women do better than men when educated. “The country must invest in education,” he insisted.
On corruption, Obi said: “Aspirants are paying 100, 000 dollars but they don’t have tax clearances. This is a country where a house of Assembly member shares cars that a professor cannot afford to buy and they will say the politican is doing well.”
Obi said he believes that the time lag for primaries set by the Independent National Election Commission, INEC, was too small.
“There should be enough time to investigate aspirants. Campaign funds should also be investigated, same as sharing of money,” he stated.