By Vincent Ujumadu
THE presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the 2023 general elections and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has urged Nigerians to vote for him, noting that he is a competent Nigerian who has the capacity to pull the country out of the mess it had found itself.
Speaking in an Arise News Television interview monitored in Awka, Obi wondered why politicians should be emphasizing on where a candidate hailed from, instead of facing the real issues, which are the monumental problems confronting the nation.
Referring to a comment made during an earlier interview by the candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso where he said Igbo were on the lower ladder of Nigerian politics, Obi said: “People often downplay the efforts needed to find solutions to the country’s problem.
“My candidacy is meant to solve those problems and to stop referring to the issue of lower ladder and upper ladder, which is what brought us to where we are.
“Kwankwaso admitted in his interview that I, Obi is competent because of my knowledge of the economy and the question is why then does he want to have someone who has knowledge of the economy to be vice president and not the president?.
“You want to use people who should be on the reserve bench to start the match when the person who is the better player is left out”.
According to Obi, “It is because people don’t have jobs and means of livelihood that they are pushed into criminality and agitation. We will assemble young, sharp people who will be able to face the challenges we are facing today. We will be concerned with cutting cost to be able to pull Nigeria out of poverty. So if everybody is saying that I am competent to handle the economy, that means I should be the one to be president because the problem of Nigeria is the economy”
On the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Obi said he has never been involved in sponsoring any agitation, recalling that in 2007, Ihe made a comment and said the agitations were as a result of leadership failure over the years that failed to address critical areas of development.
He added: “If I am in power, I will deal decisively with all agitations by offering truthful leadership.
“I never discriminated against any section of the country when I was the Governor of Anambra State. As Governor, all the Police Commissioners that worked with me were from the North and two were even from Kano. “My ADC is from Kano and I didn’t give them any order to deal with their people in Anambra State as alleged.”
Obi said the person shown marching on the Nigerian flag abroad is not his son, saying, “my son is a busy professional. He is consumed by his work and does not have time for such a thing. Besides, that thing happened in Germany and my son is in UK and I can bet any amount for anybody to prove that it was my son they saw. That person is shorter than my son”.
On the issue of vice presidential candidate of his party, Obi stated: “We are talking to a number of people and people are mentioning Senator Datti Ahmed. He is well qualified and I wish he is the one because it is people like him that I actually want.
“I want to work with somebody who is much younger, who has ideas, instead of recycling ourselves and claiming that it is our turn and all that.
“Apart from Senator Ahmed, we are talking with few others. I want somebody who can be bold to say Mr. President you are wrong because I don’t know everything. That is what we need to save this country. I want to know whether we are cursed or that we are the cause”.
Obi said he would review the controversial subsidy, arguing that “we cannot continue to spend that kind of amount when education is suffering.
“So we have to look at subsidy critically and decide whether to remove it to use the money to solve other necessary problems, like education and security.
“I have always said that subsidy is scam. We have so many scammers all over the place, including cost of governance. I am a businessman and I know how to remove bottlenecks to cut cost.
“We want Nigerians to be proud of this country. Why are we here basing everything on ethnicity, religion, or it is my turn?.
“I want it to be turn of all Nigerians so that our youths will take back their country and I will help them to repair it because Nigeria is at a brink. We want to assemble a Nigerian movement that everybody can be proud of”