By Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI – A massive crowd, yesterday, shut down Imo State, to welcome the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who started his South-East presidential rallies in the state.
The campaign rally was at the Kanu Nwankwo Sports Stadium located at the back of the Imo State University.
Labour Party supporters, motorists, and residents trooped to the venue in solidarity with Obi’s presidential ambition.
Before the show at the stadium, a drama played out at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, where Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and Obi, arrived simultaneously at 1.30p.m., and were locked in a warm embrace, exchanging pleasantries.
They had discussions, whispering to each other, laughed heartily, and walked side by side as they left the airport, a move that electrified the polity. Speaking at the rally, Obi said: “We will change Nigeria to become a country where people will have jobs and where young people with energy will be part of governance in the country. Also, my government will sit down with lecturers and negotiate, so that anything that has to do with strikes is completely eradicated.
“The education and health sectors are part of the ways to know a developed country and a non-developed country. We are going to invest in education to move the country forward. We are not here to make fake promises. Our administration will ensure that Imo State will export both palm oil and cassava as part of our plans to have a production economy and not a consumption economy.
“We assure Imo people that we would come back to Imo, any programme we are doing, we will do it from here. The Imo government receives a statutory allocation from Abuja, to the tune of N70 billion to NN80 billion. Some states even receive more than that from the Federation Account. “Imo State has great potential. Imo State can export palm oil, they have Adapalm, they can export petroleum, we will go back to agriculture, our people can no longer be hungry.
“We assure you that we will export oil from Imo, we will prioritise export, and we will make sure that young people who have energy participate in running the government.
“My deputy was a senator, he did not steal money, go and verify, that is why we are tired of those people in government stealing money.”
On insecurity, he said: “I will stop insecurity, vote for our candidates in all the positions, we will help repair Imo State and end insecurity.”
Earlier in his remark, the Vice Presidential Candidate, Dr. Yusuf Datti Ahmed, said: “There is no other name that rings a bell in the ears of northerners than Obi because of his capacity and competence. Nigeria must be rescued and secured, and must progress under Obi. Nigeria will move from consumption to production and Nigeria must win the war by bringing power to where power is desired.
Also, the Director General of Peter Obi Campaign Council, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said: “Nigerians are happy that God has given them a son, who is ready to wipe away their tears and change the country positively. Nigerians love Obi because of his acceptance, character and pedigree,” urged all “to rally round him and vote him into power for the good of the country.”