…says I join the majority of Nigerians to reject the shameful condition of our Country
…Urges Judiciary to reaffirm their independence and integrity
John Alechenu, Abuja
The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, and the perceived winner of the February 25, 2023, Presidential election, Peter Obi, has said it is time for us as Nigerians to re-evaluate our assumptions as a nation.
He also said he is on the same page with Nigerians who reject the present shameful conditions of our country but reaffirms hope that a better Nigeria is possible.
Obi said this in a statement titled ‘“ At a time like this: My message to fellow Nigerians” to mark May 29, 2023 Presidential inauguration, held in Abuja, on Monday.
He described the occasion as a time for deep reflection as well as a time to “re-examine our assumptions, even as we reaffirm our hopes, review our aspirations, recalibrate our expectations, and pin down the causes of our missed opportunities and disappointments.”
The LP Presidential standard bearer said that the country stands at that critical moment in time when, as a people, “we must collectively come to grips with the reality of our injured destiny as well as the reasons for that injury.
“It is for us to reassess our plight as a young democracy and identify clear pathways to a better and greater future for us all.
He explained that the conduct and outcome of the last general elections have showcased “the troubled state of our democracy” where a minority, indeed a handful of partisans, seem satisfied with the conduct of the election and the results, while the majority of Nigerian voters and many international observers remain confounded by the process and the outcome.
Obi however reiterated that even though serious reservations have been expressed by a significant majority of stakeholders about the shortcomings of the elections, it’s not for anyone to take the laws into his hands.
He said, “As we await the verdict of the election tribunal, I urge all Nigerians to use this opportunity to renew their commitment to the Nigerian ideal and ensure that such ideal remains noble and worth every sacrifice we can make.
“Nigeria remains our only patrimony and it is a patrimony we must protect, rather than violate. We have no other nation but this, so let us remain committed to rescuing and rebuilding it.”
Speaking on ongoing litigations with respect to the disputed election, the former Anambra state Governor said the judiciary is part and percent of the democratic enterprise and a critical governance tool for determining the propriety of the decisions and actions of every citizen and every institution of the state and enjoined the people to treat it with the respect and dignity it deserves.
Adding, “We expect that the Nigerian judiciary will use the election cases now before it to reaffirm its independence and integrity. It has to do so, for all our sakes and for itself.
“Nigerians must, therefore, remain peaceful and law-abiding. No matter the depth of anyone’s reservations about what is going on in the polity today, no matter the real and imagined provocations, and no matter the disagreement out there, we should remember that this will not last forever.
“Like the majority of Nigerians, I reject the present shameful condition of our country. I reject the widespread criminal plundering of our nation’s wealth by those who are called to manage it and serve the people.
“I also reject, without reservations, the growing impression that our nation is one in which the most important requirements for 21st-century nationhood can be routinely violated with impunity.”
Obi said he would not join the bandwagon in accepting the idea that we should just blunder along, even though everything needed for responsible leadership, equity, sustainable development, and nationhood are missing.”
According to him, “I reject a nation where Security, rule of law, and peaceful coexistence are on a steady decline.
“Why should we rank among the worst, globally, in the three most important indices that separate developed and undeveloped nations, namely: Education, Health, and Per Capita income?
“It is from the indices regarding our human capital development, primary health care, and general development infrastructure that our beloved country got ranked as the poverty capital of the world.
The LP Presidential Candidate further explained that It is because Nigeria needs good, and focused, leadership that he contested the February 25 Presidential Elections, and sought the exalted office to end the current situation, wherein we use our scarce human resources to train manpower for even more developed nations.
He reiterated his commitment, untiring zeal, and determination to work with like-minded fellow Nigerians to end the curse of missed opportunities and squandered hope that has become our lot here.
Obi charged Nigerians, especially the youths to remain steadfast, calm, patient, and peaceful.
He said, “Our journey may be long and difficult but it is worth it in every way because ‘Victory is assured’.
“We have to work together to move our beautiful country from corruption and criminality to a center of productivity rather than aimless consumption.”
Obi equally noted that he remains aware that some evil designs are being hatched against him and his supporters in the coming months.
“Efforts will be made to taint my image. Campaigns of calumny are being perfected to defame my character and diminish my hard-earned integrity, all aimed at degrading our support base and confusing the public.
“But, no evil campaign will alter the substance of my character; nor diminish my patriotic commitment to a better Nigeria. It is not about me. It is about a better Nigeria. It is about the future of our youths.it is about ending the Years of Locust.” He added.
Obi expressed gratitude to members of his party and the media for their support and noted that the media as the Fourth Estate of the realm, has remained a trusted ally as he urged them to continue to guide our people on the immense promise of a future in a new Nigeria.