Reactions, As Peter Obi Clinches Labour Party Presidential Ticket
By Noel Akor
LAGOS- Mr. Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State, has emerged as the presidential candidate of Labour Party in the 2023 general elections.
The former PDP vice-presidential candidate in the 2019 election who recently resigned his membership of the People Democratic Party, (PDP) scored 96 votes out of the 98 delegates votes to secure the candidacy of his new party during the primary in Asaba, Delta State.
Obi’s candidature in the primary was made possible by Prof. Pat Utomi, who stepped down for Peter Obi to participate in the party’s primary.
While declaring Peter Obi the winner of the primary, the returning officer and chairman of the seven- man election committee, Usman Aliu Abdulahi, stated that Obi satisfied all the requirements hence he was pronounced the flag bearer of the Labour Party.
Presenting his acceptance speech shortly after the exercise, Mr. Obi thanked the leadership of Labour Party, and the delegates for electing him.
He blankly that his quest to reconstruct a new Nigeria was in the interest of all and sundry.
Furthermore, he admonished party faithfuls to dig out the votes from various parts of the country during the presidential election, as he hinged Nigeria’s failure so far on poor leadership.
He said, “I have got a simple mission, Nigeria is not a productive country. I just want to remove it from consumption, from sharing to production. If you listen carefully, you hear people talk about 100 million living in poverty. Why do we have insecurity as a problem?
The number one thing to fight insecurity is to pull people out of poverty. When you have over 20 million pupils out of school, then we have e problem, we will invest in education.”
In his remarks which he titled ‘Let Us Return Nigeria to Their Rightful Owners’, Obi called for a national rebirth, which implies returning Nigeria to Nigerians- farmers, teachers and students, lectures, artisans, workers, pensioners and over a hundred million poor Nigerians who are not sure where their next meal will come from.
According to him, the despicable contrast is that those responsible for the mess, that is those elected to take care of them, have abandoned the national currency and are living in opulence and like kings, spend dollars to buy delegates as well as houses all over the world hence they owe most workers, lecturers and retirees.
Again, he lamented that the country had been hijacked by forces of retrogression thus scoring almost zero in all indices of development.
Adding, he said: “As a result, our future, especially those of the youth and generations unborn is in ruins.
“Since I left office as Governor of Anambra State, the state has not bought me pure water. Let me tell you, I have got a simple mission, Nigeria is not a productive country. I just want to remove it from consumption, from sharing to production.
“If you listen carefully, you hear people talk about 100 million living in poverty. Why do we have insecurity as a problem? The number one thing to fight insecurity is to pull people out of poverty. When you have over 20 million out of school, then we have a problem, we will invest in education.
“The reason we don’t have power in Nigeria is because our leaders have chosen not to do so. The first time this country borrowed money in September 1964 was when Tafawa Balewa wrote the World Bank for $82 million to build the Kainji Dam. And he said it then that he was applying to build the facility, 760 megawatts of electricity for the growth of the country.
“Fifty-eight years after, we are still struggling with 4,000 megawatts. As at today, Nigeria is owing $120 billion. Imagine if we had used that money for power, we would have be generating over 40,000 megawatts of electricity. But we consumed the money, and that is why we find it difficult to service debt.
“If you have 40,000 megawatts of electricity, you will be able to set industries and factories in all the local government areas. We are a people of 200 million and we are generating 4,000 megawatts. South Africa is just 60 million but they are generating 54,000 megawatts. Egypt with a 100 million population are generating 54,000 megawatts. What will shock you is that Egypt doubled their own, between 2016 and 2020. It was 22,000 megawatts.
“It can be done in Nigeria it is not rocket science, what we need here is a leader with a vision, capacity, competence to deliver. Go and ask about what I did in Anambra State.
“I will show you that this country called Nigeria will start seeing the face of hope if we all work hard to bring in a new government that would harness people’s talents to march up opportunities, a government that would block leakages and curb wastage, a government that can look into the future of our children and know we cannot continue this gangsterism and stealing of government assets. My dear people, for the sake of our children, let us stop this otherwise it will take a toll on them.”
Meanwhile, he used the medium to charge the youths, whose future he claimed had been thoroughly degraded, to see themselves as critical stakeholders in nation building.
The stakes are high in the attempt to re-take Nigeria, but with our commitment, patriotism and understanding it is possible bearing in mind that our PVC is a great part of fulfilling this great liberation.
He declared “Nigeria shall rise again and her people will be proud to claim ownership of her patrimony. Doing so is in our collective national interest.”
Mr. Obi while appreciating Nigerians for having faith in him, said that he will publish our governance manifesto, which will spell out our top governance priorities even as he assured that no region, state, local government or communities will be left behind.
Victory, he reiterated is certainly in sight towards the guarantee of a meaningful future for our youths and making this country a respected and viable member of a 21st century world, that places high value on production over consumption.
Corroborating, Prof Pat Utomi who addressed delegates at the National Convention, said; “Obi must be given the opportunity to govern this country.”
Utomi said the time to change the country has come, adding that Obi has the capacity to bring the needed change. He assured that he would bring other political parties to join forces with the Labour Party in the 2023 General election.