The Labour Party presidential standard-bearer for the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, has promised to increase electricity generation and implement diaspora voting, among others if elected, declaring that it is not APC and PDP presidential candidates’ turn to become the next president.
The ruling APC candidate and the major opposition party, PDP, are considered frontrunners ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He also urged Nigerians not to vote for him because he is a Christian or an Igbo.
“Don’t vote for me because I am from the South-East. If you go to the North, it is not safer than the South. It will not be about religion; Muslims don’t buy bread cheaper than the Christians,” he stressed.
He pointed out that the “2023 election will not be about my turn; it’s not anybody’s turn.”
“It is not a chieftaincy title. It’s about election. It will not be about connection,” Mr Obi declared.
In an infamous outburst, the ruling APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, had insisted it was his turn to be Nigeria’s president. PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has made several attempts to become Nigeria’s president without success.
Mr Obi added that the “2023 election will be about character we can trust, competence, capacity, commitment to do the right thing.”
Mr Obi made the pledge on Sunday at Columbia University, New York, while discussing economic and government policy with Columbia’s Africa Business Club, Black Law Students Association, and the Nigerian Diaspora in New York.
The event was part of his ‘Good Governance Series: The role of Nigeria’s Diaspora’ in the U.S.
Mr Obi said South Africa, which produces 50,000 megawatts of electricity, had recently declared a state of emergency in the power sector for those who can generate below 100 megawatts without a licence.
“But Nigeria generates 4,000 megawatts of electricity but did not declare emergency in the power sector,” he said. “I don’t have solution to all problems, and leaders don’t, but I will consult when I need to consult.”
The Labour Party presidential candidate urged Nigerians in the diaspora to be investors instead of focusing on social welfare for people and burials.
On diaspora voting, Mr Obi said 2023 would be the last time Nigerians in the diaspora would not vote, noting that if other countries in Africa can do it, Nigeria can also do it.
Speaking on the economy, he said, “The Netherlands generated 120 billion dollars in agricultural export in 2021, and Nigeria has a land mass bigger than the Netherlands, but most states in Nigeria don’t contribute to the national purse but only take.”
He lamented the rate of corruption in Nigeria.
“Corruption kills entrepreneurship, professionalism, and hard work. So, we must fight corruption through the president, his wife, and ministers by being honest,” said the former Anambra governor.
He gave the example of the “Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) fund, where the money belongs to the local government authorities (LGAs), but the federal government gives the funds to states, and states give it to the LGs.
He wondered why the federal government could not give the money to local councils directly. Mr Obi said he pushed for the funds to be given directly to LGAs during his tenure as the governor of Anambra. Mr Obi also wondered why the federal government could not dialogue with ASUU to call off the strike while the government could dialogue with bandits.
Mr Obi condemned Nigeria’s borrowing for consumption.
“We consumed what we borrowed, and so it didn’t add to our growth. We should borrow for production. America and China borrow. All the G7 countries borrow, so there is nothing wrong with debt, but we should use debt to keep our economy growing.”
Source: Peoples Gazette.