The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said the appalling events in the last couple of years have tested the resolve of Nigerians and motivated them to demand better leaders for themselves.
Obi, who stated this in an article published by the British newspaper, The Economist, yesterday added that Nigeria has the potential to become a world power if the people are galvanised by leaders to realise the potential of Nigeria’s enormous depth of human resources.
According to the former governor of Anambra State, recent events in the country, including insecurity, terrorism, a breakdown in the education and health sectors, a crumbling economy, crude oil theft, and many others, have tested the resolve of Nigerians and motivated them to demand better leaders for themselves.
“Nigeria witnessed several events last year that shook it to the core. These included militia attacks, abductions and extrajudicial killings. The violence dominated headlines throughout the year, and our security agencies appeared hapless,” part of the article read.
“At the same time, our state-owned universities were shut for eight months as the union for academic staff faced off with the federal government over decades-old unmet promises.
“Nigeria’s crude-oil revenue plummeted from a steady average of $3bn a month in 2014 to nothing last year as oil theft rose dramatically.
tating for a country as dependent as Nigeria is on crude-oil sales.
“There’s a direct relationship between the state of our country and the quality of its leadership,” the presidential hopeful stated.
While examining Nigeria’s mainly youthful population, Obi expressed hope in Nigeria’s potential to become a world power, if the people are galvanised by leaders who will help realise the potential of Nigeria’s enormous depth of human resources.
Obi, whose candidacy has been widely accepted by Nigeria’s youths, also paid homage to the resilience of young Nigerians who have selflessly driven the message of a new Nigeria through his presidency.
“With an estimated population of 217m sitting at the heart of Africa, a dominant youthful population made up of the brightest and bravest in the world, unlimited capacity for economic growth and the potential to lead Africa, Nigeria is worth saving. And I believe I am the right person to guide it to recovery,” Obi declared.
“Nigeria should learn from the passion and dedication of its young people on the field and in the streets. Our youth have protested to show that they are tired of the status quo in leadership and are taking their country back.
“The prevailing sentiment, not just among the youth but across all demographics, is that the Nigerian government is not for the people. Yet most of the politicians clamouring to take the helm this year are key players in this rejected establishment.
“We have an imperative to fix what’s wrong with our leadership, beginning with the recruitment process,” Obi reasoned.
On what makes him stand out, Obi harped on the need to imbibe a culture of accountability, transparency and prudence in public office by adhering to policies and mechanisms that include rules, guidelines, codes of conduct, policies and laws designed to provide checks and balances in our systems.
While expounding his economic roadmap for the country, Obi reiterated the need to radically diversify Nigeria’s economy and boost agricultural production, especially in the northern part of the country.
Obi also addressed the current wave of brain drain plaguing the country, stressing the need to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for young Nigerians to take advantage of and invest their talents in developing the country.
“We must cultivate our expansive landmass, particularly in northern Nigeria, and bring about the most extensive agricultural revolution the world has ever seen,” he wrote.
“Our focus will be on generating revenue from technology, agriculture, renewable energy and manufacturing while promoting business investments and consumer spending.
“We must entrench a culture of productivity by providing business grants and interest-free loans that enable enterprising Nigerians to contribute to our nation’s economic prosperity.
“We must persuade our brightest young people not to leave the country by opening up the economy, promoting privatisation and creating entrepreneurial opportunities.
“We must also open old and new spaces for our women to contribute more.
“We must prioritise investment in education and health care in our careful spending of tax revenue. Unaccountability, waste and corruption have left government coffers increasingly empty. That must change.
“We must tackle our security challenges through a holistic approach in four key areas: digital security, economic security, physical security and social security,” he added.
Obi, a recipient of numerous local and international leadership awards, further restated his commitment to providing trustworthy leadership and to freeing Nigeria from the shackles of the cabals strangulating the country’s development.
He further expressed his admiration for Nigerian youths and the Obidient Movement who have taken the mantle and led the charge for enthroning a reliable government, thanking them for believing in him.
“My running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, and I are committed to providing the kind of leadership that Nigerians yearn for: leadership that believes in the dignity of every Nigerian; leadership with the moral fibre and courage to confront the cabals holding the country hostage; leadership with a well-intentioned strategy for delivering our vision for a united Nigeria that works for all and leaves nobody behind.
“Nothing gives us more hope of this possibility than the organic movement for a new Nigeria, driven by its youths, who say that they are inspired by my candidacy and message of possibilities. They call themselves the Obidients, and I am their biggest admirer,” Obi concluded.