Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has said the economy could be turned around for good if every Nigerian leader imbibed the virtues of hard work and discipline, and eschew the wastage now associated with public service.
Obi, who spoke during his appearance on Channels Television, said the work of rebuilding Nigeria, especially the economy, laid, not only with leaders, but with the led.
He said Nigeria must stop celebrating criminality that had pervaded the nation’s public services and political space. Such attitude, he said, had continued to stagnate the country.
“Politics in our nation today is very transactional and lacks the true definition of a democracy as government of the people, by the people and for the people.
“Nigerians can no longer continue to stand aloof and believe the burden of re-building the country is entirely for the leaders. Such will only lead to complacency and docility. The decisions of the leaders always have overreaching impacts on the masses. That is why Nigerians must stop celebrating failures in government and demand accountability from leaders,” Obi said.
He said economic challenges the country is facing, were as a result of leadership failure.
“Our country has continued to go from bad to worse because incompetent hands are managing the affairs of this nation. The increasing rate of poverty and unemployment, infrastructural decay, insecurity of lives and property, high debt profile and so on, all stem from the leadership failure that we are currently experiencing in the country,” he said.
The former governor criticised the undue sharing of national resources ranging from total dependent on, and sharing of oil revenues, consumption of borrowed funds and vote-buying, which, he claimed, opened the corridors of power to incompetent people.
Obi called on Nigerians, especially the leaders, to sincerely sacrifice their efforts on building a productive and sustainable economy rather than the consumption based economy currently being experienced in the country.
“Tomorrow’s success can only be achieved through today’s sacrifice. If we continue borrowing for consumption, while extravagantly wasting the little available resources, we have on high cost of governance, then our nation’s economy will continue to go South. With sincere hard work, financial discipline and leadership competence, our economy can be turned around for the better.
“I keep emphasising competence in leadership because, a lot are dependent on it. Our people cannot freely go to their farms today due to insecurity in the country. The small businesses that would have boosted our economy with jobs creation and revenue generation are not being adequately supported by the government, with the right fiscal and monetary policies.
“A whole lot really goes into leadership, and if we get competent people to steer the affairs of this nation, we will enjoy a very productive and progressive economy,” he said.