From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi took his national campaign tour to Bayelsa state on friday where he promised to use crude oil money to rebuild the Niger Delta if elected President in 2023.
The former Anambra State Governor asserted that the country has not been fair to the oils producing region.
According to a statement by his media office, Obi’s position came when he addressed Niger Delta critical stakeholders that comprised traditional Obidient youths in the area, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) among others in Yenogoa, Bayeslsa State.
He said:“Going round the entire Niger Delta and Bayelsa state in particularly, I stand here to say that Nigeria has not been fair to the Niger Delta region”
On the increasing case of crude oil theft in the region, the LP Presidential flag bearer said, “The oil theft in the Niger Delta is done by government people and their collaborators. Common people don’t own vessels, you don’t put oil in your pocket. But all these things will stop when you put the right people, people with competence and commitment in government.
The LP standard bearer also spoke on the East/ West Road saying, “The East- West road was flagged of since 1970 by the Federal Government and after 52 years they can’t complete it. I am coming to rebuild Bayelsa and the entire Niger Delta.
Obi who lamented the level of needless poverty in the country said, “We have a population of over 200 million and we have the highest poverty in the world, highest youth unemployment in the world, highest out of school children and so on”
He promised Nigerians that he and his vice presidential candidate, Datti Ahmed if elected will do nothing but to secure and protect Nigeria.
“We must unite this country because we are too divided. We want to ensure that there is a rule of law. We will fight corruption because it is destroying our society. We want to ensure that we remove the country from consumption to production because the country is not producing anything. What they do is sharing.
“Bayelsa state is a riverine area, Bayelsa including all the waters is about 10.7million square meters of land. Borno state is 70.9. So it is 7 times size of Bayelsa state. So is Niger state, which has more fertile land. But they depend on resources from Bayelsa state.
He said his administration will ensure that individual states contribute to the federal purse, because when they contribute the country will have multiple streams of income and make more money than it does from oil.
According to the LP candidate in a way of illustration, “Land in Niger state is more than the land in Belgium and Netherlands combined. This 2 countries last year exported agricultural products that is over 10 billion dollars. Niger state can’t feed itself, it can’t export anything. If they will only do they have zero percent of what these two countries did. They will earn 15 billion dollars. And that is more than the money they would have gotten from oil.
“The same in Borno state and so many other states in the North. But they are not doing anything, they are waiting to share from the oil. In Taraba, you can grow flower, coffee and tea. Kenya grow over half a bilion from flower. Ethiopia did over a billion from coffee. Taraba is waiting to share money from Bayelsa.
“The Federal Government does not know that by cleaning the waters of Bayelsa, putting money in infrastructure in Bayelsa, we can get money out of them, because we would have been making money out of oil and from fish. It is a win-win. We want to change the country. We want to make it productive.
“This election shouldn’t be by turn. It is nobody’s turn. It is the turn of Nigerians to take back our country. If anybody wants to talk about turn, I have the right to talk about turn, but I am not running on turn. I am an Igbo man. I am proud to be an Igbo man but am in this race as a Nigerian carrying a pan Nigeria ticket”.