From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, has assured Nigerians that he will remove existing structures that have been inimical to the progress of the country if he is elected president of Nigeria.
He gave the assurance on Thursday during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, shortly after he held a closed-door meeting with the state governor, Seyi Makinde, at the Governor’s Office, Agodi.
Obi, who specifically responded to a question on the monetisation in the political arena of Nigeria, the existing political structures and how he intends to run against the two bigger parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “I assure you that structure is the one that led us here. It is structure of criminality. It is the one that did not allow us to generate power that we need. It is the structure that brought this massive corruption.
“It is the structure that we want to remove. Once we removed that structure, we’ll start moving. It is a structure that is blocking the progress of Nigeria. This is why I am talking to everybody that means well like Governor Makinde, who is doing good work and going across party lines to do well for humanity.”
On the monetisation of political space, Obi, who is a former two-term governor of Anambra State, asked: “Whose money are they sharing? The money that they are sharing is why there is joblessness in society. The money they are sharing is why universities are not open today.
“That is the money that shod have been used to do what is right, to improve the human capital, to invest in education and health; that is the money they are sharing. It is that money they are sharing that is making people die in the hospitals.
“Where did they get the money? Where is their office? Where is their shop? Where is the factory where they are employing people? Which money are they sharing? It is your money. It is time, I have been telling people, to take the money and vote against them because we want them out of the place. People don’t share money in other worlds because they want jobs, and their children want jobs.
“In Nigeria here, our youth are very talented and energetic, but many of them don’t know where the next meal will come from, and you are giving them money. Whenever I hear people talk about money like that, I get mad and annoyed. That is not what we want to do.”
Obi, who noted that next year’s elections would be based on character people can trust, competency, capacity, and commitment to start doing the right things, stated further he has made a commitment to secure, unite and build cohesion in Nigeria.
According to him, the next year’s elections would not be based on ethnicity, religion, ‘my turn’ (interpreted as ‘Emilokan’ in Yoruba), and connection, saying: “This is why I am going across party lines to say let’s save our country.
“I am a Nigerian. I don’t want anybody to vote got me because I am an Igbo man. No, you don’t do that. Don’t vote for me because I am a Christian or because it is my turn. It is the turn of Nigerians. Don’t vote for me because I have connections. But I want them to vote for me because I believe that I have the competence, and the capacity to turn around the country.
“My commitment to the young ones is to start pulling them out of poverty. I want to move the country from consumption to production so that it can start to be a country that we’ll be proud of.”