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2023: Why Peter Obi Is The Best Presidential Candidate (1)

By Okey Muogbo

HALTING THE BLEEDING: After Peter Obi dusted Atiku Abubakar (AA) and Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) in three successive opinion polls as the best presidential candidate for the 2023 general election, we need to look at why the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate is indeed the best for Nigeria now. The first issue that comes to mind is the challenge of halting the continued bleeding of Nigeria by corrupt politicians and public servants through various forms of corruption.

Corruption is the leader of a litany of problems that brought Nigeria to her knees with the attendant weeping that is heard all over the country. It was the bleeding that gave rise to almost all the hardships facing our citizens. And the number one hardship in Nigeria today is insecurity arising from the inability of the Government to fight and defeat criminal gangs and other non-state actors operating as terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, etc.
Of all the presidential candidates, Peter Obi (PO) is the best candidate to halt the bleeding of Nigeria. Let us not make any mistake about it or try to muddle things up; the moment the bleeding of Nigeria stops, funds will be available for the Government to tackle all the other problems.

In Nigeria’s history, only two men have demonstrated adequate capacity to deal decisively with corruption. They are: Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua (late Nigerian President) and Mr Peter Obi, the incumbent presidential candidate of the LP. Only men endowed with integrity can handle Nigeria as at today and change things for the better.

Both men have proven to live above money and its overwhelming corruptive influence. They have also proven to live above greed and ostentation. They have demonstrated in all practical ways that they cannot be pushed around against stated nationally beneficial goals.

Yar’ Adua was sworn-in as Governor of Katsina State in October 1999. By 2001, he had blocked all the loopholes through which corrupt people were milking the state dry and was able to build up a savings of over N3 billion. He told journalists on media tour of the state when he hosted them at the Katsina Government House that year. Journalists on that trip recall with nostalgia how in his traditional soft/low tone, he boasted and dared contractors working for the state to finish their jobs and see if they would not be paid immediately.

When he became the President, he replicated that for the short time he was in conscious control of government. Things began to collapse when the ill-health came but discerning Nigerians will not forget that he meant well for us as a people and as a country.

One year after he became president, that is, 2008, Nigeria’s GDP moved up to 6.76 from the 6.59 he inherited when he took over in 2007. In 2009, it grew to 8.04 and that has remained the National record since then. The remaining part of his presidency was marred by distractions from the ill-health. Yet in the 8 years of Buhari Presidency, Nigeria has not been able to match or surpass that record. May his soul continue to rest in peace.

Now consider these: When Yar’ Adua was leaving office as state Governor, he left about N6 billion for his successor. When he became the President of Nigeria, he declared a personal asset of less than N1 billion. Only truly honest Nigerians could resist the temptation to loot, at least part of the N6 billion he left behind in Katsina as Governor.

In Anambra State, PO as governor was the ‘blockade’ against wastages and all forms of corruption and profligacy for the eight years he was the helmsman. Before his coming, Anambra was in the state of nature or something very close to that. No disrespect is meant against Anambra State or its people. It is my maternal home and after Obi turned things around, I was one of the beneficiaries. At least through Obi’s good road network in Anambra State, I was able to access my village in Imo state because Rochas Okorocha who as Imo governor didn’t construct roads in Imo.

On his own part, Peter left about NN75 billion in Anambra State coffers for his successor. Obi, like Yar’ Adua was not worth N75 billion at the time he left office, yet he didn’t contemplate taking part of that money to enrich himself.

The recent revelation by Obi himself on the scandalous stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil by unpatriotic Nigerians in collaboration with top government officials is a clear indication that Obi knows where the bleeding is taking place and how to halt it. Which other proof do Nigerians need to believe that Peter Obi knows Nigeria’s problems and how to solve them?

Today, corruption has brought Nigeria down. Duty calls on all Nigerians to see 2023 presidential election for what it is -the last chance to save our country from dying. The LP Presidential candidate has pointed to where, unarguably, over 50% of Nigeria’s corruption occurs and the road to recovering Nigeria is very clear and known to him.

With his proven integrity and as a man who lives above temptations from corruptive influence of money and power, Obi will decisively deal with corruption. Late Yar’Ardua recorded his feat within so short a time because he was not corrupt. The only man available today with that needed credentials to resist corruption is Peter Obi.

While there may be other Nigerians with such integrity, the only one available to contest 2023 presidential election is Obi. There is certainly no other presidential candidate among the lot now who can resist the pressure to grab I’ll-gotten wealth from theft of crude oil. Here lies the danger in making a mistake of not voting Peter Obi. Let us all be certain in our minds that the rescuing or destruction of Nigeria will not wait till May 29, 2023. It will happen by the end of February 2023 immediately after the declaration of the winner of the presidential election.

Once Obi is announced as the president-elect, things will begin to take shape on their own. The principalities, both human and institutional, that have held Nigeria down will begin to loosen their evil grip on the nation and will be more concerned on how to cover-up their atrocities with a view to escaping retribution. Hope and confidence in the Country and her economy, which left Nigeria since 2017, will return.

If a wrong candidate is declared winner in February, it will be a confirmation that Nigeria may not survive as a strong economic entity. This will trigger unprecedented looting by those who have access to the nation’s funds and resources. It has actually started in small measures with the stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil in such very large quantities. But God in His infinite mercy is offering Nigerians Peter Obi as a possible last chance.

Muogbo is an Abuja based Journalist

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