Obi-Datti: “We Will Birth A New Nigeria”4 min read
The Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmad have assured Nigerians that if elected by February 25, 2023, the country will see what they have never seen in leadership and governance delivery.
Speaking at a special Town Hall meeting organized by ChannelsTV and their partners yesterday in Abuja, Obi and his Vice said they truly deserve the votes of Nigerians because of the sincerity with which they intend to approach governance to tackle various pressing challenges, especially security.
Fielding questions from a select audience drawn from various sectors, as well as from members of the public through social media for two hours, Obi and his running mate clinically attended to all the critical issues at the well attended Town Hall meeting anchored by TV Journalist, Seun Okinbaloye at the Nigeria Airforce Event Center in Abuja.
On security, Obi said that the recurring security challenges in the country are a cumulative effect of long-time leadership failure in the country that he and his Vice are in the race to correct.
They said that the insecurity in the land is the highest of many wrongs in the country which they are aspiring to start turning around, noting that, “interestingly, everybody wants a new Nigeria”
On how their government intends to tackle the various agitations across the country including Boko Haram and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Obi said they will negotiate with every one of them including those already convicted, and hear from them before acting as one government in charge of affairs.
He explained that he will negotiate with the agitators because a lot of them are products of injustice and glaring marginalization which his regime tends to address.
Obi also addressed the issue of how his Presidency plans to cope with an opposition parliament which he said will not be a problem because everybody including the parliamentarians desires good governance which will result in securing the country.
“Nobody is safe. They are kidnapping everybody now including Senators and the governors are running halter skelter, it remains to kidnap the President” he said jokingly to drive home his point of how widespread the security challenges have been.
On the vexed issue of power, Obi refused to agree with the questioner that the sector has been stubborn rather he said those attending to it have been doing the wrong thing.
He said that if elected he and Datti his Vice will declare power war and achieve their desire because what is involved is no rocket science.
Obi also said that his administration does not intend to cancel contracts on the power that are genuine.
The duo also addressed the issue of subsidy removal and described it as an organized crime that must go immediately after they enter the office, saying that the claim of petrol consumption volume in the country has been inflated.
On how their administration intends to tackle the issue of kidnapping that has become incessant and widespread, Obi said he intends to use the model he applied when he was Governor of Anambra state, involving the communities and setting up various policing systems from the community through to local Government, state and federal.
“When you involve the people including the royal fathers you achieve results in securing communities”
The former Anambra state Governor also fielded questions on climate change which he said he will follow all global protocols on climate change and where there is a problem they sit down and discuss it.
On the abuse of procurements in public service, particularly in the defence sector, they said that under their watch, there will be no discriminatory procurement arrangement for any sector as they intend to plug the holes of every fund in the system through a tight financial regime in all sectors.
The duo also described as unacceptable the recurring poor funding of critical sectors like Health and Education and promised to drastically improve on it as they see education as an investment not just social.
Obi noted that his Vice has made success in Education owning two Universities, noting that he will not be operating while public universities are shut down.
In an answer to a question on the poor welfare package of uniform operatives who die while serving the country, Obi promised that it would not happen under his watch, “leadership must show them compassion for the risk they take for the country”
Obi who said that he spent his last Christmas and New year festivities at IDP camps in Benue state and Abuja, lamented their poor conditions and declared that “we cannot claim to be a country if any Nigerian is in the camp rather than their homes.
The LP Presidential candidate and his Vice also answered questions on Women, youths, and the physically challenged and they promised to change the system positively.
Obi recalled his time in Anambra state when women occupied all strategic positions because he found them more competent and less corrupt while apologizing to the men for the frank remarks.
The LP Vice Presidential candidate said that Nigerians will feel the announcement effect of their victory because what will follow will be a tsunami in the taking over of the country for rebuilding.
The emotional side of the two-hour town hall meeting was when the Vice Presidential candidate broke down in tears while recalling the abuse on his family, particularly his father who died about 35 years ago because he brought himself out to serve. He had to excuse himself from the studio for about 5 minutes.