By Abbas Jimoh
Presidential Candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, has said Nigeria’s Presidency with him and Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, his running mate, in charge will dismantle inefficiency and eliminate transactional policies that breed corruption in government.
Obi said this on Monday at Chatham House, the famous British international Policy institute, where he was a guest.
Obi who took over 15 questions from the audience after his presentation on various sectors, said his administration will dismantle the structure of criminality which has been used to hold the country down.
“There will be no sacred cow under the Obi-Datti administration. Our objective is to dismantle these structures of criminality and enthrone competence, character, and capability so that talents and ideas can flourish,” Obi said.
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On how he intends to cope with possibly having a National Assembly that may be dominated by other parties, Obi said he went through such experience as governor of Anambra state when none of the 30 members of the State House of Assembly came from his political party.
He said that what he needed to navigate such case is to do the right thing, avoid nepotism and transactional policies, because even the parliamentarians desire good governance.
Responding to question on the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and why he has not condemned them, Obi said that for him and many other reasonable Nigerians including Igbos, the Biafra war ended 53 years ago, but that he is not oblivious of the agitators’ demands for justice.
He said, “We are going to look into the issue of justice and marginalization which some of them are hinging their grievances. We are going to apply the carrot and stick in dealing with the agitators. But in the end there can only be one government and we will be in charge.”
On the how to attract investors to Nigeria which was asked by a former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, Obi likened what he intends to do to attract investors to bee and honey.
He said he would create enabling environment where rule of law thrives and will avoid any transactional policies which breeds corruption and weakens governance.
On security, he said it will be his top priority because everything will be done to secure the environment and he will do this by first turning the country into production and pulling people out of poverty and adequately utilizing our military.
Obi said, “Our military once secured Africa and they should secure Nigeria and we will provide the needed leadership and political will.”
He also answered questions on the independence of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying that what is happening in the apex bank now is a consequence of mix up of responsibilities and not necessarily of competence, a situation he assured his regime will correct by ensuring that square pegs are in square holes both in personnel and policies.
On how to navigate the so called ‘big boys’ to be able see through his policies if elected, the LP standard bearer said the challenge will be surmounted as there will be no sacred cow.
There was mild drama when he was offered a seat by the moderator of the program and he respectfully declined it saying the problem in Nigeria his country is so serious not for sitting down and offered to stand all through the nearly two hours programme, saying it was an indication of his preparedness for the program.
Obi was invited by the United Kingdom’s institution for the discourse, tagged ‘Nigeria’s 2023 elections: A vision for policy change and institutional reforms.’
The event was hosted by Alex Vines, the managing director of the risk and resilience Africa programme. (Daily Trust)