A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, on Wednesday visited the Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, in continuation of his consultation across the states of the federation, saying he was not desperate to be president but eager to see Nigeria work.
Speaking at the Government House, Yenagoa, Obi said Nigeria was a great country with untapped potentialities, noting that he was desperate to move the nation away from a consumption economy to a productive one.
The two-term governor of Anambra State and vice presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 election stressed that Nigeria was not working because of its unproductive state, which he said was unacceptable to the nation’s young, intelligent and smart population.
Obi, while reeling out the statistics of the agricultural value chain to Nigeria’s economy as against oil revenue, decried the level of neglect of food production in the country.
He asserted that if elected Nigeria’s president, he would end the current oil revenue sharing formula and introduce a production formula, particularly in agriculture and ICT.
The presidential hopeful said the $18bn Nigeria got from oil monthly could not be compared to what Facebook or Twitter generate, with the latter recently sold for $44bn.
Obi said, “I am aspiring to lead this country. For me, it is not a desperate aspiration but I am desperate to see Nigeria work.
“This is a great country and I have a simple thing to do. I want to move it from consumption to a productive country. It is not working because it is not a productive country. We cannot see our children, millions of young people that are smart and intelligent stay at home doing nothing and we keep quiet.
“I was in Niger State with 76,363sq km of land, but the people cannot feed themselves and Nigeria. They are also exporting nothing. Whereas the Netherlands is 33,100sq km of land, they are exporting agricultural materials of $120bn while we earn only $18bn from oil.
“All we do here is sharing formula. I want to stop it. We must have a production formula. Let the people produce the oil and keep it. There are so many things people can do.”
He also condemned the incessant borrowing under the All Progressives Congress-led federal government, saying that in four years, the country had borrowed almost $100bn with nothing to show for it.
Obi promised to change the country’s debt profile and lambasted the government at the centre for making excuses why Nigeria cannot work.
In his remarks, the Bayelsa Governor, Douye Diri, said Obi proved his worth while he served as governor of Anambra State, especially when he saved and handed over N75bn to his successor.
Diri said Nigeria needed well-equipped and knowledgeable people like Obi to rescue the country from those who have failed to fix it.
He emphasised that anyone voted to lead must take the responsibility of addressing the challenges inherited rather than blaming previous administrations.
The governor commended the presidential aspirant for his bright ideas geared toward fixing the country, noting that the PDP had eminently qualified presidential aspirants cut out for the job than anyone the ruling party would present for the country’s exalted seat.
He said, “Indeed you cannot doubt it that Peter Obi has proved his worth as a two-term governor who handed over N75bn to his successor.
“Nigeria needs those who will rescue this country as it is going down and we all know it. So our country needs to be rescued from those giving excuses rather than fixing the problems and challenges.
“Our party must unite. We have several of you (aspirants) well qualified. As you stated, any one of you would be better than anyone from the other side. The experience, intellectual capacity and pedigree that you would bring to bear in correcting the wrongs and inability of the current serving government is not in doubt.”
Governor Diri restated the demand of governors of Southern Nigeria for a power shift to the South for equity and justice, and called on his colleagues from the North to reconsider their stance on the party’s ticket.
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