By Amos Akioma , Yenagoa
…Bayelsa gov. restates call for power shift
A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, has said he is not desperate to be president but eager to see Nigeria work.
The two-term governor of Anambra State and vice-presidential candidate of the PDP in 2019, stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Douye Diri at Government House, in Yenagoa.
Obi said Nigeria was a great country with untapped potential, noting that he was desperate to move the nation away from a consumption economy to a productive one.
He 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.
The presidential hopeful reeled out the statistics of agricultural value chain to Nigeria’s economy as against oil revenue and decried the level of neglect of food production in the country.
Obi 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.
He said the $18bn Nigeria gets from oil monthly could not be compared to Facebook or Twitter, which was just sold for $44bn.
His words: “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”,
He said Nigerians could not continue to see their children, millions of smart and intelligent young people, stay at home doing nothing and remain quiet.
The presidential aspirant said Niger State with 76,363sq km of land could not even feed its population, not to talk of exporting food to foreign exchange.
On the other hand, he said, the Netherlands which has 33,100sq km of land, could export agricultural materials for $120bn noting that Nigeria only earned $18bn from its oil, The Trumpet gathered.
Obi also condemned the incessant borrowing under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government, saying that in four years, the country had borrowed almost $100bn with nothing to show for it.
The presidential hopeful promised to change the country’s debt profile and lambasted the government at the centre for making excuses while Nigerians suffer. On his part, Governor Diri said Obi proved his worth 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, he said, “who have failed to fix it.”
He emphasised that anyone who was voted to lead must take the responsibility for addressing the challenges that he inherited rather than blaming previous administrations. The governor commended the presidential aspirant for his bright ideas geared toward fixing the country.
Diri noted 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 Nigeria needed those who would rescue the country from total collapse.
Diri restated the demand of governors of Southern Nigeria for power shift to the South for equity and justice and called on his colleagues from the North to reconsider their position on the issue of the party’s presidential ticket.