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Labour Party’s (LP) Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, has said the 2023 presidential election must not be based on entitlements, religious, ethnic and other sentiments but purely on capacity that would change the fate of the country.
He spoke at the party’s ongoing leadership in Abuja. ‘Election next year must not be based on religion or ethnicity. It must not be based in connection. It must not based on turn. It is nobody’s turn. Election next year must be based on competence, capacity and commitment to start turning around Nigeria.’
His explanation comes as Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic party (PDP) will today rollout his policy plans to Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) in Lagos.
A statement by the President and Secretary of the Guild, Mr. Mustapha isa and Iyobosa Uwagiearen disclosed that Abubakar will be interrogated on a wide range of issues.
He also, unveiled the LP’s portal and free membership cards for those who want to join or support the party, stating that people must not borrow to contest elections in the country. The portal is meant to give access to Nigerians to register, support or donate to the party from all parts of the world.
On the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the LP’s flagbearer said: ‘Sometimes, you ask yourself what is wrong with this country? The reason for which ASUU is on strike did not start today. They have actually been on strike severally for this same issue since 2009. I remember they were on strike for this same issue while I was a governor and the money they were asking for was just about N1.3 trillion. You mean Nigerian government cannot afford N1.3 trillion to give ASUU for the past 12 years?’
On the issue of oil theft in Nigeria he said: ‘Oil is not sweet that you can just put in your pocket. For you to steal oil, a ship must sail into your territory, the Navy must approve the ship. So, who is approving that? Who is stealing the oil?’
The party’s National Chairman, Julius Abure, said the retreat themed: “Nigeria at a Crossroad, Labour Party as the only option” was aimed at reviewing the parties successes so, challenges and constraints and designing the road map to winning the 2023 general election.
He decried the economic and security situation of the nation, adding that the LP has been given the opportunity to rise to the occasion and help put Nigeria back on the right track
‘It is now visible that the country is not performing. Anywhere one looks, we can find sectors and systems that have failed completely or are regressing badly. One such critical sector is the security and welfare of Nigerian citizens.
‘Insecurity has affected every facet of our reality. Lives are lost across the country on a daily basis. Crime and criminality, from kidnapping to terrorism, armed robbery to banditry are becoming more and more commonplace. On the 5th of July 2022, the Kuje prison in Abuja was attacked by gunmen and an unspecified number of prisoners escaped. A few days before, a number of policemen were killed by unknown gunmen in Suleja. Suleja! Suleja, is less than 20km away from Abuja, the seat of government, our capital city. I don’t want to focus on the shortcomings of our present leaders as they are apparent to all but the current government was voted into power following their promise to improve security of lives and properties.
‘If you speak to the average Nigerian under the age of 35, the majority of them are interested in leaving the country for greener pastures, they want to ‘japa’ as they say. The hard reality is that the current state of the nation is not welcoming… We can see that the current leadership is overwhelmed by the challenges of the country. Our country is in a free fall, and we cannot afford another four years of business as usual.
‘Labour Party has risen to the occasion of providing effective, dynamic and proactive leadership. Peter Obi’s emergence as presidential candidate has brought a lot of new registrants into our fold and transformed the 2023 context into a national movement – THE OBIDIENTS.’
Meanwhile Obi has continued to garner support especially on social media.