From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Former governor of Anambra State and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, has said he is not desperate to be president.
He however said Nigeria is a great country with untapped potentials and he is desperate to move the nation away from a consumption economy to a productive one, and eager to see the country work.
The two-term governor of Anambra State and vice presidential candidate of the PDP in 2019 stated this on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Douye Diri at the Bayelsa State Government House in Yenagoa.
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, who reeled out the statistics of agricultural value chain to Nigeria’s economy as against oil revenue, 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.
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.
“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 Netherlands has 33,100sq km of land, they are exporting agricultural materials worth $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.”
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.
In his remarks, Governor Diri restated the demand of governors of Southern Nigeria for a power shift to the South for the purpose of equity and justice, and called on his colleagues from the North to reconsider their stance on the party’s ticket.
He said Obi proved his worth while he served as governor of Anambra, especially when he saved and handed over N75bn to his successor.
Diri said Nigeria needs well-equipped and knowledgeable people like Obi to rescue the country from those who have failed to fix it.
“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,” he said.
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