Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says he will dialogue with agitators if he’s elected president in 2023.
Speaking in an interview published on Thursday by Daily Trust, Obi said his approach to tackling insecurity will be different, adding that he will govern by listening to the people.
He said the northern part of the country has vast land for farming, noting that his administration if elected, will invest in agriculture.
“I have said it times without number, Nigeria does not have more agitation than Brazil. If you want I will show you countries that have had agitations in the past, whether it is Brazil, Mexico,” Obi said.
“In our south-east, it is a simple thing, I will dialogue, I will discuss, it is a democracy, and in a democracy, you govern by consensus. If anybody says he is not happy, you call him and you sit him down and discuss with him.
“People agitate in my house, my wife, my children. If you say to me you have lived with your wife all through and you people have never quarrelled, then you are not married. You disagree and settle it – that is agitation.
“I will govern by listening to the people. I will visit every state in Nigeria. We have a huge land in the north that if properly invested and cultivated, will change Nigeria. The more I pull people out of poverty, the more I reduce agitation, the more I reduce criminality.
“What you are seeing in Nigeria today is a cumulative effect of leadership failure over the years and all I want to do is to be seen to be that man who changed this country called Nigeria.
“I don’t like the way people were treated during the EndSARS, I will apologise. We must have a country of healing and love, that is what leadership in a democracy is.
“I am going to meet people in the north, I am going to meet people everywhere and say come, let’s be a family. I want Nigerians to be proud that they are Nigerians. What we have now is we have a country called Nigeria but we don’t have Nigerians. I want to bring back Nigerians.”
‘I’M CONTESTING AS A NIGERIAN’
Obi called on Nigerians to evaluate him based on his character and competence, rather than his tribe or religion.
The former Anambra governor said the fuel subsidy in the country benefits the rich, adding that his administration would put an end to it.
“I am contesting as a Nigerian, I don’t want people to vote for me because I am an Igbo man or because I am from South East because people don’t buy bread cheaper because they are from that zone,” he said.
“I don’t want anybody to vote for me because I am a Christian; I don’t want them to vote because it is my turn, it is not inheritance. It is the turn of Nigerians to take back their country. I want them to vote for me because of character and competence, I have the capacity, I have the commitment, I am qualified,” he said.
“The amount of fuel they say we consume cannot be consumed by this country, there is empirical evidence. We are about the same size as Pakistan, we are about 210, 220, Pakistan is about the same size, they have more growth.
“We probably have the same number of vehicles or they have even more but yet, their fuel consumption is a third of ours, so who is drinking the balance? That is where we will start. So we will make it more efficient.
“Subsidy benefits the rich and famous because they are the ones who have five, ten cars, people in my village, want education, they want health, so we will remove it and in removing it, you must say what you are providing and we will use some of those resources to make sure that we come up with local refineries, which are not rocket science, within a shortest possible time and show people what you are doing and you can do it, it can be done.
“Egypt is just exporting electricity now to Europe, Egypt is a third-world country. If Egypt can do it, Nigeria can do it. I want people to be proud of this country.”