The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has called on parents and stakeholders in the North East of Nigeria to vote for him, stating he wants to give children from the region and all parts of the country future.
NewsOnline reports that Peter Obi said he wants to replace the sharing formula the country is practicing with a production formula.
The former governor of Anambra State stated this on Monday while addressing North East stakeholders on why he is the best presidential candidate in the 2023 election.
Obi told the stakeholders that the region with its landmass has the capacity to feed the nation. He said that North will be the new oil of the country if elected. He added that most states in the North East region have more landmass than countries in Europe, but lamented that the concentration in monthly federal allocation has hampered the harnessing of the potentials of the region.
The Labour Party presidential candidate promised that if elected, he and his vice-presidential candidate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmad will start pulling the 133 million Nigerians living in poverty out of poverty, He also added that the 20 million children who are out-of-school will be returned to school.
Peter Obi said, “What Datti and I are promising you is that we have the best combination and the best experience to start tackling all the issues including security. Hold us responsible. It can be done quickly.
“We want to see Nigerians proud of their country again. We want to move Nigeria from consumption to production and start pulling people out of poverty. All of us will tell you good stories but who can you trust? All we want is an opportunity to faithfully serve this country.”
On agricultural potentials in the North East region, Obi said he wants, “an opportunity to show the North that the oil in Nigeria is in the North. The vast uncultivated lands we have in the North are our future, and that is what is keeping us from growing; people are hungry.
“Borno state alone can feed Nigeria! It is twice bigger than Netherlands, but we have not done up to 1% of what they’re doing in agriculture. Netherlands’ agricultural export is $120 billion and 1% of that is $1.2 billion. Convert to Naira, that’s about N750 billion, more than 10 times what Borno earns from statutory allocations from sharing money in Abuja for one year.
“And this is with their 33,000 km square land mass, Borno is 70,900 km square. Even with the desertification in the North, we can use the areas that are fertile. Taraba is 54,400 km square, bigger than Belgium and Israel put together, but they can’t feed themselves.
“Taraba is on the plains of Mambila so they can grow coffee and flowers. Kenya exported over $500 million worth of flowers last year. They’re employing young people, paying them about $100 monthly. Ethiopia over $1 billion and Sri Lanka exported tea worth more than $1.4 billion.
“But Taraba is looking for statutory allocation from Abuja! We are not going to do anything from Abuja, we will take it to the states and the people will know that we are there. Everybody will feel what we are doing. We must pull people out of poverty!”
He added, “Your country is not productive and if you’re not productive, you can’t employ people. Nigeria’s total export last year was N18.9 trillion, if you divide it by N410, it would be $47 billion. Divide by N630, it would be below $30 billion. With our population and land size, it is unacceptable.
“Countries like Vietnam which live on about one-third of our land and 60% of our population exported $350 billion in 2021. So, we couldn’t do 10% of what they did because you’re not productive. You’re not doing anything. Everybody is sharing money.”
“I want to replace the Sharing Formular with Production Formular. It can work!
“I want to give your children a future. For us, this is about the youths, children and women. I want to educate those children. Those 20 million out-of-school children in the North would be educated.
“It is a very simple thing. They’re intelligent. They’re learning the Quran, so I’d meet them where they are being taught and also teach them skills. There’re so many things we can do here. I thank you for the opportunity but pls, do not go back and allow this country to go down,” the former governor of Anambra said.
Peter Obi maintained his call that he should not be voted based on his ethnic origin but based on his capacity and competency.
“I am not running as somebody from the South East, don’t vote for me for that. I am not looking for sympathy. I am running because I am qualified and competent; I am most competent. Of all the major candidates, go and check our backgrounds and everything.
“I am a successful businessman. I have managed corporations. I’ve been in public life, so I have experience of what it means to run an economy, of public life and I’ve run the corporate world, so I’ve been all-round. Among them, I am the youngest; it is a job that requires physical and mental energy.
“I am begging you for the future of your children. We must stop this. Next year’s election would be based on characters we can trust, that’s why I told you who I am. It’d be based on competence, capacity and capability to do the work, it’ll be based on commitment. I want Nigerians to hold me responsible. I want to be the man who started building the new Nigeria and I will build it. I am only asking for opportunity for Nigerians to know that this is a great country.
We’re not going to waste anybody’s time. We’re not going to preach what we’re not going to deliver. We will do the right thing from day one.
“The society we are allowing them to abuse today will take its revenge, it’s taking it already. It will take greater revenge on our children,” Peter Obi added.