Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi has described Nigeria as a vehicle with a knocked engine caused by the recklessness and quackery of its past drivers.
Speaking yesterday at his campaign rally at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan, Oyo State, Obi, who was with his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed, said a new Nigeria is possible if entrusted into the hands of trained, confident and fully qualified drivers.
Introduced by the Director General of the Campaign, Doyin Okupe, Obi began his speech by paying glowing tributes to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Ladoke Akintola. Obi also paid tributes to the current leaders of the Yoruba, especially Pa Ayo Adebanjo leader of the Afenifere, who was there physically.
Obi said that by standing on the side of equity and justice Adebanjo and Afenifere had stood out as one of the custodians of the conscience of the nation. He said that justice, equity and fairness remained the only durable foundation for the future of a prosperous Nigeria.
Dwelling at length on the trajectory of his government, Obi said that their first priority would be to secure and unite Nigeria and Nigerians, move the country from consumption to production. He also talked about bringing back the greatness of Nigerian cities by building on their strength, thus restoring Lagos as the financial capital of Africa; Ibadan as a strong industrial and educational base; the vast north as the food basket of the country.
Obi decried the use of tribe, religion and ethnicity as an instrument of division and vowed that he and Datti would ignore those distractions and use their experiences as wealth creators to expand the national cake for everybody to equitably enjoy.
Earlier in his speech, Adebanjo said he was determined to attend the rally in his desire to see the birth of equitable, strong and fair Nigeria, which Obi’s candidature represented.
While activist Aisha Yesufu, who was present, described what is happening as the promise of a great future. She said it was about time all those that were manifestly part of the old order were retired to allow Obi’s quest to make Nigeria great.
In her vote of thanks, Obi’s wife, Margaret Peter-Obi, urged Nigerians to show sustained commitment to the movement for renewal by collecting their PVCs.