Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, promised Nigerians that if they elect him President in 2023, he will perform well and be an effective communicator.
He said this as a guest at the Editors’ Forum, organised to deepen democracy by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Ikeja Lagos.
In his words: “I am not promising you that I will do everything right or solve every problem of Nigeria. But in those situations that I cannot provide a ready answer or defies my solution process, I will tell you Nigerians because what causes breach of trust and misunderstanding is when a leader doesn’t communicate with the people.”
On the question whether his manifesto is in soft or hard copy, Obi asked Nigerians not to worry because the country does not lack written documents. “How to solve our problems is the issue because we have always lacked the implementation.
“Before I became Anambra State governor, there had been committees, councils, and commissions on education reforms at the primary and secondary schools. While they all recommended that the mission schools should be returned to the missions, no government implemented it. But I was the one, without any such cumbersome processes, that made it happen. We need implementation, not volumes of documents that will at last not be put to use. Simple.”
How will Obi solve the energy crisis in Nigeria? He responded: “I will declare war on energy. I will declare war on power generation and distribution. What has been stopping us from getting it right is corruption and insincerity.
“Three countries in the world today have tripled their power generation within very few years, and all developing countries. In Africa, Egypt has done it. In Asia, Vietnam and India pulled such an uncommon feat also. So, because I know that our major problem is power supply, and with my promise to move Nigeria from consumption to production, I will make sure there is an adequate power supply in Nigeria to enable that.”
Since politicians talk but to fail to implement promises, Obi said he would be different: “The first miracle a state or country does to turn things around is to attract the growth of law and order, that is the rule of law, and then quality education. I am sure they are doable. I know we have many challenges, but Nigerians are good people. Immediately they see that you are serious and sincere, I am sure they will give all their support. There is no other magic in quality leadership than creating trust with the people.”
On accountability, Obi sumbitted: “I stand to say it boldly that if anyone on any day confronts me with any fact that I ever split or negotiated contract gains with any contractor in my eight years as governor, I will resign from this campaign and apologise to Nigerians. Any day anyone confronts me with any fact of cornering even a single plot of land of Anambra State while in office or after, I will resign from the race and apologise.”