The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, has described the many challenges facing Nigeria as surmountable, with right and purposive leadership. He was speaking yesterday at the public presentation of the compendium on him entitled “Many Voices, One Perspective” at Finotel Hotel, Awka, Anambra State.
Obi, who reiterated his belief that what Nigeria needs now is “conscious, planned and aggressive transition from consumption to production”, said he was touched when, a few days ago, he watched the news with pictures of how United Arab Emirates plans to harvest their first batch of wheat grown in a purely desert setting through the aid of modern technology.
He described as “disheartening”, the recent report from the United Nations World Food Programme (WEP), to the effect that Nigeria, especially Borno, Yobe and Adamawa would be seriously affected by hunger this year, and said that such news was discomforting to him against Nigeria’s many possibilities which our leaders have failed to utilize.
Employing statistics, Obi said that the combined land mass of 152.9 square kilometres of the three states: Borno (70.9 sq km), Yobe (45.5 sq km) and Adamawa (36.5 sq km) was far greater than that of Israel, which is just 22.1 sq km, yet Israel feeds itself and exports its excess food to the world. Obi said that with the right leadership, which was his commitment, Nigeria would do as well.
Commenting on the political development in Nigeria, Obi said he would be the President of Nigeria in the fullness of time. He thanked the ‘Obidient’ Family for their belief in him and appealed to them to see his apologies to the elders, once in a while, as being in consonance with the African understanding of respect for elders or our fathers, even when they might be wrong.
“In our journey to the New Nigeria, I am very committed, I am not in transit to anywhere. I am fully committed to the struggle for a better nation, no matter how long it takes,” Obi said.
In his own remarks, the Royal Father of the day, HRM Igwe Alfred Achebe (Agbogidi), described Obi as “Man of Destiny”. He said one of the things that distinguished Obi from other politicians is his effort to stand by the truth and to do the right thing, as well as his insistence that the right thing must always be done, no matter how long it takes. He commended Obi for consistently following the path of truth, integrity and transparency.
Speaking at the event, the Senator-elect for Anambra Central Senatorial District, Senator Victor Umeh, eulogized Obi as one of the greatest Nigerians to ever live and impact many lives positively. Describing him as development-oriented, he said there is no serious political discussion in the country today without Obi being at the centre of it. He added that Obi’s humility usually disarms anybody’s rascality.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Lead Editor of the book, Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna, thanked Nigerians for their faith in Obi. She said that the public presentation of the book was another way of supporting Obi’s political journey towards the Presidency.
The event was very well attended. A good number of Traditional Rulers, politicians, stakeholders, well-wishers, and numerous ‘Obidients’ attended the event.