Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has promised to return Nigeria to its rightful owners after his emergence as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
He said this in his acceptance speech obtained by our correspondent on Monday.
The PUNCH had reported that Obi emerged as Labour’s candidate after Prof. Pat Utomi and other candidates stepped down for him.
Obi promised to “secure Nigeria in every ramification”, create employment, pull people out of poverty, and create a new sense of nationalism and patriotism.
He also pledged to place a high value on production, and unite Nigerians.
Obi’s acceptance speech as Labour candidate read:
I thank Nigerians; especially members of the Labour Party who have gathered here since yesterday to partake in the primaries to choose the person that will fly the Labour flag in the forthcoming National election to choose the President of Nigeria.
History beckons. Nigerians remain hopeful for a national rebirth, which implies returning Nigeria to Nigerians – farmers, teachers and students, lecturers, artisans, workers, pensioners and over a hundred million poor Nigerians who are not sure where their next meal will come from.
Therefore, what you are doing today is a patriotic duty towards seeking the desired political emancipation of our dear country, which stands wounded by many years of cumulative leadership failure.
Painfully, our current dysfunctional system rewards unearned income and conspicuous consumption; allows university lecturers to remain on strike for months; keep our youths at home; and owe pensioners, who gave their patriotic sweat and their youthful energy to serve this country.
The despicable contrast is that those responsible for the mess -those elected to take care of them – have abandoned the national currency and are living in opulence and like kings, spend dollars to buy delegates as well as houses all over the world. Meanwhile, they owe most workers, lecturers and retirees.
Yes, our country stands hijacked by forces of retrogression. We are almost zero in all indices of development. As a result, our future, especially those of the youth and generations unborn is in ruins. We have become a laughing stock among other nations, including African countries where we were once revered.
As a party that represents the workers and masses of this great nation, we are people organised and working for our economic rebirth. As I am nominated today, I humbly proclaim that the journey towards the emancipation of the country has begun.
I note with humility that the journey is going to be a collective one that will certainly require the cooperation of critical stakeholders in our country, especially the youth, whose future has been thoroughly degraded.
I, therefore, thank all of you and call for your sustained support towards returning Nigeria to Nigerians from forces of bad leadership and retrogression. Such a noble task brooks no conscientious objectors.
I hardly use war metaphors for political analysis due to my belief that politics is not adversarial and not war. However permit me a little indulgence here, to relate what we are embarking on to the ancient battle of Thermopylae, where the Greek forces, conscious of fighting for the life of Greece held on against great odds in the defence of their country.
In the battle to re-take Nigerian, the odds are great and seemingly insurmountable, but with our commitment, patriotism and understanding that we are doing, what we are supposed to do for our country, lest she shall die, we shall move on discontent with what is and focused on enthroning what ought to be. In doing this, our battle cry shall remain: get your PVC and become part of this great liberation!
Our governance mission will be twin-tracked. Secure Nigeria in every ramification: national security, human security, food security and tackling insecurity created by unemployment.
We will also seek to unite our nation by pulling our people out of poverty and creating a new sense of nationalism and patriotism. Nigeria shall rise again: and her people will be proud to claim ownership of her patrimony. Doing so is in our collective national interest.
As I earnestly thank Nigerians for their faith in me. In the days ahead I will publish our governance manifesto, which will spell out our top governance priorities. I assure you that no region; state, local government or community will be left behind.
I also assure you all that the struggle continues and that victory is certainly insight towards the guarantee of a meaningful future for our youths and making this country a respected and viable member of a 21st-century world, that places high value on production overconsumption.