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Hardship: Obi would have made things better – survey

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No such thing as leaving Labour Party, Peter Obi says

The current economic quagmire which has brought with it terrible hardship in the country would have been averted had His Excellency, Peter Obi been declared the winner of the February 23, 2023 presidential election.

Life has been very unbearable following the inauguration of Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu who on the day of swearing-in – on May 29, 2023, pointedly made clear that he had called off the petroleum subsidy forthright. Instantly, the prices of petroleum products increased exponentially. As an effect, there has been a constant but abnormal increase in the prices of goods in what economic and financial experts have termed hyperinflation.

Because of that, hardship which is borne primarily out of economic stagnation, has been rampaging and ravaging the masses of Nigeria and Nigerians are the worst hit in that regard.

All over the country, there are continued and sustained lamentations by Nigerians who can no longer provide for their families due to the high cost of essential commodities. To substantiate the fact that the hardship of the time was real, President Tinubu had pleaded with Nigerians to still give him time as things would be better in the days ahead.

Even former military president Retired General Ibrahim Babangida forthright ago, allegedly advised Tinubu to fix the country or a military coup would be inevitable.

With the benefit of hindsight, erstwhile head of state and the man who fought the civil war to keep the country together, retired General Yakubu Gowon, feeling the negative impacts of the ugly situation on the ground, urged Nigerians to still give Tinubu more time.

Therefore, based on the worsening deplorable conditions that have led to hyperinflation, insecurity – killings, kidnapping, abductions, and other acts of criminalities, and which have forced Nigerians to protest against the ruling APC.

It is now time to ask, based on Obi’s antecedents, proclamations, and dispositions, what would he have done if he had been declared the winner of the last presidential election.

If Obi were a man whose words are his bond, he really would have done things differently because he provided the line to toe which would have made things look up for better.

During the electioneering, Obi hinged his thoughts, vision, and mission on production. Using China and Japan as hallmarks, Obi argued that hence Nigeria emerged as a production nation with less emphasis on importation, the country’s problems, economically would have been solved.

According to Obi, “Nigeria is a consumption country which puts the nation at risk, without any economic advantage whatsoever. When we produce, we provide employment. When we produce, we reduce inflation. When we open factories and industries, our GDP will upgrade and that will make our currency appreciate and command respect in the global market”.

Obi was indicating his readiness to commence production right from day one of his inauguration. That is, seven months after his emergence, there would have been pockets of production going on in all the six geo-political zones of the country.

Obi was very emphatic about his ideas on the refineries. He is still in the view that for Nigeria to bounce back on track, at least, two of the refineries must be refixed and made functional.

The idea is, that with the refineries in place and working at optimal capacity, the dreaded fuel subsidy will not rear its ugly head again. The billions always disappearing from the subsidy ghost will then be a thing of the past.

In all the presidential debates Obi attended he made abundantly clear that he would remove subsidy but not immediately.

The Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate didn’t mince words when he promised to provide a palliative that could ease the pains that might be a direct fallout of the subsidy removal. He noted that the removal would be in stages, not abruptly. And if that had happened the present economic and social woes the masses of Nigeria are experiencing would not have occurred.

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It is the opinion of many well-meaning Nigerians that the root cause of the problems militating against Nigeria’s growth and development is corruption. Obi said during the presidential campaigns that he would tackle corruption through what he called “blocking the loopholes”. According to him, “once the holes are blocked, you will be shocked at what we shall realize monthly. When the illegal beneficiaries of such black deals no longer feed fat from the stopped transactions, they will run away and things will be better”.

Kenneth Okonkwo was the publicity/ media director of the Obi/ Datti Presidential Campaign Organization. He stated bluntly that had Obi been declared the winner of the last election and subsequently inaugurated as the president, the LP candidate would have done things differently based on his track records.

To begin with, Okonkwo noted that Obi would have voted a substantial amount of money directly to the grassroots, that is, the wards through the local government councils. This, he said would have ameliorated the high poverty rate among the masses in the rural areas. Okonkwo, who was the producer of the popular movie, Living In Bondage, in clear terms, revealed that an Obi presidency would have promoted equity, fairness, and justice thereby reducing the now rampaging ethnic tension in the country.

One personality who campaigned vigorously for the presidential candidature of Obi in Imo State was Ikenga Johnjude Okere. He made LP and Obi very popular in Imo. He has equally vouched for Obi, indicating that Obi, based on how he pulled Anambra State out of the quagmire would have rebuilt, reactivated, and recreated Nigeria for progress and prosperity. Ikenga Okere said Obi’s capacity, courage, and character could have pushed the country out of her present troubles.

In his contributions, the national chairman of LP, Comrade Julius Abure, drove it home that Obi foresaw whatever economic, social, and political problems currently ravaging the country and had fashioned out ways how to deal with them.

Abure submitted that Obi’s first action plan would have been to work for national unity which would have made Nigerians see themselves as one and then work for cohesion which ultimately would yield positive results.

The first chief of staff to Obi, when he was governor, was Chief Chuks Iloegbunam, a veteran journalist. Iloegbunam claimed that had Obi been the president, he would have worked assiduously to reposition, repackage, and rebrand the country for positive economic growth, social development, industrial prosperity as well as the unity of Nigeria.

The Yoruba apex leader, the president of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo reiterated his earlier stand of 2023. He blamed the national electoral body for not handling the 2023 presidential election properly and that is why things are going badly now. “I said it before that if Obi does not win, forget Nigeria. And that is why things are the way they are now”.

Social crusader and human rights activist, Dele Farontimi said Nigeria had option in Peter Obi in 2023 but never realized it. ” Had Obi won that 2023 election things would have been better because he preached things that were practical and realizable. He said he would open factories for production, tackle corruption, and unify Nigeria. These are the things working against the country Obi would have provided answers to them “, he enthused.

Obi’s running mate in the election, Ahmed Datti, provided insights that with the pair in Aso Rock Villa, kidnapping, hostage-taking, and abductions would have disappeared from the Nigerian landscape.

” I tell you, had Obi been declared the president, insecurity would have vanished. We would have commenced productions at the refineries. Our agricultural industrialization would have produced more mechanized farmers and the idea of quality education through modern technological and scientific methods would have been yielding results as Obi did it in Anambra”, he concluded.

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