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Mr. Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate

Peter Obi: Nigeria has been unfair to Niger Deltans; Says ‘we will make northern states money spinners’

Mr. Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate

Mr. Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) has assured the people of the Niger Delta region of the country that he will use the oil money from the area to rebuild the region and would ensure that other states in the country begin to earn more money than they would have received from the oil money of the Niger Delta.

Mr. Obi, who was in Bayelsa State on Friday for his presidential campaign, after rallies in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers States, told Niger Delta stakeholders, made up of his core supporters, called  Obidients, and leaders and members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, among others that Nigeria has not been fair to them.

Addressing the stakeholders in Yenogoa, the Bayeslsa state capital, he said pointedly that after “Going round the entire Niger Delta and Bayelsa state in particular, I stand here to say that Nigeria has not been fair to the Niger Delta region.”

The former Governor of Anambra State assured the people of the region that if elected President on February 25, 2023, he will use the oil money from the zone to develop the area.

He restated his position that people in government know about the increasing cases of oil theft in the region. “The oil theft in the Niger Delta is done by government people and their collaborators. Common people don’t own vessels, you don’t put oil in your pocket. But all these things will stop when you put the right people, people with competence and commitment, in government,” he insisted.

Obi also promised to complete the East/West Road, pointing out that the critical highway “was flagged off since 1970 by the Federal Government and after 52 years they can’t complete it. I am coming to rebuild Bayelsa and the entire Niger Delta,” he pledged.

 

He expressed dismay at the high level of poverty in the land, noting that Nigeria has “a population of over 200 million and we have the highest poverty in the world, highest youth unemployment in the world, highest out of school children and so on.” He assured, however, that together with his running mate, Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, they will tackle the problems as well as secure the country and unify Nigerians.

 

“We must unite this country because we are too divided. We want to ensure that there is rule of law. We will fight corruption because it is destroying our society. We want to ensure that we remove the country from consumption to production because the country is not producing anything. What they do is sharing (of money).

“Bayelsa state is a riverine area, Bayelsa, including all the waters, is about 10.7million square meters of land. Borno state is 70.9. So, it is 7 times the size of Bayelsa state. So is Niger state, which has more fertile land. But they all depend on resources from Bayelsa state.

 

He said that all the states have capacity to generate revenue and that as President, he will ensure that all the states contribute to the federal purse, so that the country can have much more money than what is being made from crude oil.

 

He noted, for instance, that the “land in Niger state is more than the land in Belgium and Netherlands combined. These two countries last year exported agricultural products that is over 10 billion dollars. Niger state can’t feed itself, it can’t export anything.” He said that if the state can only do a fraction of what the two nations (Belgium and Netherlands) are doing, they could earn as much 15 billion dollars. “And that is more than the money they would have gotten from oil,” he said.

“The same in Borno state and so many other states in the North. But they are not doing anything, they are waiting to share from the oil money. In Taraba, you can grow flowers, coffee and tea. Kenya makes over half a billion from flowers. Ethiopia did over a billion from coffee. Taraba is waiting to share money from Bayelsa.

“The Federal Government does not know that by cleaning the waters of Bayelsa, putting money in infrastructure in Bayelsa, we can get more money out of the state, because we would have been making money out of oil and from fish. It is a win-win. We want to change the country. We want to make it productive.

The Labour Party presidential candidate restated his position that the 2023 election should not be an issue of somebody’s turn. “It is nobody’s turn. It is the turn of Nigerians to take back our country. If anybody wants to talk about turn, I have the right to talk about turn, but I am not running on (the basis of) turn. I am an Igbo man. I am proud to be an Igbo man, but I am in this race as a Nigerian carrying a pan Nigerian ticket.”

 

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