FORMER governor of Anambra State and the vice-presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 election, Mr Peter Obi yesterday, declared his intention to contest for the President of Nigeria in 2023.
He made the declaration in Awka while addressing the royal father’s and Presidents-General of the 181 communities in the state at Government House, Awka.
Obi said he decided to start the journey from his state by first informing the traditional rulers and the PGs who are the custodians of the people.
He said: “We are all Nigerians and we know how things are shared in the country. Many people had called to ask my position on this matter and my answer then was that I needed to consult widely.
The reason I called you, therefore, is to officially inform you that I am aspiring for the president of Nigeria in 2023.
“After a careful study of the country, I noticed that we’re too divided and I promise to lead a united and secure Nigeria to be able to attract foreign investments.
The Nigeria I will lead will create jobs, boost our economy, improve education. If I have the opportunity, I will turn around the country for the better.
I will move Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation. As a Nigerian, I want all parts of the country to be secured. I’m not aspiring for a political position, but to serve the country.
Let me assure you that I will seriously contest for the president of Nigeria on the platform of the PDP.”
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers yesterday, their zonal chairmen from the three senatorial zones said they support his aspiration and pledged to assist him to realize his ambition.
They said that Nigerians have so much respect for Obi because of his excellent performance as a governor, assuring that he would replicate the same if elected president of Nigeria.
Igwe Peter Anugwu of Mbaukwu regretted, however, that of recent, Igbo people appear to be in disarray and urged them to be united to ensure the success.
He observed that many prominent Nigerians were looking in the direction of Obi to rescue the country and urged all Nigerians to support him.
“Obi’s comportment and humility have endeared him among Nigerians and they have been waiting for him to declare. Now that he has declared, I believe that Nigerians will give him their maximum support,” Igwe Anugwu said
Mr Oseloka Obaze, who served as Obi”s SSG described him as a tested hand who will put Nigeria on the path of greatness.
“We worked with him and the results are there to show. We have always stood by him and we know that he will do well if he gets the opportunity to rule Nigeria” Obaze said.
The senator representing Anambra Central, Mrs Uche Ekwunife said Nigerians have been waiting for Obi to declare and expressed happiness that he is coming from her senatorial zone.
“We’re here to receive royal blessings from the traditional rulers. This is the Anambra project and we want the royal father’s to mobilize their subjects for the project.
“Nigerians have been saying that Igbo have not declared their intention but with Obi in the race, Nigerians will now know that Igbo are seriously in the race,” she said.
Igbo turn is now
In an earlier meeting with Journalists Tuesday, Obi said he will give his aspiration all it takes.
“I’m fully in it. I have been consulting the elders and have been getting positive responses. They told me it’s me if Presidency is coming south. I’m in it. I’ve even discussed this with some other aspirants. I’m already aware that Atiku is contesting even though I was his running mate in 2019”.
Obi used the Igbo entrepreneurship analogy to explain aspiring against Atiku Abubakar.
He said: “Atiku is my boss but I will contest against him. If a boy is learning a trade, one day he will be freed and he will even trade on the same commodity with his boss and yet, the boss remains the boss but the young shall grow.
“ I have met with Tambuwal, Saraki and the only thing I have to tell every aspirant is ‘let’s discuss Nigeria’. The greatest contribution to a country’s GDP is the character of the leaders.
“There are things to consider about those who want to be president; we need to check their backgrounds. What were they doing 20,30 years ago? Ask questions. Let them tell you how they struggled to be where they are today.
“We must be able to share and discuss things across the lines. We talk about corruption and corruption as the abuse of public trust and resources.
“Politicians have called me and asked me not to give up. We need everybody to be involved. There seems to have been a general conspiracy against the southeast. People are meeting. The Yoruba have been there for eight years as President and another eight years as Vice President.
They are still meeting. They want to come back. The south-south has been for five years under Jonathan and they are still meeting. The Igbo should be meeting. We shouldn’t be using Igbo from the south-south as the turn of the southeast. If Presidency is coming to the south, let it be southeast.
“I have an agreement with Anyim Pius Anyim. I told him we should not disagree on personalities but on issues. Why anybody wants to be president is not my business. We should concentrate on bringing out the best.”