LABOUR Party, LP, Presidential candidate and former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has vowed to increase electricity generation in Nigeria, or quit as president after his first term.
Obi made the vow, while addressing a packed audience at the prestigious Beverly Hilton Los Angeles flag-off of his US speaking tour.
Obi, who flew in from Toronto, Canada, listed countries that had doubled their power supply in a few years to include Egypt, which he recently went to understudy, and lamented that even the president of South Africa, which produces 50,000 megawatts of electricity, had just declared a state of emergency in the sector for being too little but Nigeria, which produces a paltry 4,000 megawatts for over 200 million people, has not.
“I will increase power generation in four years. This is not a guarantee. I am saying if I don’t do it, I will leave the office,” Obi said.
He bemoaned the fact that no one was held to account in Nigeria, pointing out that when they entered office, they reneged on what they had promised, claiming they didn’t know what it entailed, saying “in Nigeria, people don’t do what is expected; people do what is inspected!”
He challenged the enthusiastic Nigerians in America to hold him accountable when he comes to power to deliver on what he promised.
Obi, whose speech was interrupted with applause and chants of “Obi” said no one was asking for perfection but at least leaders should show direction and efforts.
Narrating an interaction he had with a member of a rival party on the flight to Toronto the previous day, Obi asked him if he knew the pilot. When the man said, “no,” he further asked, “but you trust him that he is taking you to Toronto as he announced?”
However the problem with governance in Nigeria, he stated, was that after promising a flight to Toronto, the pilots of the state would enter the cockpit and begin to make excuses that they didn’t know the airplane needed fuel and that the destination was Lagos.
Concluding, the guest speaker declared: “Election of 2023 must not be based on religion, tribe, connection or entitlement but character, competence, capacity and commitment.”
Responding to questions as to how he proposed to increase power generation, Obi stated that he discovered that one of the companies responsible for Egypt’s power transformation is present in Nigeria so he decided to investigate why they haven’t replicated similar success.
He said his findings will remain confidential for now, but there was no magic involved in achieving it.
Laments indefinite ASUU strike
Reacting to the ongoing strike in a tweet on his Twitter handle, yesterday, Obi lamented what he described as a ‘staggering corruption’ level in Nigeria, adding that the country has also been polarised along religious and ethnic lines.
He wrote: “Nigeria is vastly polarised and wrecked by deep divisions along religious, ethnic and regional lines. There is a staggering level of corruption. Our universities have remained closed for six months.
“While our healthcare system remains almost moribund, power generation and distribution are also at an all-time low.
“Our position is that the ASUU strike has lingered for far too long. It is unconscionable, worrisome and unacceptable that FGN would allow such an industrial action to become almost intractable to the detriment of our students. It’s time for FGN to engage in collaborative negotiations with ASUU, and in good faith.”
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