Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
After months of curiosity and waiting, the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi; and his running mate, Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed; Saturday night, released their manifesto for the 2023 presidential poll.
The 62-page document entitled, “Pact with Nigeria,” has seven key priority areas that Obi’s administration would pursue, if voted into power.
A perusal of the manifesto by Ikengaonline showed that restructuring, transformation of the Nigerian economy from consuming to producing country, and sincere war against corruption ranked among the top priorities of Obi’s eventual Government.
Other areas of focus in the seven-point agenda include: infrastructural revolution, war against insecurity and human capacity development.
In the document, the LP candidate promised to among other things, offer honest and competent leadership in order to deliver in the 7 key priority areas including: Security, Economy, Restructuring, Infrastructure, War Against Corruption, Functional Health and Education sectors, among others.
Obi in the manifesto, pledged to secure and keep Nigeria united, and to eliminate all forms of marginalisation and discrimination which fuel unnecessary tensions in the country.
The document sighted by Ikengaonline read in part: “As your President, I Peter Gregory Onwubuasi Obi, my Vice President, Yusuf Datti Baba- Ahmed and our team pledge to: “secure and unite our dear nation, and manage our diversity such that no one is left behind in Nigeria.
- Move Nigeria from consumption to production.
- Embark on comprehensive legal and institutional reforms and practicable restructuring measures, to fight corruption; to ensure the enthronement of the rule of law, and decisively tackle all forms of corruption.
- Prioritize Human Capital Development through robust investments in STEM education, health, and infrastructural development, with emphasis on wealth creation, distribution and sustainable development.
- Engineer the transition of Nigeria from fossil fuel dependency to climate and eco-friendly energy use.
- Pursue holistic poverty eradication with emphasis on agricultural revolution through effective utilization of our vast arable lands, particularly in Northern Nigeria, and erase Nigeria’s categorization as the poverty capital of the world.
- Improve access to finance, particularly to MSMEs, youths and women, to significantly reduce unemployment and insecurity.
- Ensure that in policy and practice, governance will be made more inclusive, cost-effective, transformative, and less transactional. No more sharing of the national wealth by a few.”
Obi further promised to “Ensure that our diversity will be leveraged to give women and youths, the aged and persons with disabilities, an unfettered voice in governance, and a renewed sense of patriotism and faith in Nigeria.”
The former Anambra State Governor further promised to pursue judicial reforms and maintenance of the principle of separation of power among the three arms of Government.
“To ensure that Nigeria is progressively better governed through legislative, executive, and judicial reforms, so that the constitutional separation of powers among the three arms of government is entrenched and the three tiers of government allowed to function independently and jointly for a more inclusive and sustainable Nigeria.”
The Labour party presidential candidate insisted that “a New Nigeria is still possible,” urging the youths not to give up hope in the country.
He promised that under his watch, Nigeria would be attractive and work again for the good off all.
According to him, the actual problem of Nigeria is not its diversity but the few power hawks and greedy characters who have hijacked the instrument of authority.
“Our vision is a secure, united and prosperous Nigeria that works for everyone and that realizes the hope of black people of the world as a city on the hill.”
Obi further promised to run a government of national unity where everybody with value irrespective of ones political leanings would be brought on board, and all given a sense of belonging.
He promised to eliminate marginalisation and exclusion which hitherto took a centre stage.
“We will run a government of national unity, bringing together for the task at hand, all competent, honest, and diligent Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliations.
“The new Nigeria we build will be truly ‘one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity, where peace and justice shall reign.”
Obi regretted that “for long, the dream of a secure, united and prosperous Nigeria has been betrayed by those who lack the character and competence to achieve the dream.”
He noted that the nation-wide clamour for a new order championed by Nigeria youths would no longer be resisted by the anti-democratic forces that had held the country down.
“At present, a new generation of Nigerian leadership has emerged, tested and tried, honest and dedicated, united in a common mission to reverse the current ugly trend of endemic poverty, insecurity, and create a better future for every Nigerian,” the document read.
Continuing Obi’s manifesto read: “The future under this new generation of leaders will be defined by widespread prosperity based on high economic growth, equal access to health and educational facilities, and justice and fairness to all religious, ethnic, and social groups.
“The new Nigeria that we will build is a society where political power will no longer be used to serve the interest of the ruling class and subject the people to chronic poverty and deprivation.”
“We will build a new social order where political leaders will be public servants working for the good of the people and not predators, flourishing in the midst of extreme poverty and misery.
“We are building a society where citizens are motivated to work hard, to innovate, to invent, fully assured that they will enjoy the fruits of their enterprise.
“We want to create wealth for Nigeria and for every household through diligence, frugality and enterprise.
“Our new Nigeria is a country all Nigerians will be proud to call home because it is an economic giant that can feed its citizens, defend them from any aggression and secure them in their homes and businesses.”
Obi promised that under his watch Nigerians abroad and foreigners would be coming to invest in the country in droves.
He blamed the woes of Nigeria on bad leadership, promising to change the narrative.
Obi said he was coming to bring hope and future for Nigerians, urging all to support his rescue mission.