Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has promised that if voted into power, Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State; and the neighbouring Port Harcourt city, would fuse into one mega city within two years of his administration.
Obi, who decried the dilapidation and waste in the Enyimba City due to lack of vision and leadership failure, promised to harness the abundant human resources and potentials in Aba.
According to him, Aba will become a major industrial hub in Africa such that ‘Made-in-Aba’ products will be shipped to the outside world through Port Harcourt seaport.
“I visited Aba in the morning and I saw that we have over 60,000 shoe makers in Aba. Industrial activities going on in Aba will be properly harnessed.
“Give me two years and Aba and Port Harcourt will join together. I’m not going to change the name but both towns will be so developed that they will become one city, and people won’t know the difference between them again.”
Obi also promised to explore the vast arable land in the North to make Nigeria the highest food exporting country in Africa.
“The biggest asset in Nigeria is the uncultivated land in the North yet we can’t feed ourselves. Netherlands has smaller landmass with lesser human population but it is an agricultural giant.”
Obi said that with a visionary and competent leadership in place, Nigeria did not need to be borrowing around.
Obi who urged Nigerians not to sell their votes at the forthcoming elections, said that “a new Nigeria is possible.”
He said he was not in the presidential race because it was his turn but because “it is the turn of Nigerians to take back their country” from the few holding the country to the jugular.
He promised to re-set the country and do things differently if voted into power at the February 25 presidential poll.
“We are going to build a new Nigeria. Yes, a new Nigeria is possible and that’s why I’m in the race.
“I will build a new Nigeria where we shall all be proud of the green passport. I will build a new Nigeria where we shall move from consumption to production.”
The former Anambra State Governor regretted that the two major political parties – the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC; and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had both, supervised the deterioration of Nigeria.
He urged Nigerians to reject both parties at the forthcoming polls and vote in Labour Party for a better country.
“APC has given us insecurity and hunger, fuel scarcity and ASUU strike. No state in Nigeria is safe again.
“If given the opportunity, I will restructure the entire security architecture of Nigeria to provide security for all citizens.
“We have voted for the umbrella but we didn’t get any protection. We voted for the broom but it has swept us into poverty and hardship. All we got from APC and PDP is hunger and suffering.
“Now, it’s time to vote for the father, mother and children ( LP logo). What we need now is the family so that we can recover from our fallen state.”
Obi promised not to discriminate against any part of Nigeria, vowing that under his watch, tribalism and injustice will no longer be a norm.
He predicted landslide victory for himself based on his competence and national appeal, saying he is under a mandate to give hope to Nigeria youths.
“I’m not going to win because I’m from South-East but because I’m competent and ready to build a new Nigeria. I’m prepared to lead Nigeria out of poverty to greatness. I have done it before in Anambra, I will replicate the feat in the entire country if you give me a chance.”
The Labour Party presidential hopeful promised to end incessant strikes by university staff, saying that under his watch Nigeria will be restructured to work for her citizens.
Obi who was in the state with the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure and members of his Presidential Campaign Council, earlier addressed the Aba business community in a town hall meeting at the Enyimba City.
He was also received at the Martha Dei Catholic Cathedral Umuahia before proceeding to the International Conference Centre Umuahia where he addressed a mammoth crowd of enthusiastic supporters and Abians at the town hall meeting.
Speaking earlier, the Abia State governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Dr Alex Otti, said a new dawn was on the horizon, and urged Abians to vote massively for all candidates of the party.
Otti promised to rebuild Abia State and make it an enviable state where all Abians would be proud of.
The massively-attended town hall meeting could also pass for a carnival as the various candidates of the party and their galaxy of supporters competed for space.
Obi later left for Owerri in continuation of his presidential campaigns.