Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour party (LP), has waved aside the contention in some quarters that the absence of political structure, would cost him his ambition to become Nigeria’s next President in 2023, saying the only structure he needed was the suffering people of Nigeria.
Obi spoke while collecting his Certificate of Returns from officials of the LP on Friday, in Abuja, saying his mission was to dismantle the old order in the Nigerian polity, where the political leadership had cornered the commonwealth of the people and left the citizenry in penury, without even allowing them the most basic essentials of life, including earned wages.
The former Governor of Anambra State, who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he had attempted to run for the nation’s number one office, saying he was not comfortable with the manner of the process that could end up compromising the very essence of credibility and character he had always preached against.
Talking about the issue of structure, Obi, who was the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP in the February 23, 2019 election, told the audience, after being handed over the document by the LP National Chairman, Julius Abure, he described what the idea actually meant to him.
Hear him: “Whenever I hear of no structure, my answer to it is simple, the 100 million Nigerians that live under poverty will be the structure. The 35 million Nigerian youths who don’t know where the next meal will come from, will be the structure. The elderly, our mothers and fathers, the old ones that are dying for being owed gratuities and pensions, will be the structure. The ASUU and children that are not in school will be the structure.
“We’ll get the structure and they’ll see what it’s all about. The structure is about human beings. You can go and check, it’s on tape. I didn’t make the tape. But a students union former President and alumni chairman made a tape of how Anambra State University, is in session today. They’re not on strike.
“The reason is that in 2011, when they went on strike, they came to my office to say the university was on strike and I asked the Acting VC, what is it? He said it was because of ABCD and I asked, how much will I give you to ensure that this strike is stopped? He said to me, this is the amount. I looked at him and said, I can’t pay this amount. But let me tell you what I’m going to do.
“You are being given N45million monthly, let me double it to support you and I did it the next day. No government fulfills everything. Nobody gets 100 per cent of everything globally. All you can get is 100 per cent effort and sacrifice towards where we’re going.
“We cannot keep our children at home for months now and we’re talking about 2023. That university, you can go and check, got the highest money ever given for infrastructure by any state university today. In one year, I gave them N5billion.
“So, it’s about the future. Yes! People can say anything about how I managed the resources and how I was able to keep the N75billion of Anambra money, when I was leaving, because it was public money. It was not my money. It was money entrusted to me by the people. It wasn’t my money. So, nobody should have expected me to use it wrongly.
“I say it again, I’ve been out of office for the past nine years, Anambra has not bought me pure water – no gratuity, no pension, because at a time they entrusted me with their money, I managed it and when I was leaving, I left their money. Like I told the chairman, I met N35billion in gratuity and pension backlog and I said to them, as I say today, it’s a crime to owe old people, when they have less opportunities and in their difficult times. We must stop that. It’s about the future of Nigeria, it’s about the future of our people, it’s about the future of youths becoming productive.
“I have only one job and I keep saying it – to move Nigeria from consumption to production. So, I thank you for being a part of it and I assure you, we’ll be committed to it. It’s about managing our resources efficiently for production.”