The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has said next year’s presidential election is not based on ethnicity or religion, adding that it is nobody’s turn.
Speaking at the LP leadership retreat in Abuja, on Monday, Obi promised to sign a performance agreement with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to make sure that ideas generated at the retreat are followed to the latter.
In what appears to be a veiled reference to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s outburst in Abeokuta, where he said he is the next person to be president, Obi maintained that the 2023 election is about character and competence and not any body’s turn.
“We will do this retreat now, after election we will do another one. Election next year will not be based on ethnicity, we have had it before, it would not be on religion.
“There is no place that Christians buy things cheaper, there is no place that Muslims buy things cheaper. It will not be by my turn, it is nobody’s turn. It must not be by connection. Election next year must be based on character and trust, it must be based on competence,” he said.
The presidential candidate also stated that corruption is pervasive in Nigeria because leaders are involved.
“If a leader is not stealing and the family around him are not stealing, we will reduce corruption by 70 per cent. I was governor for eight years, there is no where money is missing.
“I am in this retreat to listen, let us put it in writing and when we succeed, you must be around to say this is what we have agreed on. Even if we don’t achieve 100 per cent, we must have made sacrifices,” he added.
In his welcome address, Barrister Julius Abure, the Labour Party National Chairman, said Nigeria has a golden opportunity to redefine how politics should be played, saying that the present challenges were due to failure of leadership.
“Our leaders does not have what it takes to drive development. This is what has been lacking, no one is safe. Insecurity has taken over, something needs to be done and urgently and I am happy Nigerians are ready for the real change, not like the APC change in 2015,” Abure said.
The chairman said he was happy that Nigerians are joining LP on a daily basis and urged Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all labour affiliates to join hands, adding, “this is an opportunity that should not be allowed to waste.”
Speaking, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said Nigerians cannot continue to be a consumer nation.
“We need to go back to production, which will tackle unemployment. Corruption is an organised crime against the Nigerian public,” Wabba said.
He said protest and strike alone cannot fix Nigeria and called on workers to be ready to work to bring about good leadership in the country instead of strike and protest.
The NLC President added that leadership is about energy and intellectual capacity, adding that those saying Labour Party do not have structure will be surprised.
“Labour is ready to activate its structures in the 774 local government areas of the country,” he said.