The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday, declared that the LP is no longer a political party, but a mass movement to take back the country for Nigerians.
According to him, the party wants to take Nigeria back to the root of greatness, where all citizens can be proud to say they are Nigerians.
Obi, who spoke in Lagos during the formal reception for the 2021 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, Valentine Ozigbo, and his group into the LP, said he is determined to turn Nigeria from consumption to production.
Citing Brazil as a country of over 200 million population, which had similar experience of depending on importation, as an example, he explained that Brazil has, today, changed the trajectory by producing their own foods.
The presidential hopeful used the opportunity to warn those who twist his statements for political reasons to desist.
“For those who turn around what I say, I want them to tell us what figures their own candidates have. We want a productive country. Netherland is smaller than Nigeria but its total export, last year, was over $600 billion.
“Nigerians believe in me. We must have competent people in office by reversing the trend of having our children stay abroad. Parents are getting lonely these days. If you ask them, they say their children are in Canada. Canadians don’t keep their children in Nigeria.
“Our children have been exported to other countries because things are not working here and it’s not good. We want to reverse it, because it’s affecting all of us. So, it’s important that we do the right thing. We must sacrifice for our children to come back, and for our society to work.
“We have a country called Nigeria but we don’t have Nigerians, because we don’t have citizens who are proud to say they are Nigerians. And that’s what we want to do; to make Nigerians proud of themselves. We want to start a journey that will take Nigeria back and be on a route to greatness.”
Reflecting on the shrinking value of Nigeria’s currency, naira, Obi said one practical way to stabilise the local currency is to move Nigeria from consumption to production and export of goods.
“When you export goods, they pay you in dollars. What will give you dollar is production. Nigeria is not a producing country. So, let us go out and produce, that is our desire. That’s how we will create jobs. We’re not going to create jobs with people thinking they can live by tribes, or by religion.
“We want to stop politics of wasting people’s time and politics of sharing money. We want to play politics that will make our children live in a better society. Today, businesses have collapsed, nowhere is secured. I used to drive all over the country but today, you can’t drive and people still think it will continue to be business as usual. No!, it has to change and that change is very important,” he declared.