The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party and the perceived winner of the February 25, 2023 Presidential election, Peter Obi, has said that he is on the same page with Nigerians in rejecting the present shameful conditions of “our country” but “reaffirms hope for a better Nigeria which is POssible.”
Obi in a statement titled ‘AT A TIME LIKE THIS: MY MESSAGE TO FELLOW NIGERIANS’ to mark May 29, 2023 swearing-in noted that this is a time for deep reflection. And also a time to ‘re-examine our assumptions, even as we reaffirm our hopes, review our aspirations, recalibrate our expectations, and pin down the causes of our missed opportunities and disappointments.
The Presidential standard bearer said that the country stands at that critical moment in time when, as a people, ‘we must collectively come to grips with the reality of our injured destiny as well as the reasons for that injury. It is for us to reassess our plight as a young democracy and identify clear pathways to a better and greater future for us all.
He remarked that the conduct and outcome of the last National elections have showcased the troubled state of our democracy where a minority, indeed a handful of partisans, seem satisfied with the conduct of the election and the results, while the majority of Nigerian voters and many international observers remain confounded by the process and the outcome.
Obi however reiterates that even though Serious reservations have been expressed by a significant majority of stakeholders about the shortcomings of the elections, it’s not for anyone to take the laws into his hands.
“As we await the verdict of the election tribunal, I urge all Nigerians to use this opportunity to renew their commitment to the Nigerian ideal and ensure that such ideal remains noble and worth every sacrifice we can make.
“Nigeria remains our only patrimony and it is a patrimony we must protect, rather than violate. We have no other nation but this, so let us remain committed to rescuing and rebuilding it.
On the judiciary, the former Anambra state Governor noted that the judiciary is part of the democratic enterprise and a critical governance tool for determining the propriety of the decisions and actions of every citizen and every institution of the state and enjoined the people to treat it with the respect and dignity it deserves.
“We expect that the Nigerian judiciary will use the election cases now before it to reaffirm its independence and integrity. It has to do so, for all our sakes and for itself. Nigerians must, therefore, remain peaceful and law-abiding. No matter the depth of anyone’s reservations about what is going on in the polity today, no matter the real and imagined provocations, and no matter the disagreement out there, we should remember that this will not last forever.
“Like the majority of Nigerians, I reject the present shameful condition of our country. I reject the widespread criminal plundering of our nation’s wealth by those who are called to manage it and serve the people. I also reject, without reservations, the growing impression that our nation is one in which the most important requirements for 21st-century nationhood can be routinely violated with impunity.
Obi said he would not join the bandwagon in the idea that we should just blunder along, even though everything needed for responsible leadership, equity, sustainable development, and nationhood are missing. I reject a nation where Security, rule of law, and peaceful coexistence are on a steady decline.”
“Why should we rank among the worst, globally, in the three most important indices that separate developed and undeveloped nations, namely: Education, Health, and Per Capita income? It is from the indices regarding our human capital development, primary health care, and general development infrastructure that our beloved country got ranked as the poverty capital of the world.