Peter Obi, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, says Nigeria is not the only corrupt country in the world, hence the government should pay less attention to the fight against corruption.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun newspaper, the former Governor said Nigeria’s economy is deteriorating because the present government chose to focus on “yesterday instead of focusing on tomorrow”.
He said: “Nigeria is not the only ‘corrupt’ country in the world and it is not the most corrupt. Big nations, such as China and India were, at a time, far more corrupt than we are now. It is not possible to have a nation of saints. Such a nation does not exist and we cannot claim to be saints. In trying to rid the society of corruption, we have to pursue the vision of building a nation.
“The future of the nation is far more important. You must draw a line between yesterday and today. What is more important is to secure today, while gradually trying to recover what you lost in the past. If you are focused on the past, you will miss tomorrow. Our economy is getting worse because we are focused on yesterday instead of focusing on tomorrow.
“I have been a governor for eight years where I inherited schools that were not working. As you know, schools in Anambra were shut down in 2001. We were backward in education and health and the state owed several years of gratuity. My predecessor started some work on the roads, which was very good and I commend him for it. But in the eight years of my administration, we became number one in education. We won the Bill Gates award for health. We had the best road network and we became the best in financial management. If we were focused on the past when schools were shut, we would not have achieved all that.”
He opined that the best way to fight corruption is to ensure that funds are used exactly for what they are meant for.
Obi further stated that unemployment is the most important challenge that should be given utmost attention.
He said: “Unemployment is the number one problem the country is facing and must be dealt with immediately. Unemployment is a far bigger threat than corruption and I will tell you why. The most productive asset of a country is the human being. We now have 21 million unemployed youths in their productive age; that is why this country is suffering from low production because our tax to GDP is too low. Taxation and employment are related. The more productive people are, the more tax you can get from them as revenue. You can’t tax people who have no job or savings. I have been at a place where a man brought a huge bale of used underwear and lots of people were rushing to buy from him.
“So, for people to go and do that, it means they cannot afford to buy a new one. All I am saying is that we need to do something drastic about unemployment. Employment is what is going to turn our economy around and it is not rocket science. This has been done in countries, like India and China. Less than 10 years ago, Nigeria was number four in the total number of people living in poverty; India was number one and China was number two.
“Today, Nigeria is not just number one, but there are more poor people living in Nigeria than India and China combined. India and China’s population is almost three billion, so we are not even up to 10 per cent of both and we have more poor people living in our country than both of them combined. Between 2000 and 2015, China pulled out 439 million people out of poverty.
“Corruption has nothing to do with unemployment. Economies are driven by the private sector. In India, they brought a First Class professor from Oxford to be their Prime Minister and he contributed his quota, but the revolution in India today is being led by somebody who came from the system. They saw what he was able to do in his region and brought him to the centre. In our own case, somebody comes from the moon and starts promising heaven. Everybody believes him, but when you put him there, he is confused.
“So, we need to change our leadership recruitment process and recruit people who have ideas and can also have the political will to take decisions and follow them through. We should also recruit leaders who have record of past performance that is verifiable. It is not about someone that speaks grammar in conferences. I do not think any country holds more conferences and prayer warriors than Nigeria, but see our situation.”
You’re A Shameless Politician, Okorocha Fires Back At Uzodinma
Rochas Okorocha, the outgoing governor of Imo state, on Sunday, replied Senator Hope Uzodinma,the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last general election, and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial zone, over his recent media attacks against him.
Okorocha decribed Uzodinma as a “shameless” politician who is a pliable tool in the hands of some politicians within and outside the state who are bent on ruining his political career.
He said Uzodinma would do anything to please his political masters to be in their good books
A statement signed by Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, read that, “within one week, Chief Hope Uzodinma, the governorship Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), in Imo State, has had series of interviews in almost all the national newspapers. And his target in all the interviews was Governor Rochas Okorocha. He has also invaded the social media with his insults on the governor.
“Interestingly enough, the kind of courage and boldness Chief Uzodinma displayed or exercised in all his media outings against Governor Okorocha only showed that he has no shame. And he could do worst things if he has the opportunity”.
According to the statement, “Chief Uzodinma contested the governorship election in the State with the ticket of APC and he could not win in his own Oru East local government. He could not win in any of the 27 LGAs in the State, and never came second or third in all the LGAs but only came fourth and he has the audacity to be granting interviews and talking balderdash.
“He has only confirmed that he was only used as tool to destroy Imo APC. And they have promised him Ministerial appointment and that is the reason behind his current media Campaigns and to be listened to, he has to be insulting Governor Rochas Okorocha.
“Chief Uzodinma and co told the world that governor Okorocha had finished politically, that they were the ones holding the ace of APC in the State. And today, Nigerians have seen or known who holds the franchise of APC in Imo and in the Southeast”.
It continued that, “at least, the outcome of the 2019 election spoke volume. It showed that like Governor Okorocha had said, Chief Uzodinma didn’t contest the 2019 governorship election in the State to win. He only came to be a tool in the hands of those who wanted to kill APC in Imo and South-East in general for reasons best known to them.
“The 2019 poll also showed that Ugwumba Uche Nwosu is loved by Imo people to a very large extent and he was the most popular governorship Candidate. He won the 2019 election with the real votes of Imo people but INEC decided to announce someone with fictitious figures winner.
“Chief Uzodinma could not produce even one House of Assembly member. But Ugwumba Nwosu produced about eleven House of Assembly members, two Federal House of Representatives members and one Senator for Okigwe zone on the platform of Action Alliance, (AA). And all those who won election on the tickets of APC are all Governor Okorocha’s men.
“The truth is that falsehood does not endure. But truth endures. Even at the moment, only Governor Okorocha has the capacity to rebuild APC in Imo and in the South-East generally with the support of the AA Chieftains led by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu.
“In case men like Hope Uzodinma do not know, Governor Okorocha will outlive them, outlive their mischievous politics and their gang up. In their effort to destroy Okorocha’s politics, they messed up the entire State with their Collaborators.
Uzodinma had on Friday in an interview he granted the Nation Newspaper fired a barb at Okorocha by calling him a saboteur.
SaharaReporters, New York
Mark My Words, I Will Become President Of Nigeria, Okorocha Vows
Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo State, has vowed that he will become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come what may.
Okorocha made his conviction public on Sunday during his valedictory thanksgiving service held at the Government House Chapel in Owerri.
He said that his current political travails, particularly the seizure of his Certificate of Return as the Imo West senator-elect, were only strengthening him for the exalted presidential seat in Aso Rock.
The outgoing governor said the wishes of his political adversaries concerning him would not come to pass, saying “those who want me to go to prison will go to prison before me.”
According to him, the elite hated him because he decided to approach the affairs of the state differently.
Describing himself as “the most criticised politician” in the country, Okorocha said that all the ploy to stop him from going to the Senate will fail.
Okorocha said, “I tell you, I am the most criticised person in Nigeria today. I don’t know why the entire elite hate me with cruelty.
“My Senate ambition is still a battle. More than 30 people have joined the suit to fight me. All these, I will overcome.
“They are only preparing me for the glory ahead.”
“Mark it, I will be president of Nigeria. I said this on this altar so that the kingdom of God will rise against those fighting to stop me.
“Also, those who think they will put me in prison will go to prison before me.
“They don’t want me to be at the National Assembly, but I will be there. I know I am the last man standing, but I will not give up.”
He said that 95 percent of Imo indigenes did not understand him and his style of governance.
“Only a few of them later realised that I meant well for the state. I governed the state with passion. I broke protocols and bent the laws, but I never broke laws.
“When I took over the office eight years ago, I wasn’t unmindful that a lot of people will misunderstand me and try to distract me.
“But today, I have left the state better than I met it. I am the architect of the new Imo. I am a satisfied governor.”
SaharaReporters, New York
APC Is Responsible For Rising Suicide, Misery In Nigeria, Says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has described the escalated despondency, depression and misery in the country as a national tragedy caused by the All Progressives Congress(APC) administration.
Lamenting what the party dubbed ‘rising social degeneration’, the opposition party urged Nigerians to show empathy and brotherly love to one another at this trying time . The party also ascribed the high incidence of suicide in the country to the depression and hardship foisted on the country by the Buhari-led administration.
PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the “rising spate of suicides, slavery mission abroad, divorces, child abandonment and other social degeneration” are occasioned by the “worsening economic hardship, poverty, hunger and rising insecurity under the incompetent, corrupt, divisive and manipulative APC administration.”
According to the statement, the PDP said Nigerians became more despondent after the electoral heist that happened in February 23, 2019 when Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate, was robbed of his mandate
“In the last few months, the news media has been awash with horrible reports of teenage suicide in our country.
“Banditry, insurgency, marauding, bloodletting and kidnapping with unmentionable ransoms, have almost become daily occurrences. Our citizenry is now battling with the worst kind of siege mentality.
“Constitutional violations, human rights abuses, arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, assault on perceived dissenting voices and attempt at annexation of our institutions of democracy, particularly the judiciary, signposts a nation in dire strait. “Misery has set in. This is evident in the shrinking of our nation’s Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) to 2.1percent in the first quarter of 2019. “It is saddening that at the time Nigerians ought to be celebrating, they are rather forlorn, committing suicide and exiting the country in droves.
“Most Nigerians have become downhearted in the face of an administration that wrecked our once robust economy and divided our people; in the face of worsening joblessness, piling bills, hunger and diseases; in the face of incompetence, lies, and unfulfilled promises of free homes, monthly allowance to unemployed youth and the poor, bringing the naira to the same value as the US Dollar, creating of 5 million new jobs, ending of insurgency in three months and myriad of other false promises.
“Instead, what our nation has witnessed is an official entrenchment and elevation of incompetence, deceit, propaganda, failure and cabal mentality on the corridors of power; a situation where the only achievement is the foisting of economic recession and mortgaging of the future of our nation with the accumulation of N24.39 trillion debt, with no tangible project to show.
“It is instructive to state that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration has obstinately refused to allow any scrutiny of its books, knowing that they are catalogues of corruption, treasury looting, violations, impunity and acts that have brought our nation to its knees.”
SaharaReporters, New York
Trailer Crushes Female LASTMA Officer To Death In Lagos
Arogundade Remilekun, a female officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency(LASTMA), has been crushed to death by a trailer.
It was gathered that the tragic incident occured in Apapa area of Lagos on Sunday morning
The late Remilekun was said to be from Apapa Zone 36 station base
It was gathered that the officer was at the back of the truck when the tragedy occurred.
The trailer crushed her to death as the driver was trying to reverse.
Eyewitnesses said the driver of the trailer was oblivious of the deceased’s presence.
She was said to have died right on the spot.
Her remains have been evacuated from the scene of the tragedy
SaharaReporters, New York
Lagos Task Force Officers Assault Journalist, Detain Him For Hours
Abdul-waheed Usamah, a journalist , was assaulted on Saturday by officers of the Lagos Task Force for confronting the officers to stop harassing innocent people.
The incident occured at the Police College in Ikeja during a victory party organised for the Lagos Governor-Elect Babajide sanwo-Olu on Saturday.
Usamah, who is the Managing Director of an online news portal called ‘The Guild’, was not just beaten black and blue but also bundled into a Black Maria and taken to the Task Force Headquarters in Oshodi. He was detained at the headquarters for two hours
According to Usamah, “I attended the Victory party organized for the Lagos Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Kadri Hamzat, by Sanwo-Olu’s ICG, and held at the Police College in Ikeja. During the event, I noticed how police officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force have been harassing and embarrassing APC party members and other guests who were trying to access VIP session of the party, and I drew the attention of the organizer and the ICG’s security to the men.
“During the process of trying to advise and made suggestions to the ICG’s security so as to save guests from the embarrassment coming from the police officers, one the officers, violently pushed me and we got into arguments, and others, including their superior started threatening.
“While I was trying to talk them out, one officer came from the crowd, and punched me in the face, and the next thing I knew, five of the officers started dragging me and forcefully pushed into the Task Force truck. I was kept in the Black Maria for an hour, and was later driven, inside the Black Maria to the agency’s office where I was kept inside cell.”
He explained further: “When we got to the agency’s office, I was handed over to the officers on duty who after, seizing my two phones, asked me to removed my belt and shoes, and locked me inside a cell where I met about 17 people in bad condition.
“After about an hour and half, one officer came in announcing my name and directed his colleagues to open the cell iron gate for me and led me to the Task Force Chairman’s office, where I met him. He ordered for my belongings in agency’s care and released me.”
SaharaReporters, New York
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