By Jude Atupulazi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, says he will contest in the 2023 presidential election if his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) throws it open for all to contest, or zones it to the south.
Obi who was PDP’s Vice-Presidential Candidate in the 2019 presidential poll, was quoted as saying this during a press interview.
A press release by his media aide, Mr Val Obienyem, quoted Obi as saying that he was capable of turning around the fortunes of the country, but would wait on the decision of the People’s Democratic Party before he declared his intention.
Obi said, ‘All the elections that I followed in the past, the party that I belong to today, the PDP, made a pronunciation and took a stand. At least in 2019 when I was involved, where I can say Atiku graciously chose me as his running mate for which I remain eternally grateful to him, the party decided that the candidate should come from the North and that was what the party decided. And I believe that the party owes it as a duty to say what their stand is. If their stand today is South, rest assured I am aspiring. If they say North, I can’t do otherwise or they choose the option that everybody is free, then, of course, you will be hearing from me.’
The former Governor while affirming his commitment to building a better Nigeria, advised all and sundry to choose a candidate who was competent and most importantly had integrity.
‘What we are looking for in this country today are people of integrity, people of conscience, people who are less greedy. Educational qualification is not a measure of integrity; it doesn’t guarantee that somebody is less greedy or that people have conscience,’ Obi said.
He further added, ‘I have seen people here acquire what they don’t need. I saw it while I was serving. To fight corruption here, you need somebody who has integrity, who is not greedy, who has conscience. If you have that, fighting corruption is easy because,
if you who are in charge are not stealing, you will reduce stealing by 50 to 70 per cent. And it is critical that you have somebody who is like that. It is not when people are acquiring lands, houses, everything they don’t need; they want to live a lifestyle that is far beyond the economy of Nigeria, far beyond their earnings, that is why the place is collapsing.
That is why we have insecurity, that is why we have poverty. We need to manage the costs efficiently and these are the critical areas as you people know as you look for people who will govern the country in the future,’ he noted.