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Peter Obi Says 2023 Elections Won’t Be About Connection As Chimamanda Adichie Canvasses For Accountable Leadership

  • Atiku vows to hand over Federal Universities to State Governments if elected

Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, on Monday expressed optimism that the 2023 general election will be centred on the capacity of candidates and not their connections, tribe or religion.

Obi, who spoke at the ongoing 2022 Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Lagos, said: “Remember, the election we are going to have next year will not be about tribe, not religion, not connection, not entitlement, but about character, competence, capacity, and commitment to deliver.”

The conference is holding with the theme ‘Bold Transitions.’ It commenced on Monday and will end on Friday, August 26.

Also speaking at the even, award-winning author, Chimamanda Adichie, lamented that Nigeria is starved of heroes to inspire its citizens, particularly the young people.

She therefore appealed to Nigerians to embrace self-criticism to foster transparency and good governance in the country.

According to Adichie, “we are starved of heroes. Our young people do not find people to look up to anymore. As long as we refuse to untangle the knot of injustice, peace cannot thrive. If we don’t talk about it, we fail to hold leaders accountable and we turn what should be transparent systems into ugly opaque cults.

“My experience made me think there’s something dead in us, in our society; a death of self-awareness and ability for self-criticism.

“There’s need for resurrection. We cannot avoid self-criticism but criticise the government. We cannot hide our own institutional failure while demanding transparency from the government.”

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the event, vowed to hand over federal universities to State governments if elected in 2023.

Said the former Vice President: “One of the fundamental reforms I have in my policy document is to encourage the private sector as far as the development of the country is concerned — both foreign and local. It is very essential because the federal government does not have the resources to do all the things that they want to do.”

“The only way is to make sure that a conducive environment is available for the local and foreign investors to participate in the development of our country, whether it is infrastructure, education and healthcare.

“I had an argument with a university professor from Federal University, Lokoja. He said he read in my policy document that I intend to devolve, in other words, to return education to the states. How dare I do that?

“I said: ‘Mr professor, do you realise that the first set of our universities belongs to the regional governments?’ He said, ‘yes’. I said ‘who are the successors of the regional government?’ He said: ‘the states’.

“I said the children you send to America or England, who own those universities? Mostly the private sector. So, why is it that you think we cannot do it here? We don’t have the money.”

Commenting on the state of the nation, Atiku said, Atiku said since 1999, Nigeria had never experienced this level of poverty, insecurity and unemployment.

“Since the return of democracy in 1998/99, Nigeria has never found itself in such a very very critical point in our history.

“Today, we have had all the negative indices. Today, we are all disunited in the nation. We have never experienced this level of poverty. We have never experienced this state of insecurity. We have never experienced this level of unemployment. We have recognised all these negative development in our history.

“This is where history and experience beckon on us to make sure that we don’t get it wrong at this point in time otherwise if we get it wrong. I don’t know when we will ever get it right. I have been involved in the struggle to return this country to democracy to this country in the time of military days. In fact, I can even say I was even lucky to be alive because so many of my contemporaries have been killed in this struggle but by the grace of God I have survived till this point in time,” he said.

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