The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday responded to the recent comments by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, Mr. Bola Tinubu who tagged him ‘Mr. Stingy, says he watched his people suffer and saved the state’s funds rather than save the people.

Reacting to this, Obi challenged the former Lagos State governor to center his conversations around corruption and accountability.

The LP standard bearer, further said it was unfortunate that saving had now become an issue when people have stolen all the money and impoverished the country. He insisted that no one can fault him for refusing to steal public funds.

OBI spoke at the weekend when he was featured in a Presidential Town Hall meeting with his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed on the Channels TV

According to him, “It’s good when my opponents talk. Let us talk about corruption. One of the things killing this country today is Corruption Perception Index, which is measured by how you manage public assets, nepotism, how you share the land, how you manage your money, and everything.

I’ve challenged everyone to go and see whether there is anywhere a kobo of Anambra State money is missing.’ Saving has now become an issue. When people have stolen all the money and impoverished the country and you are now questioning a man who left the money without anybody telling me to leave it and go.” Obi also vowed to dismantle what he described as “confusion” at the Nigeria Port Authority through a genuine partnership with the private sector.

He also discussed his plans to put an end to militancy, banditry, and agitation by various organizations in the nation, repeating that, if elected, his government will not hesitate to meet with all resentful groups for negotiations, including Boko Haram and IPOB.

Obi, who focused mostly on economics, education, power, and notably security, pledged to open all of the nation’s ports in order to boost economic activity and to end the cabal’s obstruction of efforts to establish other functional ports across the nation. He said: “It is a confusion they created that I will dismantle.

“People have to do the right thing. Port is not difficult. Nigeria is lucky that we have ported all over the place. What’s happening to the Ibom? Look at the Port Harcourt Ocean terminal started by Shagari. Look at Warri. Everywhere in Nigeria has a port and you can just open it up.

“But people deliberately don’t want it opened because if it opens up, they won’t have the confusion. That’s what is happening everywhere in Nigeria; they don’t want to open up the economy to let people’s talents and hard work match up the opportunities because they will not have anything to steal.”Asked what he would do differently to change the state of the economy, he said: “Very easy, I will bring in the private sector, build ports and manage it. That’s how it works everywhere.”

Regarding security, Obi argued that intentional attempts should be made to invite all agitators and secessionists to the negotiating table in order to discover whether they have valid complaints. He clarified that citizens have the right to oppose injustice in democracies, and he added that it was the responsibility of the government to investigate what must have precipitated such a protest.

Obi said: “When you look at what is causing agitations today, it is the issue of injustice, the issues that have to do with unfairness, unemployment, poverty. When you start addressing these issues and you engage them in a discussion, bringing them to the table. “We have agitations globally with convincing arguments that things are not the way they should be. We have agitators all around us. My children, everyone agitates.

“When we sit them down and discuss with them when they see reasons with us, they will agree. To say that you can continue with this injustice, continue with this unfairness, continue with this level of poverty, unemployment, and young people not knowing where the next meal will come from, you will always have a crisis in your hands.

“I will discuss with everybody even if you are a prisoner. Even if you have been jailed, I will bring you out so we can discuss it. We must exhaust reasoning before we apply the stick. It’s important. This is a democratic dispensation. You don’t just get up and give orders. I won’t do that. I will govern by rule of law. I will govern by sitting down and discussing with everybody.”

Asked if that includes Boko Haram and IPOB, he said, “I have to find out who they are. Once you can identify who you are, I will discuss with you no matter what you are doing, no matter the kind of guns you are carrying, I will discuss with you.”

For the power sector, Obi said he would declare a state of emergency in the sector, promising to generate no less than 20,000 MW in his first four years in office. He also said he would not revisit the power sector privatization, saying that instead, he would support players in the sector to improve the existing power infrastructure.

In his part, the president, Obi’s running mate, faulted the President for the lack of openness in contracts and purchases, particularly when it comes to the delivery of military hardware.

Baba-Ahmed also said it was better to have a brain drain than to have, a “brain in a drain,” adding that Nigeria cannot afford to have qualified and educated medical professionals and others go to waste as a result of the broken system.“there is going to be a positive revolution in Nigeria, it has started, you can see evidently from the OBIdient Movement, there is going to be a revolution in governance itself when we come into power than is going to have an announcement effect as a tsunami.” He noted.

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