By Nehru Odeh
Former Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, has lent his voice to the clamour for Igbo presidency in the 2023 elections, albeit with a caveat. While, for the sake of fairness, he seems to be in support of it, the former governor of Anambra said there was a need to restructure the country first.
According to him talking about Igbo presidency without restructuring is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse. Obi said this during an interview session on national television. “Let’s deal with restructuring first,” he averred.
When asked how the country would go about it, he said: “We are all talking about being fair to a section of the country. But also, for me, in doing that we are just trying to say we want to be on the driving seat. But this vehicle called Nigeria has an engine problem.
“So let’s work on the engine as well, while we are changing the driving. Let’s restructure the country and make it more efficient. Even those who are afraid of restructuring, I can tell you they will benefit more because they have the greatest asset. The greatest asset of any nation now is the people,” he said.
He also expressed his support for Amotekun, the security outfit established by governors of the South-West, adding that it was an idea whose time has come because of the structural failure and insecurity in the country.
“We have a structural failure that needs to be fixed immediately. We have a problem that countries across the world are worried about. And a section of the country now wants to help. So what happened in the south0West is something that should be applauded and celebrated for,” he explained.
Obi also said the bold move by the South-West governors makes restructuring nessary and imperative.
“We say we are Federal republic of Nigeria. In a federating unit there should be regional cooperation. And this is what those who are clamouring for restructuring are saying day and night. This structure as it is today has failed. It has failed security-wise. It has failed economically. It has failed on all measurements. So let’s restructure it. If you have a business that is not working, you need to restructure it and deal with it. And it is very easy. The South-West say we want to protect ourselves because we have found out that security is out problem. We can’t attract investors. We can’t do anything. We must protect ourselves.
When asked whether the Amotekun template would work for the South-East, he said: ”It will work in every section of Nigeria because all they would do is to have a system that will complement with the central system.”
He also added that: “There is no reason why the Lagos State government cannot decide we want to make Lagos attractive to every investor worldwide And to do that, the number one thing to do is to ensure that there is security in Lagos, ensure that things happen in Lagos and choose what they need to do to attract investors. There is no reason why Governor Wike of Rivers State cannot say ‘I want to provide security in Port Harcourt to bring back all the oil companies that left because of insecurity. There is no reason why Okowa In Delta State cannot say I want to bring everybody that left Warri. That’s what we are looking for. That’s how they can create jobs and turn around the economy of the place,” he maintained.