From presidential opinion polls to a highly loyal and ‘Obidient’ fan movement, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has been the talk of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential race so far. 

This is due to his promises to Nigerians in his campaign speeches on his desire to restore the country’s economy. For him, this will be from a nation that consumes to a nation that produces.

On January 17, 2023, he reiterated these promises in the Chatham House in London, UK. 

Most Nigerians online were especially glad that the candidate could answer questions given to him boldly and by himself. 

This wasn’t the case for another presidential candidate, who had his Chatham House speech in December 2022.

That candidate is Bola Tinubu of the All-Progressives Congress (APC)

Anyways, let’s look at five bold promises that Obi made to Nigerians during the event:

“We’ll fight and stop corruption”

Like Marvel’s Avengers, Obi wishes to stop evil and build a “New Nigeria” where there is no corruption alongside his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed. 

Yusuf Datti Bab-Ahmed and Peter Obi

He feels that the duo are the best fit for the job. He claimed that he never took property for himself in his tenure as Anambra State governor. He also claimed that Datti didn’t steal any money during his time as a Senator. 

His strategy to end corruption is to ensure that it doesn’t exist in the basic units of society. This includes family units and friends. 

According to Obi, “If you’re not involved [in corruption], your wife is not involved, your family is not involved, and the people around you are not involved, you have reduced corruption by over 50%.”

“As long as some Nigerians are in IDP [camps], all of us are in IDP [camps].” 

Obi promised to ensure that the whole of Nigeria is secure, not just select states. 

He mentioned spending his Christmas holidays in Makurdi and Abuja in Internal Displaced Person camps (IDP). In these camps, he assured all displaced persons that he would not stop until all Nigerians were secure in their home states.

“As Long As Nigerians Are in IDP [camps], All of Us Are in IDP [camps]. We can’t have some Nigerians sleeping in IDP [camps] and some in mansions.”

Nigeria currently has the third highest number of internally displaced persons (IDP) in Africa. 2.7 million IDPs were recorded in 2020. An estimated number of 2.7 million people was recorded in 2020. This is due to rural conflicts, extremism,  armed banditry, and climate disasters. 

“I’ll attract foreign investors like bees to honey.”

In June 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) declared that the total value of capital entering Nigeria had declined to $6.7 billion in 2021. This was the lowest amount in five years.

What’s Obi’s plan to solve this?

He said he would ensure that the country is attractive enough for foreign investments in the first place. 

According to Obi, foreign capital has not been forthcoming in Nigeria. This is due to its “being scared” of the rule of law, and heavy corruption. 

He plans to solve that by making sure that there is a regulated environment where there is no corruption.

“Further borrowing will ONLY be for production.”

For Obi, the problem is not in the country’s borrowing but in using the money borrowed mostly for consumption purposes. 

Obi came again with his “Consumption to Production” mandate. The borrowed money will be used for production purposes only. To achieve this, he plans to implement economic policies to reduce our debt service. This is because borrowing is a major drain on government revenue.

If he becomes Nigeria’s president, debt is one problem Obi has to solve “sharp sharp” for us. The country is currently in a ₦77 trillion debt since President Buhari first came into power in 2015. 

“If they can declare an emergency on power, then I can declare a war”

When asked how he would combat hindrances to national power generation, Obi used the example of South Africa. 

The nation recently declared an emergency on power. This gave any independent vendor free licensing to generate up to 100MW of electricity. 

Note that this is a country that currently generates 42,000 MW of power. Meanwhile, Nigeria has not generated up to 6,000 MW of electricity since 1960.

Hence this inspired Obi to say that “if South Africa could declare an emergency on power,” then he could “declare a war on power.”

He plans to instigate this “war” by removing legislative blockers for independent energy companies and giving them free licenses to generate certain amounts of power for the country.

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