Story by Solomon Mokwugwo
Edited by Ononye VC
Peter Obi, the Labour Party flag bearer in the forthcoming presidential election, has staged a mega rally in his territory, Anambra State. The former Anambra governor said he would reopen all the industries that have closed down, a promise he made at the special presidential campaign rally organised in Nnewi, Anambra State, on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Obi recalled that as governor, he stemmed the tide of robberies and violent crimes, strengthened the industrial revolution and agriculture and urban development, and encouraged investments and employment generation. He therefore assured that as Nigeria’s president come May 29, 2023, he would replicate the same. He said: “Datti Baba Ahmed and I are out to create a new Nigeria. The new Nigeria is where there will be security of lives and property. When I came in as governor in Anambra, bank robberies and all forms of criminalities were rampant. But my government sent them out for good. It will happen in Nigeria when I emerge as president.
“Nigeria, in 2012, had about 30 million people in extreme poverty; today, they are about 100 million. In 2012, unemployment rate in Nigeria was about 10%, but today, it is 35%. Datti and I will create a new Nigeria where everyone will be proud to be called a Nigerian. We are committed to pulling our citizens out of poverty, and the only way to do this is to pull Nigeria from a consuming nation to a productive nation.
“I’m a trader like you; our government will encourage domestic industries, and all your industries closed down will be reopened. I am a proud Igbo man and a proud Southeastener, but I’m running this election as a proud Nigerian who is most qualified for that position.”
Obi also encouraged Anambra voters to vote massively for LP candidates at all levels, saying that by so doing, he would have National Assembly legislators to work with if he becomes president. The national vice chairman of the party in the South-East zone, Innocent Sunday Okeke, encouraged Anambra and South-East voters to give unflinching support to Peter Obi. According to him, the South-East would hardly have such an opportunity in the near future if the present opportunity is missed.
A former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, and the special adviser to Mr Peter Obi on technology and strategic alliances, Valentine Chineto Ozigbo, told the crowd that Anambra has 2.7 million registered voters, and that the state should not make a mistake of wasting any vote.
A strong supporter of Peter Obi’s presidential aspiration, and a woman activist, Aisha Yusuf, who spoke in an emotion-laden tone, said that Nigerians have been insulted, abused, and dehumanised in their own country. She said: “This is the time to take back our country. We must go out, protest and take back our country; but our PVCs should be our placards. People of Nigeria are going to be winners of the 2023 election. We’ll speak with our PVCs, and the world will hear us when we speak.”
In Peter Obi’s campaign train were the senatorial candidate of the party for Anambra South, Obinna Uzor; House of Representatives candidate of the party for Orumba North and South, Nicky Ugochukwu; and House of Representatives candidate of the party for Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo, Fredrick Emeka Aniagwu, among other candidates. Others include Nigeria’s former minister of finance, Nenadi Usman; and the director general of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr Akin Osuntokun.
The traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Orizu, received Obi’s entourage at his palace.