What Peter Obi said in his CNN interview

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Mr Obi spoke on Friday when he appeared as a guest on the American-based television station, CNN.

“We have been able to elect people based on ethnicity, religion, my turn, connection or one form of bias or the other which brought us to where we are,” he said.

The LP candidate claimed he was working to “dismantle” such biases to create room for the election of credible leaders into various elective positions in 2023.

“We want to ensure that (the criteria for voting people) in the next election is based on character, capacity, competence and commitment to do the right thing. Nigeria is now, not just in a physical mess, (but) it is at the last stage to collapse,” Mr Obi stated.

He said the Nigerian elite were the people who advance the biases to harm the country’s development aspirations.

“So, all you hear about ethnicity, religion, connection, my turn – are elites’ conspiracy to keep Nigeria underdeveloped. But now we have reached the edge. We can no longer continue this way,” he added.

Overcoming economic woes

Mr Obi said to solve Nigeria’s economic woes, the rising insecurity in the country must be tackled to enable economic and agricultural activities to go on unhindered.

“They have to deal decisively with the issue of security. It is impacting negatively on our economy today. You have to deal with it head-on, because you have to get your farmers to go back to farm and start ensuring that, (for instance) the vast lands of the north are invested and cultivated on,” he said.

Mr Obi, a former governor of Anambra, said the growing insecurity in the country can be “dealt with” by re-organising the security architecture and ensuring multi-level policing which demands that state police be adopted in the country.

Mr Obi said recruiting and equipping more personnel into Nigeria’s security force as well as properly motivating them are central to fighting insecurity in the country.

“You have to start pulling people out of poverty as quickly as possible. You have to reduce aggressively the cost of governance and deal with the issue of corruption,” he said.

He criticised the Nigerian government for not repairing the country’s refineries to boost oil production, saying there was no reason the country’s refineries should not be put to use.

“There is no reason why we should not encourage the private sector to build refineries and operate them. And they are not rocket science. You can use today to decide to remove fuel subsidies and use the resources to support critical areas of production,” Mr Obi said.

No overnight solution

The LP candidate, however, said the country’s numerous challenges cannot be solved overnight.

He also said it would take a leader that possesses the requisite capacity and competence to solve the dilemmas in the country.

He said, “you are not going to solve it overnight, but there will be a clear, visible, measurable attempt to deal with it. And they are things that are solvable. They can be dealt with decisively.”

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