Watch: Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi on his plans to transform Nigeria’s economy
Peter Obi’s main mission as the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is to transform Nigeria’s economy. He has three specific goals. First, there is the need to diversify Nigeria’s oil wealth. Second, Obi wants to make Nigeria a place where even if you can’t get rich, you can feel comfortable. In other words, to create a middle-class society. And third, Obi wants to make Nigeria a place where more and more people will no longer be poor.
The former deputy governor of Kaduna state, who lost to the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, speaks with VOA correspondent Lisa Whelchel in Abuja.
In the middle of the presidential campaign, you’ve taken a lot of media to task for your past statements on the issue of insecurity in the North. I’m wondering where you stand now. You’ve said you want a lasting peace in the north. But are you really sure it can be achieved?
My statement to the press was on what my government will not do — which is to allow the military to do whatever it wants, in every part of the country, to create a full-blown war. That to me is a failure of our democracy. That’s a failure of our system of government.
Then, of course, you’ve spoken about the need to create a system that benefits not just a few but everyone. But would you then agree with the former governor of Kano, Rabiu Musa Yar’Adua, who said there is no solution to Nigeria’s problems unless there is a redistribution of wealth in his state?
Rabiu Musa Yar’Adua is my friend. I would not presume to tell him the solution to Nigeria’s problems. I only say this, and I said it before the primaries: If Nigerians come to believe that the rich are richer than the poor, I believe we can say with conviction that a new political order will emerge.
The issue of the government’s failure to provide good governance for the North was brought up a lot in this campaign. Would you agree that in the north of Nigeria there is no government in place to provide for the people?
I believe we need to create a political system