The biggest sign yet that Peter Obi may not be the president Nigerians earnestly seek was given during an Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) conference in Lagos recently as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate was exposed for his apparent hollowness in a heated debate amongst candidates for the country’s number one seat come 2023.
In it’s usual tradition to host candidates gunning for top political offices on the eve of a major presidential polls, the apex accounting body had invited some of the gladiators to present their manifestos, clearly stating how they planned to get the country out of the woods.
The audience had particularly been looking forward to a robust, engaging session from some of the candidates that graced the occasion.
And, because of the hype that has attended some of his political rallies and activities recently, Peter Obi had drawn perhaps the biggest ovation when he walked into the venue with his retinue of aides.
But his deficiencies were soon to be exposed the moment he mounted the rostrum to speak.
As has been typical of his presentations, he dwelt extensively on how leaders of the past failed the country through corruption and inept leadership but dismally fell short
in the aspect of how he intended to confront and solve the problems.
The former governor of Anambra State also did not help his case as he was caught in the unfancied web of reeling out unrealistic figures and statistics to back up his summations.
Well, the audience’s initial high estimation of him would finally be dealt a crucial blow when Professor Christopher Imumolen, the youthful and cerebral Accord party presidential candidate came to puncture big holes in Obi’s economic plan which solely hinged on agriculture, and nothing else.
Attention of the audience would automatically shift to Professor Imumolen as he engaged the issues with erudition, clarity and accuracy.
“I would like to disagree with my friend, Mr Peter Obi that investment in agriculture is the only way to transform Nigeria’s economy to a productive one,” Professor Imumolen said in his opening statement.
“I would rather emphasise on human capacity development, technology, creating enabling business policies that would encourage foreign direct investment in our economy, power and infrastructural development, as well as ensuring the security of everyone, both of Nigerians and visitors into Nigeria.
“These are the things I would do, rather than concentrating only on agriculture if elected as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023,” he said.
The youngest presidential candidate had hardly finished his presentation before he was accorded perhaps the biggest honour of a standing ovation — one which perhaps was originally intended for Peter Obi — by the appreciative audience.
Other candidates like Delta State governor and running mate to PDP’s Atiku Abubukar, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, African Action Congress (AAC) candidate, Omoyele Sowore, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA’s) candidate, Professor Peter Umeadi and vice presidential candidate to Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Bishop Isaac Idahosa also defended their manifestos at the conference.
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