The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has explained that Nigerians need to unite so that the country can experience true development.
In a statement marking the 53rd anniversary of the end of the civil war, Obi said a working nation will not give room for extremist groups.
He described the deaths recorded during the civil war which ended in 1970 as “regrettable”, adding that with the right leadership in place, Nigeria has what it takes to excel.
“It is also worth calling a spade a spade. There are youths all over Nigeria who are frustrated because of injustice, poverty, lack of opportunities, unemployment, and apparent exclusion,” he said.
“Such youths could seize upon and use anything issue or tool to express their frustration and anger. I believe that some of those who are agitating, are doing so partly due to our failures in creating an inclusive and progressive Nigeria.
“A working Nigeria with equity, justice and fairness will also definitely and effectively checkmate such extreme groups like Boko Haram and ISWAP.”
Obi also said with the challenges faced by the country, there is a need to ensure justice, equity, and peace as part of efforts to move the country forward.
“Today, 133 million Nigerians live in multi-dimensional poverty, 20 million children are out of school, we have near 40% unemployment, with about 60%unemployed youths who do not know where the next meal will come from; our young people in their productive years are doing nothing, our primary healthcare system has collapsed; we have overtaken India in infant mortality despite their being seven times our population,” he said.
“Our youths’ drug abuse prevalence is the highest in the world. We are now globally treated like second class citizens; with Nigerians being refused entry into countries we were far better than a few years ago.
“These are things that should concern us today; these are things I want us to come together as a family and as a great nation to commence reversing, irrespective of our tribe and religion.
“That is the Nigeria for which I wish to be the Team Leader, where everybody will be included, no matter where he or she comes from or what his or her beliefs are.
“There are critical junctures and times in which every nation must seize the moment to define or redefine its history. For Nigeria that moment is now!
“Today marks fifty-three years of Nigeria’s re-unification after the civil war. A new Nigeria is possible; a nation bound in freedom, peace, unity, justice and prosperity is realisable!
“Let us all join hands in love and brotherhood to build, with God of our creation guiding our noble cause!”
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