The Labor Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has lamented that the country is currently sowing poverty, hunger and insecurity because of bad leadership.
He said this at his campaign rally held on Thursday at the Abubakar Tafawa Bewa Stadium hockey field, Bauchi.
Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, lamented the country’s huge debt burden and vowed that things would be different under his leadership.
He said: “Every time I am in Bauchi, I am reminded that once upon a time there was a united and peaceful Nigeria. Nigeria was on the path to greatness for a revered Bauchi leader and that is Tafawa Balewa. I come from Anambra State and live in Onitsha, where he is from an elderly statesman who believes in the unity of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
“Nigeria is creating poverty, people are poor in Nigeria, people are hungry, people are insecure. All the money we have borrowed, if we had used it the way Tafawa Balewa used the money he borrowed, Nigeria would have been paradise today.
“On June 19, 1974, Tafawa Balewa applied to the World Bank for $82 million to build the Kainji Dam to generate power. Today, the Kainji dam is still there, it was supposed to generate 750MW. Today, the equivalent of that money is supposed to be about $1.25 billion.
“Today, Nigeria owes N77 trn. If you divide that by the value of what Tafawa Balewa borrowed then, we would have had 150 Kainji dams and Nigeria would have been exporting power to other countries today.
“This is a city (Bauchi) where someone came from who wanted to build a new Nigeria and we are here saying that we want to build a Nigeria. A new Nigeria is possible, a Nigeria where there is work, a Nigeria with economic growth, a peaceful Nigeria, a secure Nigeria, that is what we want to build.”
He urged Nigerians not to vote for ethnic or religious reasons, noting that people in all parts of the country are currently living with hunger.
Obi, who also vowed to create jobs for Nigeria’s unemployed youth, assured the Bauchi people that newly found oil in the state would be used to develop the state.