The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has said his administration will not carry out a witch hunt of previous governments if elected into office in the 2023 presidential election.
Obi stated in an interview with journalists shortly after unveiling an educationist, Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, as his running mate on Friday.
“As for probing the past government, let me tell you: you see me argue that you can’t close your shop and be chasing thieves, those who only look at yesterday and today will miss tomorrow. God did not give us eyes at the back, mine is to look forward.
“If you come into the government today and decide to stop the leakage first, you will get more. I am not going to be part of any form of victimisation or witch-hunt, it won’t happen. Nigerians must live within law and order.
“But I can tell you right away. If you, the principal person, the local government chairman, the governor or the President are not stealing, your family is not, and those around you are not, you will reduce it by 70 per cent,” the former Anambra State governor added.
While announcing Baba-Ahmed as his running mate, he said the former lawmaker was eminently qualified to bring his private sector and academic achievements to bear in the drive to rescue Nigeria from the primitive politics of ethnicity.
Obi added that the LP would anchor its manifesto in the coming days on the 17 goals of Sustainable Development Goals.
He added, “I have the honour to present to you somebody I can call a friend, a younger brother, and God willing the next Vice President of Nigeria in the name of Senator Yusuf Baba-Ahmed.
“We made this choice and Datti and I sat down and discussed it. I said to him, ‘What we are doing is not just the two of us.’ We are bringing all Nigerians into this big tent where everybody will be involved because we want to end the primitive politics of ethnicity, and religion. What we want now is to replace that with competence.”
While accepting his nomination, Baba-Ahmed, who is the proprietor and founder of Baze University, Abuja, and Baba-Ahmed University, Kano, said Nigeria was in a great deal of trouble and that he could not afford not to be part of the people to rescue the country.
Baba-Ahmed said, “I remain forever humbled and appreciative of this consideration. My task is simple and it is to accept this nomination and this candidacy. Just before I do that, I should normally give a justification as the fundamental reason for being on this ticket is to rescue Nigeria. It goes logically and without saying that you can only rescue that which is in trouble. Nigeria is in a great deal of trouble. I cannot afford not to be part of the movement to rescue Nigeria.
The Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, said that the party proved to people that it could achieve any feat, adding the event was a clear message.
Meanwhile, the party has said an Obi-Baba-Ahmed presidency will create a better and united Nigeria devoid of ethnic and religious sentiments.
But speaking with Saturday PUNCH, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Arabambi Abayomi, said the issues surrounding the Buhari regime and the candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Peoples Democratic Party and others showed that the Labour Party was prepared to govern Nigeria.
“In the Obi- Baba-Ahmed ticket, you can see the credentials. For us, Nigerians should expect unity from an Obi- Baba-Ahmed administration. Nigerians should expect a change in our production. Nigerians should expect jobs,” Abayomi said.
“With an Obi- Baba-Ahmed administration, we will be more united because Buhari has divided us along ethnic and religious lines. Obi and Baba-Ahmed are true Nigerians that have come out to say they want to govern Nigeria, not on ethnic and religious lines.”