Former governor of Anambra State and vice presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 elections, Peter Obi, said yesterday that the South-East needed to present a convincing argument to the rest of Nigeria on why the region should produce the next president.
Obi, who stated this in an interview on Arise TV, said though the South-East had compelling reasons to want to produce the country’s next president in 2023, it must embrace the politics of engagement and consultation, and not confrontation.”
He said: “We need to convince the other people why it should be us. And you know we have a convincing argument for that. But it needs to be convincing. We are not going to hold a gun in their head and say you must come here.
“Politics is about engagement and consultation, and not confrontation. You consult and discuss with other people and say, ‘this is how we need to do it for us to have peaceful co-existence’.
“The decision will be done within the party. It’s not a question of my view or anybody’s view; it’s that of the party. Because even if we say it should come to the south and the party zones it to the north, there’s nothing that can be done.
‘’This is because these are major parties with a lot of members and stakeholders who will sit down and discuss at round tables. Politics, for me, is something you sit down at a roundtable, discuss and agree with each other.”
Obi criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s attempt at stimulating the economy through construction and revitalisation of infrastructure, stressing that what the government needed to do was strengthen the informal sector of the economy to be able to grow the economy.
Although the Buhari administration has invested hugely in rejigging the country’s vital infrastructure, inter-state rail networks and road corridors have been built, the former Anambra State governor advised the President to focus its efforts on growing small businesses in the country.
According to him, what will boost the economy is small and medium scale entreprises as it is in other parts of the world, and not building of infrastructure.
“You can’t use infrastructure to drive economic growth. You invest in education and the SME (Small, Medium Enterprises) sector instead to deal with poverty. Taking people out of poverty is not magic.”