2023 Elections: The Last Time Nigerians In Diaspora Will Not Vote; It Will Be About Character, Competence, Capacity, And Commitment To Move Nigeria In The Right Direction- Peter Obi
Washington DC, September 15, 2022: The Labour Party of Nigeria presidential flag bearer His Excellency Mr Peter Obi was recently in Washington DC as part of his Diaspora engagement initiative, during which he addressed the issues of inability of the Diaspora to vote and the attributes of the new Nigerian president. He said, “The reason the Nigerian ruling class does not want Nigerian in Diaspora to vote is because they will not vote for them. An Obi/ Datti presidency will ensure that the 2023 Nigerian elections will be the last election that Nigerians in Diaspora will not vote in.” On the attributes of the incoming president he said, The 2023 election will not be about religion, tribe, connection or “My Turn”. “The 2023 election is going to be about character, competence, capacity and commitment to move Nigeria in the right direction.” The Washington DC visit was his 7th stop on his recent overseas trip and was facilitated by the Mr Philip Njowusi-led Peter Obi Support Group (DC, Maryland, Virginia Area), the Professor Eddie Oparaoji-led Nigerian-American Coalition for Justice and Democracy (NACJD aka “the Coalition”) among others.
During his speech Mr Obi discussed wide ranging issues bordering on solving Nigeria’s woes including the following, stating that: “Our education sector has collapsed. UNESCO published figures on 9/1/2022 indicating that Nigeria’s number of out of school children has now risen to about 20 million”
“Indians used to come to Nigeria to teach to earn money and send back home. Now Nigerians go to India to learn”;
“Most Nigerians in the Diaspora were educated in Nigeria. Most left Nigeria when the Naira traded for about 0.68k to $1.00, N1.00 to $1.00, N10.00 to $1.00. We all know what the exchange rate is today. Everything is heading south”
“We were doing better in education than many of our peers like China, Vietnam, South Korea and Bangladesh, to mention but a few”
“Nigeria was projected to overtake India in infant mortality in 2025 but that has happened 3 years earlier”
“Nigeria at some point, used to be a country of reference as there was time we did very significant things across the world like helping South Korea pay salaries, funding the IMF and helping many countries take care of their problems”
“There was time when Nigeria had everything - in the 1970s and 1980s. Now poverty has taken over the country. With a population of 200 million, our poverty level is now greater than that of India and China combined, two countries whose population is about 2.8 billion”
“Our unemployment rate has tanked, insecurity has gripped the entire country and crude oil theft has gone out of control”
“Time was when Nigerians in Diaspora used to look forward to going home. Not any more. No good news comes from Nigeria anymore. Things keep getting worse”
“Nigerians in the Diaspora appear to be worse off as they suffer a double whammy. While they have escaped the social problems back home they have ended up being the social welfare system for people back home. In addition to their hard work, they have ended up being ATM machines for folks back home. They are unable to enjoy their hard work. Of every 10 phone calls they receive from home, 11 are about trouble at home”
“Nigeria is currently unable to meet its OPEC assigned production quota of crude oil due to crude oil theft, corruption and mismanagement. We currently under produce by about 717,000 barrel per day”
“The question has been - How did we get here? What we are suffering from is a failure of leadership over the years. We have had a leadership that has failed to do the right things”
“Thereason the Nigerian ruling class does not want Nigerian in Diaspora to vote isbecause they will not vote for them. An Obi/ Datti presidency will ensure thatthe 2023 Nigerian elections will be the last election that Nigerians inDiaspora will not vote in”
“In the energy sector, Nigeria is still unable to generate enough power to satisfy its energy needs. This is so because the ruling class benefits from the lack of power”
“Nigeria has borrowed beyond it’s capacity and the borrowing is not receding. The economy has sustained serious damage”
“The2023 election will not be about religion, tribe, connection or “My Turn”. The2023 election is going to be about character, competence, capacity andcommitment to move Nigeria in the right direction.”
Reacting to the speech, the Vice Chair of the Coalition Barr Mrs Helen Mbakwe, said, it is “an peoch making event, that’s what I’ll term it, Indeed that’s what everyone will call it- An epoch making event, unprecedented, unequalled , unparalleled and unmatched”. Also responding, the Nigeria Country Director for the Coalition Dr Jude Iheoma said, “he was eloquent, means what he says, so yes I am very excited, very happy, Obidients and Yusful”
There were additional private dinner and breakfast sessions at the side lines of the townhall meeting, during which, Mr Peter Obi , Professor Pat Utomi, Mr Val Ozigbo and other members of the visiting team interacted with the event sponsors and other guests.
The NACJD is a Washington, DC, USA Research and Good Governance advocacy non-profit organization, that lobbies the US Government, the Congress, and the policy-making community to influence US policies on Nigeria.