The Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has explained that good political process, rather than protests, is more effective in combating the leadership failure currently bedeviling the country, while calling on the youth to get more involved in political and decision making processes affecting their future.
Obi made this call during recent South-East Edition of the PDP National Youth Summit recently held in Awka. He told the youths not to stand aside and wish away the woes befalling the country nor engage in violent protests, but to be actively involved in nation building.
Obi lamented that the country is getting worse by the day and the youth, whose dreams are constantly truncated and their future made bleak, remain the major victims of Nigeria’s bad governance. He said poverty, unemployment, drug abuse, insecurity had continued to threaten the nation’s democracy, and the youth were at the receiving end of them all.
“Recent World Bank report shows that due to the double impact of COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession in the country, about 11 million Nigerians will slip into poverty, out of which 8 million are youths. When these are added to the 98 million people already living in poverty, then we have an unimaginable problem on our table.
“It is the duty of everyone, especially the youths, to unite and install a government that will reverse the collapse of the nation’s economy”, Obi said.
He further stated that PDP had remained committed to the development of the nation.
“For example, PDP paid off all the accumulated national debts between 2008 and 2010. As at that period till up to 2014, Nigeria’s economy was growing at 6% per annum. Between 2015 till now, Nigeria has borrowed over $80 billion, while currently growing at -6%.
“This is not the time for protests, but for going back to the grassroots and educating everybody on the need to vote in a government that is capable of saving the economy from further collapse and turning it around for the better”, Obi stated.
Earlier in his speech, the National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, described the PDP as a youth friendly platform that ensures youth’s inclusiveness in political processes. He said the youth have the drive, passion, energy, vibrance and zeal to move the nation forward if they become more politically involved and active.
The National Youth Leader, People’s Democratic Party, Rt Hon S. K. E Udeh-Okoye, lamented the relegation of Nigerian youths to the political background, which, he said, has sparked off many civil unrest. Udeh-Okoye listed the different achievements of the PDP administrations at the national level, saying that Nigeria’s economy blossomed under PDP because it was youth driven. He maintained that PDP is the political platform that can bring positive change to the country. He praised the commitment of the Igbos to the vision of PDP as a party, saying Igbos have remained loyal to the party over the years.
On his part, the PDP National Vice Chairman, South East, Chief Ali Odefa, called on the Nigerian youths to remain calm and exemplary in their political activities. He invited the youths to be part of PDP’s political agenda, promising that their youthful dreams will never be truncated under PDP.
Other political leaders at the summit were Executive Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency Rt Hon Dr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; the Senate Minority Leader and Senator Representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Rt Hon Toby Okechukwu; Elder Statesman, Chief Ben Obi and many others.