The vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in this year’s election, Mr. Peter Obi, has said Nigeria is in total mess because of too much borrowing caused by leadership failures.
Obi, who addressed reporters at the weekend in Lagos, said Nigeria was in a mess because of the cumulative effect of leadership failures.
He said: “What we have today in Nigeria is the cumulative effect of leadership failures. A leader must know his/her destination. Painfully, we have plenty bad role models masquerading as leaders.
“Nigeria is in total mess because of too much borrowing caused by leadership failures. Our situation will get worse if we do not solve these problems urgently. There is a serious crisis in Nigeria because politics is now business and transactions. In fact, we have reduced our lives to transactions in Nigeria.”
He urged well-meaning Nigerians to help rescue the nation.
“Tell me, what is working in Nigeria today? A country where states owe billions and the Federal Government has borrowed over N11 trillion since coming into office and there is nothing to show for all the borrowed funds. Are you not worried that over 21 million of our youths are not employed?
“Nigeria is gradually collapsing and unemployment is part of the disease killing Nigeria. All hands must be on deck to save our nation from these leadership failures.”
Obi, who decried the high cost of governance, maintained that competent and qualified leaders are needed to enable the country wriggle out of its current crisis.
The PDP chieftain noted that with committed leadership, Nigeria can save over $5 billion annually from petroleum subsidy.
He advised Nigerian leaders to go back to the era of savings and prudent management of national wealth.
“During my tenure as Anambra State governor, we saved a lot, especially from security votes. And that was how we were able to build one of the best states in Nigeria in terms of education, infrastructure and general well-being of the people.
“But these days, even with huge Federal allocations, most governors still owe workers. These are signs of leadership failures,” Obi said.
The former governor, whose party is currently challenging the outcome of the presidential election at the tribunal, warned the Federal Government to desist from criminalising leading opposition figures in the name of fighting corruption.
He said: “You can only fight corruption genuinely by doing the right things as a leader. Again, you cannot be criminalising all your citizens and still expect foreign investors to come in and invest in your economy.”
Obi urged President Muhammadu Buhari to follow the examples of newly sworn-in Presidents of India and South African, who formed their cabinets within one week of inauguration.
“These are serious leaders who are ready to move their countries forward. Imagine forming their cabinets within one week of being sworn in. Can you compare them with what is happening here in our country? I have always said it that for our country to move forward, it must change its current compass,” he said.