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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has said that it will be disappointing and damaging if the party fails to win the 2023 presidential election with the support of the labour unions.
He said that he is listening and taking note of what Nigerians want so that he will not have any reason to give excuses when he assumes duty as the president as some elected officials had done in the past.
“It will be one of the most disappointing and great damage to Nigeria’s existence if Labour goes through this effort and support somebody to lead this country and it fails, God forbid.
“So for me, I want to listen, I want to take note. That note is more important to me than anything, I don’t want to tell you people any idea, I want to listen to you, my job is to listen so that you don’t go out there giving them excuses.”
Obi, who was speaking at a retreat organised by the party in Abuja on Monday, said that Nigerians are used to hearing excuses from their elected leaders, but he has chosen to be different as the job of a leader is to solve problems and not to give excuses.
“What we are used to in this country is for people to get into office and start saying what they saw when they got in there, I don’t want to see anything when I get in there, I want to hear it now so that I will know what to do when I get in there.
“The job of the leader is to solve problems and show solutions, not to give excuses. I don’t want to go there and people will start saying I’m blaming the people in the past. If they were doing good you won’t hire me.
“So I’m being hired to solve the problem not to remind them where they are coming from, I don’t want to remind Nigerians where they are coming from, I want to start solving the problem,” he said.
The former governor of Anambra State also berated the Nigerian government over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, saying that it is shame that the government has failed to meet up with ASUU demands since 2009.
“ASUU is on strike for seven months, you might not know that the issue they are striking for is since 2009, it is not today and they have actually gone on so many strikes about this issue.
“From 2010 they have been striking about the same issue while I was governor and if I could remember what they were demanding was about 1.3 trillion naira, you mean Nigeria could not pay that over the past 12 years?”
The two-day retreat which started on Monday with speeches from Obi, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, among others, continues in Abuja on Tuesday with more dignitaries billed to speak.