By Angela Atabo, Abuja.
The presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, on Friday presented Dr Yusuf Baba-Ahmed as his running mate for the 2023 general elections.
Obi made the presentation at a news conference with the theme “Journey to Nigeria’s Rebirth Begins Today” in Abuja.
According to him, the party has been able to find somebody who is eminently qualified to be the vice-president of Nigeria to secure, unite and make Nigeria productive.
He said that it was the party’s intention to secure, unite and make Nigeria productive, and this could not be done without having people with similar vision and ideas prepared for the task ahead.
“I have the honour to present to you somebody I can call a friend, a younger brother and God willing, the next vice-president of Nigeria in the name of Sen. Yusuf Baba-Ahmed.
“He has been described as one of the brightest, youngest personalities in Nigeria, who has distinguished himself in all areas.
“He brings to this mission a great wealth of experience from a background in the private sector to public sector and a global knowledge that will help in a journey of turning around this country.
“Today our country is facing so many challenges, which I don’t want to mention because we are just here to introduce our vice-presidential candidate.
“I will not be doing a great service to country if I don’t mention some of them; we are today the poverty capital of the world.
“We are today, hugely indebted; people are hungry and angry and all these are the cumulative effect of bad leadership. “
Obi said the Labour Party would bring all Nigerians into a big tent where everybody would be involved in ending the primitive politics of ethnicity, religion and all sorts of things.
He said that the party would have a team of people who would join in building the Nigeria they desired and hope in the country.
“The two of us, with the same background, will be able to start this process.
“Now that we have completed the cycle of nominations, we will soon in the next few days or more, be able to come out with policies and manifestos that would be anchored on the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) positions.
“This is because we must rescue this country, ensure that this country is secured; this country is united and this country is productive.”
Obi said that the party would transform the vast lands in the North to oil, adding that land was the equivalent asset and it would be engaged agriculturally.
He said that the country would be transformed to become productive again, leveraging the knowledge of the two candidates from the private sector.
“It is not just going to be two of us, it is not our election but your election.
“Those who tell you about structures, tell them your children, your family and you are the structures.
“They cannot continue to scare us with those words.
“We will take back our country and even convert them into the structures, their structures will be our structures, they will follow us.”
The vice-presidential candidate, Baba-Ahmed, expressed gratitude to the party for considering him as its vice-presidential candidate.
“My task is simple and it is to accept this nomination and this candidacy.
“The undeniable, unchallengeable fundamental reason for being on this ticket is to rescue Nigeria, and it goes without gainsaying that you can only rescue that which is in trouble; Nigeria is likened to that.
“I cannot afford not to be part of the movement to rescue Nigeria.
“The second reason is that I believe in the greatness of Nigeria; I believe there will be peace and prosperity; I believe Nigerian people will unite,” he said.
Baba-Ahmed said that he would use his educational background and experience to change the nation, adding that the fertile land in the North would be the new crude oil of the nation and Nigeria’s future would be great.
“He who was motivated by success in the private sector, and fought and became a governor for eight years and since then, has maintained integrity and honour, is one that will not fail in fulfilling his campaign promises.
“He who believes in financial propriety will not engage in political rascality; Peter Obi, who believes in credibility and integrity in the matter of who to associate with will not mismanage personal, human and community relations,” he said.
The Chairman of Labour Party, Julius Abure, said that the party had proven to people that it could achieve any feat, adding the event was a clear message.
Abure said that the party purposely went into a search for a competent candidate and found Baba-Ahmed worthy.
“Those who have held the country hostage should know that it is no longer business as usual.
“The time for the people has come, a people’s movement has come. It is time for the people of Nigeria to be liberated from hunger, from poverty, from unemployment, from insecurity and bad governance.
“The people have pointed where they want to be in 2023; I am very happy about the mood of the people, the time of the people has come,” he added.