By Job Osazuwa
Presidential bid of Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi and running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, has received a boost with the endorsement of professionals under the aegis of Professionals for Obi-Datti Presidency (PODP).
The group, in a statement, yesterday, said the Obi-Datti ticket represents competence, integrity, prudence, accountability, transparency and inclusiveness, all of which, the country urgently needed if it must be repositioned to take its rightful place in the comity of progressive nations.
PODP comprises Nigerian professionals at home and in the Diaspora who have come together under one umbrella in answer to what they described as ‘a patriotic’ call to support the Obi-Datti ticket to win the 2023 presidential election, “so that Nigeria can be made not marred.”
In a statement by its convener, Dr. Ben Chukwu, a Saudi Arabia-based surgeon, the group said the 2023 general election provided an opportunity for Nigerians to break from the tradition of poor and corrupt leadership that had kept the country down over the years.
He said the Obi-Datti ticket was a fresh breath into “our staid politics of tribalism, nepotism and prebendalism that had hitherto wracked the nation’s leadership recruitment process, often leading to the ‘election’ of corrupt and incompetent people into positions of trust in Nigeria.”
Chukwu described Obi and Baba-Ahmed as different from the other contending candidates.
“In these two, Nigerians have found good reasons to look forward to the future with hope and assurance of a better life. From their public and private lives, we are assured of the stellar services of two of Nigeria’s most accomplished public servants and businessmen – competent, honest, accountable and prudent. In them, we have two patriotic Nigerians with a mission to rebuild the country into a productive, wealth-creating nation boasting a huge, well-diversified economy that will no longer import everything it consumes and even consume more than it can afford.”
Appealing for issue-based electioneering as the campaigns formally start next week, PODP urged other candidates to address problems facing Nigeria and Nigerians and how they plan to solve them rather than waste time and energy running one another down.
“Nigerians want to know how the candidates plan to solve the country’s numerous socio- political and economic problems.
Nigerians are no longer interested in where any candidate comes from; we are more interested in what the candidates have to offer, how they want to solve our problems,” Chukwu further said in the PODP release.
PODP warned, however, that the group would not fold their arms and watch any attempt to compromise the election by corrupt politicians and INEC officials, advising those nursing such thought to perish it.
Lolo Kelechi Ogbuehi, interim secretary of the group and Dallas, US-based nurse practitioner, said as a country endowed with oil and a myriad of other natural resources, “Nigeria should be leading in the world economy had we had good leadership.”