By CHUKS EKE
ONITSHA – Leaders of Middle Belt communities and delegates known as the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance, have endorsed the presidential ambition of Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Other groups that also endorsed the former governor of Anambra State in a communique read by Rev. Aminchu Adamu, at the “Middle Belt Save Nigeria Conference” held in Jos, Plateau State on Saturday, were trade unions, market leaders, students, religious and youth leaders in the middle belt region.
A statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Onitsha by the Peter Obi Support Group, indicated that the leader of the Middle Belt Community Leadership Delegates, Mr Joshua Mape, led the endorsement of Obi.
Mape, who lamented the economic hardship of the people in the region as a result of bad governance and insecurity in the region, said that Obi has what it takes to turn the economic fortunes of the country around just as he did when he was the governor of Anambra state.
He said, “Peter Obi is a wealth creator and we believe, he will transform Nigeria by moving the country from a consumption economy to a productive economy and he will also reduce the cost of governance the way he did while he was the governor of Anambra State”.
“Under his watch, Anambra was the least indebted state in the country, he returned all public schools to missionaries with N600m take off grant, Anambra also has the best road network under his administration.
“We support Peter Obi because we believe in justice and fairness.”
The representative of Youth and Students Alliance, Mr Augustine Danladi also expressed dissatisfaction on the inadequate funding of the country’s higher institutions of learning and the apparent indifference of the present government to the precarious situation.
Danladi, however, opined that with the emergence of Peter Obi as the president, the higher institutions will be better funded, and the nation’s education sector will be transformed.
“We know what he did when he was the governor of Anambra state. He took the state from number 24 to number one in WAEC results in the country. I am confident that if given the chance, he will do the same thing at the nation’s education sector”, Danladi stated.
Also, the representative of market groups and traders in the Middle Belt also supported the ambition of Peter Obi saying that they are sure of his capacity to industrialise the nation.
On their part, SAMBA, and Peter Obi Support Network under the platform of Political Action groups said that Peter Obi has the character and credibility to make Nigeria work again adding that he is a man who is ready to take Nigeria from a consumption economy to productive economy.
The groups said, “Obi has shown from his track record that he is competent, and he has what it takes to move Nigeria forward. He has the character and credibility; he is a man who is ready to take Nigeria from consumption economy to productive economy”
Religious group in the middle belt represented by Rev. Aminchi Adamu said they are under perpetual fear to go to their place of worship because of insecurity in the country.
Adamu further submitted that the groups look forward to vote Peter Obi as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in February 2023.
Responding, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, appreciated the groups for the confidence reposed in him by their endorsement.
Obi who spoke via a recorded video message said he has been listening to the deliberations despite being in faraway Germany.
He said, “I appreciate your sacrifice, I have been listening to your deliberations, I thank you most sincerely for your trust in me. I assure that I will bring development to Nigeria.
“Next years Presidential election must not be based on tribe or religion, but on competence and character. I assure that we will build better Nigeria together.”