The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi has declared that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will have no reason to embark on strike if Nigerians elect him as their next president.
Obi added that maintaining national security is still his top priority because without a secure environment, nothing, no matter how admirable, can be accomplished. He also noted that his Presidency will negotiate with agitators who are receptive and deal with those who may be recalcitrant and uncooperative because there can only be one government at a time in a nation.
The former Anambra state Governor made this known Friday, at a TownHall engagement organized by University of Abuja Leadership Center.
According to him, ‘There will never be ASUU strike under my watch. People say it is impossible, let me tell you, as governor of Anambra State, I had ASUU strike. I sat down with ASUU and the university management and in your last eight months strike, Anambra State university does not owe a penny. And the SUG President said, “because of Peter Obi’s decision in 2009, schools have not been closed.” If schools are closed Nigeria is closed.
‘The way we are managing tertiary education in Nigeria, is not the way it should be done. We have what is called Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND). We will ensure it is better managed. We will ensure loans for State universities.
Regarding the allegation made by one of the candidates that fuel shortages and the redesign of the Naira are intentional attempts to sabotage the upcoming election, Obi stated that he runs his campaigns on issues rather than getting too involved in the positions of the candidates, but added that since they are inside they may know things that others do not.’
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In response to the question of whether he would abolish the subsidies, he responded that, if given the chance, he would do so on his first day in office since they had made it into a massive corruption racket that he and Datti would put an end to.
He further told the cheering students that the reason his manifesto is centered on turning the country from consumption to production is to stop the country from recycling poverty.
‘The only thing this country is manufacturing is poverty. And Datti and I are coming to change all that because no country grows my consumption, without production.’
‘Nigeria is not producing anything. We are in a country today that is wasting everybody’s time on sharing.
‘And we want to remove the sharing formula and replace it with Production Formula. We are attacking this country’s production based on factor of employment.
‘Bauchi is bigger than Belgium and Gambia combined. Bauchi is 35,000sqkm of land Belgium is 30.9sqkm Gambia is 10.8sqkm if you plus this two, it is less than Bauchi state and they have less population. It means that Bauchi state has more land.
‘Nigeria can earn more from Agriculture than from oil. India can feed itself. India has a population of 1.4bn people sitting on a land of 3.2sqkm of land. Nigeria leaves on 1/3 of India land 923,000sqkm of land. Indi can feed her population. We cannot feed ourselves. It cannot continue
‘Niger state is poor, Borno state is poor, Taraba state is poor. These states can feed themselves, feed Nigeria, and export,’ Obi stated.
He said he remains the unbeatable candidate because he is the most qualified to solve the major question of leadership and national growth.