Peter Obi marks anniversary of 2023 election with speech on hope and unity

Mr. Peter Obi, the main opposition voice in the country and former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, delivered a speech titled 'Tribute to Hope' at an event organized by the Obidient Support Groups in Abuja on Sunday, February 25, 2024. In his speech, Obi marked the anniversary of the 2023 election and raised some observations. He saluted the abiding faith and solidarity of all Nigerians who supported his campaign and wished him well during the election.

He also acknowledged the patriotism and freedom of choice of those who did not support or vote for him. Obi emphasized the need for unity and consolidation of legacies in Nigeria. He called on Nigerians to redefine their options and work together towards a better future for the country. He highlighted the importance of hope and urged Nigerians to remain hopeful despite the challenges facing the country.

“I salute your courage and tenacity. Together, we made the courageous statement that a new, more prosperous, more united Nigeria is not only possible but also within reach of all Nigerians. You braved the odds, you defied the pessimism of nay-sayers, you made incredible sacrifices and clung to the stubborn belief that this land is our country and that its future is ours to shape for our common good and the good of posterity,” the LP standard bearer said.

He continued: “Looking back at what happened at the election and the situation in the country today, we were correct in saying that the old ways of politics should give way to a new progressive Nigeria.

“In the twelve months since that election, most of the fears we expressed for our nation, if we went the way of the old politics, have come to haunt us in frightening forms. We may have lost an election but we have won a moral victory of epic proportions. All the worst fears that we warned might happen have all been playing out. 

“Our national economy has been driven into perhaps the worst state in all of our national life. The population of those classified as multi-dimensionally poor has climbed astronomically to over 80% of our population. Similarly, unemployment is galloping, for a predominantly youthful population, this scenario is dire and frighteningly dangerous.

“The hunger protests have united our people across ethnicity, language, region, faith, and location. This is another confirmation of our belief that Nigerians are united by the circumstances of their living conditions, not by artificial barriers raised by opportunistic politicians. We are now one people under hunger.

“Just yesterday, I read with sadness, the reports of how a massive crowd besieged the zonal office of the Nigerian Customs in Yaba to purchase the discounted 25kg rice offered by the Customs Service. In the course of the heavy stampede that ensued, some lives were lost. It is heartbreaking to think that despite all the wealth of our nation, Nigerians are losing their lives in their desperate quest to buy food cheaper, in the face of the growing hunger and starvation in the country,” Obi said in a press release signed by Dr. Yuusa Tanko, chief spokesman of of Obi-Datti group.

The former Anambra state governor however noted the patriotism of Nigerians even in the face of daunting challenges, saying, “Wherever I have gone all over Nigeria - North, and South, I have been struck by the reality of poverty, deprivation, and suffering, sometimes written boldly on the faces of people. 

“Yet the beauty of our people remains the optimism in their Nigerian identity and the hope they all cherish in the future of our country. None of the poor people that I have encountered has ever wished they were not Nigerians. On the contrary, the consensus among them is that Nigeria is a good place ruled mostly by bad leaders.”

Obi’s message of hope to all Nigerians, particularly his supporters is that “despite our current problems and setbacks as a nation, I am glad to reassure our supporters and compatriots that there is nothing in our dark experiences that has dampened my resolve and optimism in the possibility of the New Nigeria that we all strove so hard a year ago to enthrone. And nothing has happened to discourage my resolve or optimism about the goals we fought for. A greater, more compassionate, more prosperous, and more equitable New Nigeria is possible.”

The LP flag bearer finally saluted the courage of the Obidient and reassured them that, there is no looking back in the journey to rescue Nigeria. “For me, the journey to a better Nigeria has just begun. It is a lifelong journey. On that journey, despair is not an option. Surrender is not a choice. Failure is not even a remote possibility. The nation has heard us. The youth have carried the mantle of changing their destiny and the direction of our country. They cannot wait to take back their country from those who regard national leadership as a criminal racket,” Obi concluded.
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