Prior to Obi’s rally in Bayelsa State on Friday, a courteous visit was made to Jonathan’s Yenagoa house.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has been praised by the former president Goodluck Jonathan, who said that he was the first presidential contender to send a team to meet with him.
The former president praised Obi for his refined public remarks but advised him to prioritize maintaining Nigeria’s unity if he were to win the presidency.
The first presidential contender to make me a courtesy visit, he continued, I want to thank you for that. I would want to use this chance to express my encouragement for your efforts.
According to political figures I’ve been listening to, sometimes our supporters hurt us more than we hurt them. And I must congratulate you since your statements to this point have not shown any division. Just keep acting morally.
If you win, you will lead the country as president rather than representing any particular group of people.
“For Nigeria to move forward we need unity. There were predictions in the late 50s and early 60s that Nigeria and some other countries will be at par, and we normally ask ourselves why are we where we are now. This was predicted by intellectuals, people who study the world and predicted that Nigeria, India, Brazil etc but all those countries left us but we are still where we are. We Nigerians must ask ourselves one question, why are we not able to move with others?
“In terms of tribal and religious sentiments, they are almost in every nation but the degree we have in Nigeria is very debilitating. It is what is pushing us backwards. We have a country that we do not believe we belong to the country. Most of our leaders would say Nigeria is not a nation. We have different nationalities and geographical expressions but I believe that young people, especially if we must move forward must put those sentiments aside.
”Every country and every nation has a particular history. Nigerians must identify with being Nigerians. We need to perceive each other as one. Furthermore, if I were to become president, it would make little difference if the finest candidate for a position came from Enugu, Ibadan, or Sokoto. And until our country reaches that stage, we are unable to go. Due to our strong tribal, religious, and language feelings, we have been trying to fit square pegs into round holes.
“If by divine providence you win the election, your first responsibility is to unite Nigeria. Without unity, we cannot solve our security problems. Without unity, we cannot solve our economic problems. If you unite Nigeria, that is the beginning of a new Nigeria, and the revolution and the development that will take place.”
An ecstatic Obi thanked him for his kind offer of hospitality and vowed to try his best to bring the people together.
When he is elected president in the presidential election on February 25, he has also pledged to restore the country to its former splendor.
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