*It is a criminal system — Obi
Former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, has called on the Federal Government not to pay or go into any dialogue with bandits.
Obi spoke on yesterday at the unveiling and presentation of a book, “Communication and Media Studies, Multiple Perspectives”, written by Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka.
He regretted that the only business that thrives in Nigeria at the moment is stealing of government’s money, banditry and kidnapping.
He said that the bad norms were the reason Nigeria is not making progress.
Obi said: “How do we go and negotiate and pay somebody – a bandit – when we have not paid those who are working.
:We are owing those who have legitimately worked and we are negotiating and paying those who have stolen kids. It is a criminal system. It is important we walk away from it.
“Nigeria will not succeed if we continue asking bandits to come to a meeting and we are not calling professors to a meeting. That is why the country is where it is today. May God help Nigeria.
“The country will hardly become a successful country if bandits are considered above Intellectuals for a meeting by the federal government.”
The former vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was a Special Guest of Honour at the event, recalled that oil money used to be the major earner for Nigeria, saying that the world is moving away from oil.
According to him, the knowledge sector is the industry that is presently earning money.
“Prof. Okunna who we are celebrating today, I can tell you, earns less than a political thug.
“Nigeria prefers to pay bandits and dialogue with them than to pay or meet with resourceful and hard-working intellectuals.
“I never knew Prof. Okunna before I appointed her as Commissioner for Information, but I became interested in her when I saw her CV as a nominee.
“Many people protested her appointment because they said she was not a member of the party, but I remained resolute because I needed the right team to do the job,” Obi stated.
Earlier in his speech, the Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof. Charles Esimone, said the university is working to be among the first 200th university in the world, saying that he has seen the vision.
He added: “It is achievable. It will take focus, innovation and a lot of hard work to achieve that. Excellence is the thing we should be celebrating in universities, innovation, scholarship and others.”
Prof. Okunna served as Commissioner for Information and Finance, then Chief of Staff during Obi’s eight-year tenure as Anambra State Governor. CREDIT: NEWS EXPRESS