5 Things Learnt From Peter Obi’s Speech on Independence Day.
The former governor of Anambra state Peter Obi has berated the misuse of public funds by many government officials in Nigeria.
The former governor who spoke on Saturday, October 1, at The Platform, a Covenant Christian Centre program in Lagos urged all Nigerians to hold official accountable and also demand transparency from them.
Since his speech and the program the social media has been agog with various angles of debate.
Some Nigerians have also tried to compare the former governor with other of his former colleagues like the former governor of Rivers state.
Others have also argued that it will be unfair to compare Obi and Amaechi since the former is an alumni of various notable international institutions like the Harvard, Cambridge, while the later may barely had finished from Rivers state University of Science and Technology.
Below are the takeaways from the former governor to Nigerians:
1. Holding your leaders accountable
“Take back your country, this country belongs to you, it is your future that they are toying with.
“You must take it back from them, it is not their country and you must take it back from then.
“And how will you take it back from them? When they invite you, go to your local government and ask the local government chairman who receives N100 million every month, what does he do with it?
2. Extravagant lifestyle by public officials
Speaking on expensive lifestlyes by public officials, Obi said most property, especially vehicles bought by leaders are not needed.
“He will tell you no problem, yet he is buying new jeep. This is somebody who has never seen car in his life, he now uses jeep.
“His wife has become first lady of the local government, you go everywhere, a convoy will pass you, they say it’s the first lady of the state – first what?
“This woman, like they use to tell me then; Peter you are not treating your wife fairly, Peter you are not doing this and that.
3. Judicious use of tax payers’ money
Obi also said he saved about N150 million meant for two bullet proof cars was used to buy 100 Peugeot vehicles for judges and permanent secretaries in the Anambra state.
“I say, no! There’s soo many cost, if I have time and tell you the cost of governance here, you won’t be here.
“When I came back and we started, we had about 10 governor’s guest house, I said what is governor going to do with this?
“I go to work in the morning and I go back in the evening, I come back, my cook then will cook food that about 50 people will eat. I say, what is this for? They were killing one cow every day, I said what is this for?
“He said, your Excellency, I am doing it in case you come back with people, I say, have you ever seen me come back here with anybody? So why are you cooking for the people?
“Any day people will come here, I will let you know, cook for only one person, one person!
4. Entertaining unnecessary guests
The former governor of Anambra state said he also cut cost by preventing rich men and other notable Nigerians from visiting the government house; he would rather pay them a visit.
“You know I come from Anambra state, there are too many big men, of course, like I tell them, I said, don’t allow any of them to come here.
“I don’t have what it takes to entertain them (the rich men)
“So what they do, they phone me and say, Peter I want to see you; I’ll come to your house in the evening.
5. A smart governor who saves for his people
Obi said at the cost of a bottle of champagne – about N400,000 to N500,000 – it will be insane to use the people’s money for such frivolity.
“So I go to his house because there he will bring his champagne, eat his fabulous food and at times when I’m going they will give me some to take back, goodbye but don’t come to government house.
“Government house is not a restaurant, it is not a place to drink champagne.
“It can pay the salary of people at N20,000, and you drink it with public money, no, you can’t do that.”