The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, said he would be committed to the development of the country if elected as the president of Nigeria in the forthcoming presidential election.
He also pledged to be prudent in the management of public funds while in the office, saying he would not steal public funds.
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had earlier described Obi as a stingy man who could not be trusted with the future of the country.
But Obi said the country would be safer in the hands of a stingy man like him.
Speaking in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Saturday during his campaign rally, Obi said he would be able to invest in education, health, economy and other sectors to develop the country.
He said “Yes they said l am stingy, but we are not out to steal the nation’s wealth. All we want to do is to use the nation’s money for our people and development of this country
“They said that I’m stingy; we want stingy people now, so that we can keep the money. We want to make sure we use your money to transform the country.
“This election that is coming now, don’t vote for anybody because of tribe but vote for someone that will move the country forward.
“We don’t want anybody to say that it is my turn; we want to change Nigeria for better. Our children will be in school, we don’t want people to run out of Nigeria again. We want to structure Nigeria for development. So, go and pick your PVCs and vote for Labour Party and make sure that they count the vote.
Speaking at the rally, the LP National Chairman, Mr Julius Abure, lamented that the nation was at crossroads and all sectors were not working, adding that the LP was ready to make Nigeria work again.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, Anambra State chapter, has knocked Obi over his “sick” country and “sick” candidate comments.
The party said the description of Nigeria as a “sick” country by Obi only showed the opposite of patriotism for a country he sought to rule, adding that vying for the highest office in the land requires proven consistency of leadership traits, not opportunism.
The APC said Obi should not celebrate anyone’s illness, no less someone he ran a presidential race with, without disagreeing with his antecedents.
State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Okelo Madukaife, who said this in a statement on Saturday, said, “The description of Nigeria as a sick country by Peter Obi, a candidate who wants to be president is the opposite of patriotism.
“However, we are happy that the country, which Obi described four years ago as a ‘vehicle without an engine’ consistent with the talking-down trend, has found an engine and now requires only maintenance arrow-headed by a good engine doctor.
“Looking beyond Peter Obi, who did less in his first and last public office as governor of Anambra State than he claims, we are glad that the presidential race has Senator Bola Tinubu, who was a good engine doctor for a Senate that dealt with a dictator, reluctant to quit power, which tripled his legislative experience.
“We are proud that Tinubu accepted the challenge of a post-June 12, 1993 annulment of presidential elections by those using Obi to return to power and fought through to the return of democracy as history did not record Obi as doing so in any other circumstance.”
However, the LP National Vice Chairman, South-East, Chief Innocent Okere, said Obi’s statement that the country was sick was not misplaced.
Okere also disclosed that Obi had a grasp of tackling the problems ailing the country, saying the LP presidential candidate would not be engaging in any blame game when if elected the president.
He stressed that the APC was “playing to the gallery,” and seeking ways to make a “political statement” from what Obi has said in Anambra.
Okere added, “It is not a misplaced statement, Nigeria is sick, Nigeria is on oxygen, Nigeria needs help. For someone who wants to heal Nigeria, he will not be a sick person. You need a sound and strong doctor to heal a sick patient, not a doctor seeking attention over his ailment that will now be coming to treat someone who needs critical help.”