Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says addressing insecurity will tackle inflation in the country.
Speaking in a BBC interview aired on Tuesday, Obi said Nigeria’s top priority today is security, adding that it’s an issue that requires urgent attention.
He said the country has been hit by high food inflation, which can be tackled by improving security.
In its consumer price index (CPI) report for August 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said food inflation had risen to 23.12 percent, representing a 2.82 percent increase when compared to 20.30 percent recorded in August 2021.
The inflation rate is the highest since October 2005.
“The number one priority today in Nigeria is the issue of security because it has become an essential issue for Nigeria,” Obi said.
“You can’t talk about being a country unless you are secure, unless your citizens are secure. So, it’s an issue that must be dealt with decisively.
“It’s also something that if you deal with today, you can deal with inflation, because the worst part of inflation we are dealing with is food inflation. So, if you secure the country, your farmers will go back, they will produce more and the food inflation will come down.
“We have to immediately review and restructure the entire security architecture, make it responsive and responsible. Responsive is that they will deal with issues as quickly as possible. Responsible is that somebody is in charge and if he’s not doing it, don’t wait, the person will go.”
Obi said the vast land in the northern region can boost food security as well as change the economy of the country.
“Look at the vast land we have in the north, that is the most important physical asset of the country today. If you cultivate all that vast land, we will feed ourselves, we will export, that vast land can change Nigeria.”
Obi added that the country is in dire straits because of leadership failure experienced over the years.
The LP flagbearer said he is ready to build a structure that will secure, unite and bring about production-centred leadership in the country.
“What brought us to where we are today is the cumulative effect of leadership failure over the years by the same people who are in office today,” he said.
“We are talking about the structure that has kept us where we are, the structure that has produced the highest number of people in poverty in any country.
“The structure that has produced the highest number of out-of-school children, the structure that has made this country one of the most corrupt countries in the world, the structure that has made it one of the most insecure places in the world, the structure that has brought highest youth unemployment in the world, the structure that has made drug prevalence in Nigeria the highest, the structure that has brought disunity to Nigeria, that is the structure we want to remove.
“We want to bring a structure that will secure, unite and bring about production-centred leadership in Nigeria, where we will start pulling people out of poverty, children will be in school, where we will start ensuring that people get jobs when they leave school by supporting micro, small enterprises.
“A structure that will start governing by the rule of law, a structure that will fight corruption, this is the structure we need now.”