The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, says the nation’s political space has been taken over by those he described as “lunatics”.
Obi made made the remarks on Sunday at the Men of Valour conference organized by the Revival House of International Church (RHOGIC), Abuja.
Speaking on the theme: “Navigating the Corridors of Power, the Church, and the Politics’, Obi stressed that most of the politicians in the corridors of power have no reason to be there, describing politics in Nigeria as a case where lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Obi warned that unless these “lunatics” are flushed out and competent people voted in, the country will continue to suffer.
He said: “we can’t allow this gangsterism to continue, Nigerians should take back their country.
“70 percent of those who are in politics today should not have any reason to be there. I have said it, politics in Nigeria is a case where lunatics have taken over the asylum.
“This is the only country where the worst is leading. I was a trader and gradually entered into politics. When you take far more than you need you are sick.
“How do you explain that one person took N80 billion it is not greed it is sickness. When you take N81 billion that is greed but when you take N80 billion that is sickness. Mad people have taken over our politics.
“If we get young people with the competence and capacity to be there, things will change.”
On whether a third force can wrest power from the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party( PDP), the former Anambra state governor said the people will decide.
He said it has been a two-horse race for 24 years and nothing has changed as the number of people pushed into extreme poverty has doubled from 60 million to 120 million in 24 years.
“It is about the people. When I contested as governor in Anambra I did so in a small party. People told me that I had no structure. People are the structure. When I was a governor in Anambra, my party had no state or federal lawmaker.
“When I left as governor no state was financially stable as Anambra. We were not owing anybody. The people will decide who will rule them. Luckily we have eights months, let people come and tell you how they have started. Come and tell us, don’t use people or glossy paper, tell us from your mouth so that we can hold you to account”, he said.
On the 2023 general elections, Obi, said prayers alone cannot salvage the country.
According to him, Nigerians have played their religious roles enough and, therefore, it is time to take action by mobilising and voting for their candidate of choice.
“We have prayed enough, it is time to act. With these people in power? You can pray from now until anytime, they won’t go until you chase them out. So it is time to act, not just pray. It is time for us to close the church and deal with these people”, he said.
Obi also urged the youths not to make a profession out of politics.
On his part, the national secretary of the Young Peoples Party( YPP) Hon. Vidiyano Bamaiyi, also said 75 percent of politicians in Nigeria are political bandits.
“Political bandits that have taken over Nigeria, most of them have no business being there. Political bandits and brigands have taken over the political space”, he added.
On his part, Senator Albert Bassey said only through direct primaries will the country eliminate money politics saying “going forward, Nigerians should vote for candidates and not party.”