The three leading candidates in the 2023 presidential election mounted the same stage in Lagos.
Candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was represented by Kashim Shettima all graced the event on Monday.
It was the Nigeria Bar Association Annual Conference held at the Eko Atlantic city, Lagos.
The presidential candidates took their turns to speak on the theme, ‘Bold Transitions.
What Obi said
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, in his address said that the elections in 2023 will not be about connections, tribe or religion, but about competence, character and commitment to deliver.
Obi noted that investment in intangible assets is critical for economic renaissance.
“What we need are the two most intangible assets: security; and law and order, provide a conducive environment to attract investors.
“Remember, the election we are going to have next year will not be about tribe, not religion, not connection, not entitlement, but about character, competence, capacity, and commitment to deliver,” he said.
On his part, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defended his education policy as contained in his manifesto.
Speaking on the quagmire between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Atiku Abubakar said he will hand over Federal Government-owned universities to state governments.
He explained that the Federal Government does not have enough resources to run all the public universities.
According to him, “The only way is to make sure that you make conducive environment available to both foreign and local investors to participate in our country, whether it is infrastructure, whether it is education, whether it is power.
“I had an argument with a university professor from the Federal University, Lokoja. He said he read in my policy document that I intended to devolve, in other words, to return education to the states. How dare I do that?
“I said, ‘Mr Professor, do you realise that the first set of our universities belongs to the regional governments?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I said, who are the successors of the regional government? He said the states.
On his part, the APC Presidential candidate said he would replicate his effort in Lagos should he succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking on his behalf, the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima, said the “wonder” of Borno can also be achieved in Nigeria.
He said, “Nigerians can see through the worn-out rhetoric and sophistry of pretentious politicians.”
“Nigerians should follow the man ‘wey know the road’. From day one, we will hit the ground running. We’ll promptly address the issue of the economy, ecology, and security.
“And we have the antecedents. I built some of the best schools in Nigeria”
The NBA Annual Conference is the biggest gathering of Lawyers.
Every year the conference tries to address salient issues affecting Nigeria with discussants from different professions.