Former Governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi, Monday argued that Nigerian women are less corrupt than men. He equally noted that corruption can easily be fought and scraped in Nigeria.
Speaking when he appeared in a programme on AriseTv, the Vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 general elections, extolled women, noting that they are more caring and meticulous in handling issues.
“I have worked with women. They are less corrupt. As far as Nigeria is concern, women are less corrupt. When I was a chairman of a bank, the key drivers of the bank; Treasurer, etc were women and they were fantastic. As governor, from my chief of staff down to others, those who helped me were women.
“They are more caring, and because they have families, when you talk about education, they are more passionate about it. When you talk about supporting small businesses they are passionate. They can understand it because they are running families.
“We need to involve women more. Ruben, you were in government when Ngozi Okonji-Iweala was begging us to save money. Look at the mess we are today. Had we listened to that woman, she was crying and said we have 20bn dollars in the excess crude, let’s put it in a sovereign wealth fund. If we had done that, we won’t be where we are today.”
However, when asked if he has the solution to Nigeria’s problem, Obi said: “Our problem is very simple, I always say it. It’s the issue of leadership. If we have a leadership that is visually-focused and understands what the problem is, it will be solved.
“We have security issue, issue of law and order, issue of trying to stop all forms of impunity. People will say yes, for me it’s about economy. But you can’t talk about economy without talking about security, law and order, and removal of all forms of impunity.
“Why this is important is because, the greatest contributor to your economy and GDP is the intangible assets, which I just mentioned. If you talk about America, 70 percent of American GDP contribution is actually the intangible assets. Security, law and order and of course I said removal of all sorts of impunity which we see today, then you deal with economy itself.
“It’s not a sophisticated thing. All we need is to move our economy from consumption to production and that is very simple, it’s not a rocket science. Then stop corruption. Corruption again is easy to fight.
However, reacting on corruption, Mr Obi threw his weight behind the former military head of state, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babagida, IBB, who opined that corruption index in the country is worse and more pervasive at the moment than his time in power.
Obi said: “I agree hundred percent with IBB. Nigeria is far more corrupt now than then. If there is anything that has had consistent growth, probably competing with the world, it’s corruption. You can’t compare what is happening today to the military regime.”
Speaking on Nigeria’s problem cum solution, Obi succinctly said: “What we are passing through is the cumulative effect of leadership failure over the years.
“The problem of Nigeria is leadership.
“However it is for Nigerians to ensure that the leadership selection this time should be well organized. They should be able to scrutinize all those who are availing themselves for the leadership.
“It’s very simple: Where was this person yesterday, what did he do then?
“What we have in Nigeria is not just leadership issue, its integrity issue. We have people who are well sophisticated, well educated but they are thieves.
“Educational qualification is not a measure of integrity. Ability to speak queens English is not either.
“We should look for people who have the capacity, integrity, and of course have the knowledge of what the problem is all about in order to tackle it. We need to look at their records”, he said.