Talks with agitators, subsidy removal, community policing – Nuggets from Obi’s townhall

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi and his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed were on ‘The People’s Townhall’ on ChannelsTV to discuss their plans for the country if elected.

The programme, which ran for two hours on Sunday, saw the duo reel out their agenda for Nigeria ahead of next month’s presidential election.

With the crime rate soaring across Nigeria, security was top of Sunday’s discussions. But the LP flagbearer says he will negotiate with agitators and adopt the carrot-and-stick approach to reverse the trend.

“We are in a democratic dispensation; you govern by discussing, you govern by consensus. So, I will sit down and discuss with every agitator without the exception of the name. We must use carrot and stick (approach),” he said, attributing the situation to a sense of injustice.

He argued that agitations are not new and that even at the family level, children, wives, and others do so but believes negotiations are key.

Another way to address the situation, according to Obi, is community policing. As far as he is concerned, “these things start from the communities”.

“There is no reason we should not have local, state and federal, and national policing,” he said, adding that the constitution will be tweaked to “suit it”.

Away from security issues, Obi spoke about fuel subsidies which the present administration says would end on June 30th.

The LP flagbearer described the payment of subsidies on fuel as “organised crime”.

“They have removed it. That’s what they’ve done. But I can assure you, it will go immediately. Subsidy – I’ve said it before – is organised crime and I will not allow it to stay a day longer,” he maintained.

“What they’re telling you is not what it is. Half of what is being mentioned is not subsidy. First is that we consume the quantity that is not supposed to be consumed here. We are the same population as Pakistan. They consume below 50 percent of what we consume.

“So, the first half, I will remove it and give those people who are drinking it water – because that’s what they’re supposed to drink – so we can save the money.”

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