Labour Party candidate pledges to cut cost of governance, commits to transparency, accountability
In an effort to increase Mr. Peter Obi’s prospects of winning the Labour Party (LP) nomination for president in the 2023 election, which takes place in 178 days, Nigerians living abroad have created committees to launch crowdfunding campaigns on his behalf.
THISDAY has reliable information that they intend to launch a crowdfunding portal soon with a goal of raising $150 million from Obi’s supporters in the diaspora and N100 billion from those in Nigeria.
In order to help the LP establish more structures across the nation and make the former governor of Anambra State a strong candidate in the presidential race, a reliable source close to one of Obi’s supporters leading the process said yesterday that they are targeting small contributions to be gathered from supporters largely from the grassroots. Young, energetic Nigerians working in the tech industry who are creating waves and long for new leadership to take charge of the nation’s affairs are behind the movement. some of whom just lately became eligible to vote. “They are organising themselves into small committees and groups to contribute small amounts in a major effort to help Obi’s Campaign establish structure and presence around the country. Interestingly while some of their parents are either supporters of PDP or APC, they are rooting for Peter Obi,” a source involved in the discussion disclosed to THISDAY yesterday night.
The official start of the presidential election campaigns will be on September 28, 2022, with the actual election taking place on February 25, 2023.
The Liberal Party (LP) has emerged as a key player in the upcoming presidential election, in contrast to 2019, when the contest was largely between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In order to meet with his fans in Canada, Germany, London, Rome, and the United States, Obi, who was in California yesterday, is currently on a worldwide trip. It is anticipated that he will gather a sizeable portion of the monies required for the election during this time.
“With that amount of cash, he would be able to build structures for Labour Party across the country and become a formidable opponent in the 2023 election and a threat to other candidates,” the source said.
Through the solicitation of tiny individual investments or donations from a large number of people, crowdfunding is a financing technique that raises money. Crowdfunding for political causes is generally seen as a suitable method of obtaining donations from average citizens.
Crowdfunding, especially internet crowdfunding, speaks to much broader audiences than a party’s typical support base while requiring less time and effort from donors and the party. Additionally, it might strengthen the sense of belonging among the party’s supporters.
Rarely are those without significant wealth asked to donate money to political parties. According to a study by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, which has its headquarters in Sweden, this has altered with the introduction of crowdfunding, and supporters with relatively little financial standing are now considered as a valuable resource for most parties (IDEA).
Political parties that use crowdfunding, however, must generally consider the legal environment, just like with political party finance.
The majority of nations have laws governing donations and the related privacy and transparency concerns. To encourage smaller donations while monitoring potentially problematic larger donations to stop money laundering, terrorism financing, and other unlawful financial transactions, several nations only require parties to report donations that exceed a specific threshold. Taxes are also levied against the funds.
“The automated nature of crowdfunding can allow donors to divide donations into smaller amounts more easily, thus circumventing the reporting obligations that apply to donors (although this only applies to some countries),” the IDEA report stated.
Yesterday, the Labour Party presidential candidate stated that Nigerians abroad might be successfully mobilized as valuable resources for the country’s speedy growth. He added that the diaspora can significantly contribute to the country’s efforts to change its education system.
Obi stated that the diaspora community might assist Nigeria in setting up and managing endowment funds in the Nigerian institutions in a series of Tweets from California, where he attended a discussion with the theme, “The Role of the Nigerian Diaspora in Civic Leadership in Nigeria.”
He added that endowments might be used to fund academic research as well as research and development (R&D) generally, as well as let students participate in exchange programs that improve their skills and motivation.
“Recently, Dr. Phillip Ozuah took a catalytic lead by donating $1 million to University of Ibadan,” he added.
Obi wrote, “Nigeria diaspora remittances now augment and support education, promote entrepreneurship, and stimulate businesses and investments in healthcare, in addition to foreign remittances. Nigerians in the diaspora constitute the first line of representation and the first line of defense.
“They have been flying the national flag high, in contributing their quota towards the development of the country across various sectors.
“Diaspora remittances now outstrip foreign direct investment for most low and middle-income countries, Nigeria included. In most cases, such remittances now constitute three times the volume of Official Development Assistance (ODA) received.”
The LP candidate claims that the diaspora is increasingly important in advancing technology and skill transfer, strengthening democracy, opening up global supply chains, trade and foreign direct investment, education and research, as well as healthcare. This is in addition to their well-known role of sending foreign remittances back home.
Obi further said, “Diaspora communities constitute an integral part and, indeed, a critical mass of the development trajectory of their respective home countries. In that context, diaspora communities are increasingly part of the foreign relations architecture. They now serve as informal ambassadors and help with in advancing development in their home countries.”
Despite the current level of insecurity in the nation and the dire situation of the economy, Obi urged Nigerians living abroad to continue to do their part to build their country.
If elected, he promised that his administration would have no tolerance for corruption and reduce the cost of running the country.
He claims that “Our total commitment to transparency and accountability in government business is the only credible way to achieve limited to zero corruption.
“Africa will remain the centrepiece of our foreign policy. We will improve Nigeria’s diplomatic sphere of influence via peacekeeping, trade, and investment initiatives. We will pursue aggressively modalities for raising the national Internet penetration, as well as increase contribution of ICT to overall economic growth to aid national development.
“We intend to lay special emphasis on critical infrastructure, especially power, to ensure a clear measurable increase of 200 per cent of today’s generation, transmission and distribution within the shortest time possible through public private partnership.
“We will pursue intangible assets of good governance, rule of law, security of lives and properties, through an aggressive increase in personnel and equipment and inclusive training of operatives in our security agencies.
“We will emphasise patriotism, national interest, and national morale, quality of government, political will and character, which are all complimentary to the other assets. We will ensure that we have these assets in place and stress asset optimisation.
“Thinking through 2023 and beyond, we must think seriously about a leadership that is imbued with competence, capacity, credibility and commitment. The 4 Cs will be required to turn Nigeria around. Patriotism cannot be imposed; just like respect, it must be earned through dedication, responsiveness, active engagement, orientation, and prioritising of Nigerians in diaspora. The ripple effect will be rapid and will rub off positively on the country’s economy.”
Obi informed his audience that, particularly during the election season, they had the network and numbers to negotiate the government’s agenda.
He stated, “You should be able to place pressing issues on the agenda of the candidates and, subsequently, on the front burners for new government that will be formed.
“Besides voting, a citizen’s most coveted role is holding an elected government accountable. With your education, exposure and understanding of government responsibilities in your host country, and collective leverage, in the New Nigeria we seek, we must think out of the box and at times, disruptively. As government and as Nigerians in diaspora, we must henceforth contemplate those global best practices that will confer comparative advantage on us, and replicate known successes that can move Nigeria from consumption to production.
“Nigerians in the diaspora, when effectively engaged, can act as important ‘trade ambassadors’ and ‘negotiators’ for the country, especially at the level of attracting small-scale boutique businesses. No country thrives economically merely by exporting its raw materials and importing virtually everything. Such a disposition weakens our economic base and employment capabilities.
“Opportunities also abound for proactive collaboration between the diaspora community and the federal and state governments in expanding healthcare delivery; improving the quality of our healthcare system as well as ensuring skill transfers to locally-based practitioners.”