From Ada Nebolise, Awka
Mr Peter Obi
Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 presidential poll, Mr Peter Obi, has said that government’s readiness to pay ransom to kidnappers and bandits is fuelling an unproductive economy to the detriment of the country.
Mr. Obi who was former governor of Anambra state made this statement at a book launch at Awka, the state capital on Wednesday.
According to Obi, while speaking at the launch of the book titled, “Communication and media studies: multiple perspectives” written by Prof. Stella Okunna, Obi criminals were being paid at the expense of those contributing to the growth of the country.
He said, “You can’t pay people for banditry. The only business that thrives in Nigeria is stealing government’s money, banditry and kidnapping. And that’s why your country is not progressing.
“How do we go and negotiate and pay somebody, a bandit, when we have not paid those who’re working.
“We are owing those who have legitimately worked. And we are negotiating and paying those who have stolen kids. It is a criminal system. It is important we walk away from it.
“Lecturers are owed. How do we compensate those who have not contributed anything to the economy? The economy is not productive and that’s why it is failing.
“We have Professor Okunna and her team doing research and writing books. Believe it or not, Prof. Okunna earns less money than a political thug. That’s why the country is collapsing.
“We need to pay people who are working; people who are productive; not people who are not producing anything. As long as we continue to make money without being productive, there will be crisis. So, it will just be someone to go and kidnap someone and negotiate with government.
“So, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals are called to meeting but professors are not called to meeting. May God help Nigeria.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles Esimone commended the author for putting the book together, saying it took creativity, innovation and commitment to achieve such feat.
On her part, the author, Prof. Okunna said much sacrifice was committed to ensuring the publication of the book.
“This book almost killed me. Editing it was an hearculean task. My mentees who cut across eleven universities were invaluable towards the realisation of the project,” she said