Peter Obi, presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), says the Apapa area of Lagos, where a major port is located, is currently a “mess”.
He said this when he featured on #WithChude, the podcast hosted by Chude Jideonwo, the media personality.
In June, Gbemisola Saraki, minister of state for transportation, had said it is important to mordenise the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports as the current state of the ports infrastructure shows years of neglect.
Recently, there have been varied reactions over a viral video in which Obi read a message claiming that some of his supporters in the south-west have been asked not to vote for him because of a claim that he would close the ports in Lagos.
Reacting to the development in a clip which was shared on Tuesday, Obi said if elected, he will not close ports in Lagos, but would open up ports in new areas to decongest Apapa.
“Quite frankly, so many people blew it out of context. I was just trying to explain to people the kind of messages people send. Why will people be sending a message that if I become president, nobody will invest in Lagos again, I will close the ports of Lagos and everything?” Obi said.
“Everybody knows that Lagos today, as it is, the ports are congested so we have need to develop new ports, new areas. We need to expand the business. Lagos is still our financial centre.
“People have abandoned their properties in Apapa because it became a mess. Apapa used to be a reference place of living. People have abandoned it. So, you need to open up all those things and opening them up is trying to decongest the port by having to open up new ports and everything.”
Obi also referred to Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as an “elder brother”.
“Tinubu is a an elder brother of mine and I respect him for who he is. They have, in various times in their life, contributed in their own way in Nigeria. Everybody has contributed one way or the other in the past and they have to be respected,” he said.
“Yes, because they have contributed in the past does not necessarily mean they have to stay forever and forever. No, no, no. We must have a situation where people have done their bit and they have to be recognised for it and then they move on and things move on.
“It is like Brazil is today. They recognise that Pele was sometime a star, a fantastic footballer. But they are not going to field him in today’s match.”