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Peter Obi: If I become president, I will dialogue with IPOB — but not bandits

Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says he would be willing to converse with agitators if he becomes president.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been agitating for the breakaway of the south-east.

In an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday, Obi said he would concentrate on securing the country and pulling citizens out of poverty as these issues are more urgent than restructuring.

“We need to restructure the country, it is for the good of the country. It will be constitutional restructuring but that will take time. There’s one you need to deal with. You don’t need to wait for that kind of restructure before pulling people out of poverty,” he said.

“To deal with issues of security, you don’t need to wait for constitutional restructuring.  Those ones will happen and it for the interests of the whole nation.”

Speaking on encouraging dialogue in his government, he said: “For those who are agitating, and disagreeing, you first start by dialogue. No matter who they are, I will discuss with everybody so that you will know when to throw a line and say we’ve tried this and it’s not working.”

But when asked if he would dialogue with bandits, he said “they are not among people I will discuss with”.

“Bandits are bandits, criminals are criminals. I’m going to deal with it decisively,” he said.

“Those who want to be discussed with will be discussed with. Those who are agitating, those who feel unhappy, my job is to bring them to the table.”

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