2023: Peter Obi, Cheap Populism and Messianic Complex
By Pius Stephen
The next General Elections slated for February 2023 are fast approaching and the campaigns by candidates and their supporters are in full swing. While presidential elections in Nigeria have in recent cycles been largely two-horse races, the entry of former Anambra state Governor, Peter Gregory Obi, into the race, has changed the dynamics this time around.
Obi, Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in 2019, is contesting for President this time on the platform of the Labour Party. He defected from the Peoples Democratic Party on the eve of its primary election which was won again by Atiku. For months now, Obi has been in demand by largely southeast folks who believe it is time for the zone to stop playing second fiddle and go for the highest office in the land. When it was obvious that he could not win the PDP primary election, he left and looked for a smaller platform that can offer him its ticket without sweat.
Obi is not however new to politics and its intrigues and tension in Nigeria. In 2003, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Chris Ngige as the winner of the gubernatorial election. Obi who INEC claimed lost the election insisted that he won, that the wrong results were called. His mandate was restored at the Appeal Court after three years of Ngige’s illegal reign.
Obi also won the legal battle to ensure he did full four years in office and in 2010, he sought reelection and won convincingly.
In Obi’s rise to political prominence, credence must be given to the Late Ikemba of Nnnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. Ojukwu was the founder of APGA, Obi used the platform to gain political prominence, although, he later abandoned the platform and joined the PDP before recently joining the Labor Party. Unlike other contemporary pollical juggernauts like President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Obi failed to stay in APGA and build the party as he seems to lack the sagacity and patience to nurture a movement that will advance the strength a political party. He chose to abandon the legacy of Ikemba in search of free tickets in political parties that have been built by others.
Since Obi declared to run for the 2023 Presidential election however, he has become the rallying for a lot of youths and other Nigerians who are frustrated with the performance of the regular politicians in the two dominant parties. The momentum that started like a joke among the Igbo has now become almost a nationwide wave propelled by masses’ discontent about the status quo. But while Obi will lack the numbers and the national spread to win the election, his rabid supporters are not only building castle in the air, they are also dressing him in borrowed, saintly robes and are on a daily basis aggressively attacking Nigerians who are not on the same page with them.
It is so bad that any attempt to probe into the performance of Obi as the Governor of Anambra State from 2006 to 2014 is met with all sorts of needless insults. That Obi has not deemed it fit to call his supporters to order, is an indication that he is enjoying and indulging their fantasies. Same Peter Obi has claimed in several fora that he would rather lose honorably than win doing the wrong thing is condoning the lies and insults coming out of his camp.
Obi and his bags of inconsistencies. The same Obi once vowed never to leave the APGA, Obi has not just left APGA to PDP, he has also left the PDP to Labour Party.
The Obi-dients as they are fondly called, deploy emotional blackmail and cyber bullying to market their candidate. One thing they and their candidate fail to realise is that the 2023 Presidential Election will not be won using bullying tactics and lies. It must be stated that most of the hitherto IPOB online sympathisers who have been calling Nigeria a zoo and clamoring for its disintegration have all joined the Obi bandwagon. Their modus operandi is to threaten violence and insult perceived opponents.
Obi has not been able to win any election in his Anambra State since his 8 years in office ended. After his tenure, he was able to install his protégé, Willie Obiano, but in a few months both men fell out, with Obiano accusing Obi of making monetary demands and meddling in his government. After then, the State has had two more Governorship elections in which Obi unsuccessfully attempted to install his stooges, Oseloka and Valentine Ozigbo. As things stand, Obi has no political allies like his former governorship contemporaries, political appointees, and former Commissioners who are supporting his presidential ambition.
Obi has neither the capacity, the political structure nor the efficiency to win or even to govern Nigeria. Obi cannot conveniently list his achievements as a 2-term Governor of Anambra State. Obi should be answering to the allegations of his alleged culpability in the Awkuzu SARS brouhaha, the investment of state resources in his family business, and the allegation made against him by the former Governor of the state.
For some of us who have followed politics for a while, we know that Obi bandwagon is a joke that has been taken too far. We are waiting with bated breath to see how they will end up.
I’m not an Obi supporter, nor have i made up my mind about any candidate, Just doing a read up on all of them, but, this just stinks of partisan bull. Complete with all the buzzwords and talking points we hear from the major party spokespeople. And THIS is the editors pick? This is what passes for journalism today? I would say that you should be ashamed, but I suspect the average Nigerian Journalist doesn’t have the capacity.
Whoever wrote this is clearly very untruthful, and your plan to misinform people will never work. I suggest you wake up from your slumber before it’s too late
Cheap blackmail and propaganda
I thought I was the only one that was irritated when reading this. If Obi is terrible, why not do the digging, if there are really dirt in his shoes than spreading rubbish.