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The Peter Obi Phenomenon – By Tochukwu Ezukanma

By Tochukwu Ezukanma | Lagos, Nigeria | July 24, 2022 – Nigerian politics is dominated by dangerous leaders. A dangerous leader is a man or woman whose desire for power is motivated not by the public good and commitment to serve, but greed, personal gains and clique interests. The excesses of these dangerous political operators was made manifest in that, even, an important and solemn event as the election of a presidential nominee by party delegates was reduced to selling and buying of votes. The sordid convergence of untrammeled selfish ambitions and craven opportunism striped a party convention of gravitas, and reduce it to the banality of street market haggling and trading, with party delegates selling their votes to the highest bidders.

Consequently, it was the wealthiest of the political contenders, with the greatest willingness to pay for votes from delegates that emerged the presidential candidate. So, it was not qualification for leadership that dictated the emergence of the presidential candidate, but the depth of a profligate big spender’s pocket. This nauseating political modus operandi facilitated the emergence of the muddled-headed, crooked, and shady as presidential candidate. It has, over the years, foisted on the country at different levels of government plutocrats of questionable character and sources of wealth.

Refreshingly, in a bold and punchy swipe at this outrageous political method, the presidential candidate of the Labor Party, Peter Obi, declared, “I will not give anybody shishi”. It was a defiant, gutsy and iconoclastic declaration that dramatized resolve and will to repudiate the status quo; and chart a new course. It smacked squarely in the face of business as usual and the amoral methods of the evil oligarch that has, for long, retained a stranglehold on Nigeria.

The evil oligarch is personified in the two other major presidential candidates, Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar. They are inextricable parts of the oligarchy that has, for long, held the country in the throes of economic misery, social injustice, lawlessness, and insecurity. Nigerians are deeply troubled by the horrifying prospect of either men being elected president because, as many political observers have rightly pointed out, the choice between them is essentially a choice between Otapiapia and Sniper. Both are potent, lethal poisons.

It is not only about Peter Obi’s defiance of the status quo and determination to chart a new course. It is also about his proven competence and indisputable qualification to be the president of Nigeria. Nigerians have been impressed by his knowledge, versatility and incisive mind. We are impressed by his credibility, and the verifiability of every aspect and detail of his life. With a blend of admiration and astonishment, we doffed our hats for the humility, and refined and disciplined sensibility of this former governor, who carries his own bag flies economy class and refused to be paid pension as a former governor. We are awed by the integrity and incorruptible uprightness of the two-term governor that left office without a scandal or any question to answer from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

The bewildering complexities of our national problems demand novel and iconoclastic solutions. And Nigeria is in a desperate need for a revolution – not the sanguinary and anarchistic revolution of murderous fanaticism and frenzied zealotry – but a revolution within the confines of the law; anchored on democratic tenets and principles. Obi’s illustrious performance as a servant-leader in Anambra State exemplified novelty and iconoclasm in cracking entrenched and seemly intractable problems, and revolution within conventional confines.

The Peter Obi phenomenon resonates with the generality of Nigerian, especially, the youths. The for long dispossessed and disregarded, and for long patient Nigerian youths, in the #End SARS protest, were saying, “Enough is Enough”.  In that protest, the youths spoke for the generality of Nigerians as they sought an end to police brutality and a reformation of the entire political system. The Peter Obi phenomenon and this earlier youth rally for change – transformational change – are the expressions of the same impulse for a democratic revolution.

The youth are inspired by Obi’s presidential candidacy. They see him as personifying their awaken aspiration for a more equitable and just Nigeria; the right man in the cockpit of the revolution. Not surprisingly, in unison that straddled tribal, religious, socio-economic and zonal fault lines, and with the moral courage to do what is right, irrespective of personal consequences, the youths are coalescing around his presidential campaign. Also rallying to his standard are the downtrodden masses of Nigerians aware that they have been denied a fair share of the enormous wealth and opportunities of their country by a political elite unsurpassed in its scornfully indifference to the legitimate aspirations of the people and their worsening economic plight.

These include the poor consumed by the drudgery for daily survival; the forgotten at the bottom of the economic ladder consigned to homelessness, hunger, ignorance, unemployment and desperate, gateless poverty; university students longing for education but forced to remain indefinitely out of school due to the insensitivity and misplaced priorities of the Buhari administration; Nigerians displaced, terrified, afflicted and traumatized by the murderous rampages of bandits, terrorists and other criminal predators due to the failure of the federal government to uphold its constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property. And the list goes on.

Collectively, we are orchestrating a massive, momentous movement that will inundate and sweep away the evil oligarchy.

Tochukwu Ezukanma writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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Posted by on Jul 24 2022. Filed under Articles, Columnists, Labour Party (LP), NNP Columnists, Party Politics, Tochukwu Ezukanma. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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