Home Op-Ed #OBIdient: The Battle of the Five Armies -By J.A. Ezihe

#OBIdient: The Battle of the Five Armies -By J.A. Ezihe


Peter Obi - The OBIdient

The epic Battle of the Five armies is a fight to control the resources of Mountain Erebor, a richly blessed part of Middle-earth. Deep in Mountain Erebor lie vast amounts of gold, diamonds and all kinds of treasure.

If you stand in the middle of the street in a number of Nigerian cities today and just shout ‘OBIdients!’, chances are you will get a response. The respondent(s) would likely be young <45 years, with an eagerness to do or say something that shows they want things to change for the better. This awakening energy and enthusiasm for the good can be the foundation for a new nation. As long as it continues to travel in the right direction.

It is into this gathering energy cloud that I seek to ‘Yusufully’ speak. With every sense of responsibility.

If there is one body of work I would strongly recommend to All OBIdients it is – JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

In a truly inspired moment a gifted writer sets out to pen a story … and ends up writing the future.

In the story, the battle to save  Middle-earth from the dominion of darkness is the same battle facing Nigeria today. This battle to save the good and the green will confront every nation on earth … sooner or later. The old order has passed away! Everything must become new! Nigeria is simply going ahead of other nations to confront this reality. Unsurprisingly! The title of the late Pius Adesanmi’s book captures it aptly – ‘Naija no dey carry last’.

An understanding of the battle unfolding is PARAMOUNT for all OBIdients. This understanding will inform the preparation. For zeal without knowledge = energetic madness. And if you fail to prepare … you prepare to fail.

The preparation of athletes for major competitions comprises the physical – train hard, watch your diet, sleep well, drink healthy etc. In this instance that would be get your PVC, update your PVC, present yourself to vote on election day.

Elite sports(wo)men also recognise that psychological (call it inner) preparation is just as and often more important than physical preparation.

After winning gold in the women’s 4 x 100 m relay at the recent Commonwealth Games, Favour Ofili was quoted as saying ‘the difference is We now believe in ourselves’.

British heptathlete, Katarina Johnson-Thompson talks about the role ‘impostor syndrome’ played in championships where by all predictions, she should have won. And yet despite immense intense physical preparation this psychic state unhinged her performance. She describes her journey to overcoming this syndrome.

So inner preparation matters.

There is no substitute for reading JRR Tolkien’s books. But if you want a shortcut (which I did) – watch the films. Director Peter Jackson’s masterful interpretation of The Hobbit is currently available on Netflix as a trilogy. The Battle of the Five Armies is the third film in this trilogy.

The Lord of The Rings film is also available online as a trilogy.  After watching The Hobbit Trilogy, make sure you watch The Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

Disclaimer: I do not own shares in Netflix, any publishing house or online movie platform and Peter Jackson is neither my relative nor my friend!

However in a battle as crucial as project rescue Nigeria, there will be many moments of doubt, when the dark cloud gathers even darker, and we are visited by ‘the same fear that would take the heart of me’. When those days arrive as they will … I urge OBIdients to gather in the same way  soccer fans gather to watch the Premier League or UEFA cup. Watch JRR Tolkien’s works. Draw inspiration, gain insight and rekindle your courage.

For the sake of those totally unfamiliar with what I call JRR Tolkien’s ‘moment of clairvoyance’,  I here  highlight some points.

In Tolkien’s fantasy universe, Middle-earth is home to many races – Men, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents. These races look, dress, eat, and dance differently.  As do people of different tribes in a diverse country like Nigeria.

Sauron, the Dark Lord, wants to rule Middle-earth and control all its races. But not so he can lead Middle-earth to greater peace, progress and prosperity. No! He wants power so he can have dominion over all creatures. So that they all fear, bow to and do his will without question. (Did I hear someone say ‘the Nigerian Political Class?’).

Sauron recruits minions by corrupting the corruptible. His army consists of Orcs & Uruk-hai (corrupted elves), Nazgul & Haradrim (corrupted men), wolves and bats (corrupted animals), Trolls & goblins. They terrorize Middle-earth destroying anyone or anything that stands for the good and the green.

Why is Sauron so successful? Because for a long time the different races (call them tribes) of Middle-earth refuse to unite and face their common enemy. Instead they keep fighting tribal battles among themselves. (Does this sound like Nigeria?)

Wizards are sent as guides to help the races of Middle-earth in the fight against the darkness. Gandalf is a wizard who can see that  destruction and slavery are approaching. He establishes good relationships with all races and seeks to bring order into the chaos by getting the tribes to look beyond their petty differences and past conflicts.

The epic Battle of the Five armies is a fight to control the resources of Mountain Erebor, a richly blessed part of Middle-earth. Deep in Mountain Erebor lie vast amounts of gold, diamonds and all kinds of treasure.

Initially the battle line is drawn between an army of Dwarves who claim Mountain Erebor as their ancestral home and a combined army of Elves and Men. Before Dwarves, Men and Elves can start fighting each other, Gandalf arrives to warn that a greater enemy is on the way.  Sauron’s army of Orc’s is riding towards the Mountain with one singular aim. To DESTROY THEM ALL.

When Sauron’s army arrives, it outnumbers the combined army of Dwarves, Men and Elves many times over.

As they confront each other in this bloody battle, the victory of the darkness seems almost a foregone conclusion. Just when ALL hope is about to be lost, the fifth army arrives. Bilbo exclaims ‘The Eagles are coming!’

The arrival of the Eagles turns the tide and there is victory for Middle-earth … for The Light.

Important points to note are that the Eagles were:

  • Not at the initial battle line.
  • Neither factored in nor expected by the races of Men, Elves and Dwarves on whose side they fight.
  • Neither factored in nor expected by the Orcs, wolves and bats against whom they fight
  • Unlike the other four armies, the Eagles fight from the sky.

In the battle unfolding, I expect the army fighting for the good and green in Nigeria to be outnumbered. The Nigerian Political Class will fight with everything to hold onto the old (dark) order.

Even now these Political Orcs and Nazgul constantly try to induce fear when they mock the OBIdient movement for its lack of structures, the Labour Party for its lack of offices at the grass root level, or lack of offices in the North, or the impossibility of Labour Party getting the ‘magical’ 25% of votes, etc, etc, etc.

OBIdients … hold your ground!

When Orcs and Uruk-hai line up at the battle front and it appears we are outnumbered 1000:1 … hold your ground!

When bullion vans start circulating and alliances change overnight … hold your ground!

When even Saruman betrays the cause and turns from being White Wizard to an ally of the Dark Lord …

HOLD … YOUR … GROUND! ‘The Eagles are coming!’

What will be this unknown quantity in the run up to February 2023?

If I knew the answer to this then I would be wiser than Gandalf.

Watch this space.




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