When his Excellency, Mr Peter Obi decamped from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) prior to the party’s national convention in May of 2022 and subsequently joined the Labour Party, there was a big sigh of relief among many electorates.
The relief stems from the apparent option that the voters have away from the cyclical pattern of choosing between two lesser evils of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
The emergence of Peter Obi as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate has created the much needed third option for the voters. It has become very clear that neither the APC or the PDP can salvage Nigeria from the years of civilian maladministration.
The pundits didn’t give Peter Obi and his Labour Party any chance for surviving the brutal Nigerian political terrain- where the establishment always wins against the will of the people. He was written off by many from the outset, not because there was any doubt about his qualifications, but rather, on the presumed Labour Party’s lack of political structure.
In a piece that I wrote in May of 2022, shortly after his departure from the PDP, I stated that there could be no greater political structure, than the structure built around millions of Nigerian masses against those of the dirty scoundrels in the APC and PDP who are only interested in sharing the loot from our commonwealth.
Based on his belief on the capacity of our diaspora community to contribute to the development of our native land and the apparent brain drain in Nigeria; Mr Obi took his campaign wagon to North America, crossing from Canada and to my very own Pacific coast of Los Angeles, California.
His reception in Los Angeles, California also marked the inauguration of the Africa Democracy Policy Initiative, which is presided over by Barrister Moses Gagu.
The event which was moderated by my publisher Chief Chike Nweke, at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, was not much about funfair, it was rather a serious meeting of minds to chart a sustainable way forward for salvaging Nigeria-which is on the brink of collapse. The event featured the attendance of distinguished Nigerians across tribal divides-both from back home and in the diaspora. For many in the audience, this was their first encounter with the man Peter Obi. Notable among the guests of honor were Barrister Moses Gagu, the President of Africa Democracy Policy Initiative (ADPI) Pastor Oladipo, Professor Pat Utomi, Senator Annie Okonkwo, Chief Emeka Nwabueze and many others.
Peter Obi’s lecture on revamping the moribund Nigerian economy was the highlight of the event. As he has done on numerous occasions, Mr Obi in the simplest terms enumerated his strategic plans of turning Nigeria from a consumer to a producer nation. He elaborated on his plan to tackle insecurity in the country, which is a major distraction for foreign investors-stressing the need to better equip and compensate our armed forces. Paramount on his long list, was reduction in the cost of governance by reducing the recurrent expenditure which gulps most of Nigeria’s budget, and increasing capital expenditure. He admitted that tackling the uncontrollable bane of corruption in public office in Nigeria will be a challenge, but will be a key priority by implementing sustainable checks and balances.
In the midst of intrusive ovations, His Excellency while appreciating the crowd, cautioned that such accolades should be reserved at the end of his tenure in office and based on his performance if he is elected President.
In the end, he left the audience with little wonder about his readiness to tackle the onerous job of rescuing Nigeria from the brink of collapse.
If historical precedence of the underdog being a front runner and eventual winner is anything to go by- we should remember the events leading to Barack Obama winning the Democratic Party Presidential primary and the general election by beating John McCain in 2008.
The just concluded election in Kenya, as contentious as it might seem, in my opinion will end with William Ruto being ratified as the winner of the Presidential election against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s anointed candidate Raila Odinga. The Kenyatta and Odinga families have dominated Kenya’s politics for decades. If Mr Ruto’s victory is authenticated, it will mark the death of Godfatherism in Kenya’s politics.
The current scenario in Nigeria, where two political bandits, who are among the cyclical politicians that have brought Nigeria to its current state of shambles are contesting on who should place the final nail on Nigeria’s coffin need to to be rejected in its entirety. (They must be stopped against all odds)
In their empty campaigns, they tout their experience as a leverage over Peter Obi, regardless of Mr Obi’s proven records in the private and public sectors.
Agreeably so, Atiku and Tinubu have more experience than Peter Obi in one aspect, which is their perfect skills in systemic corrupt practices. In my own opinion, this is the kind of experience that Nigeria cannot afford to meddle with any longer.
It is this structure of corruption that Nigerians are gearing to dismantle. This is the more reason why the OBEDIENT MOVEMENT is making waves across all tribal divides and different age segments. The vast majority of Nigerians are yearning for salvation, beginning with the youths to the elderly. There is so much pain and misery across Nigeria that the OBEDIENT supporters see Mr Obi and his able Vice Presidential candidate Senator Yusuf Baba-Ahmed as their messengers of salivation.
As we countdown to the February 2023 Presidential election, the Labour Party and its candidates are gaining more momentum and looking less than a mere threat, but a reality and the brand of choice for many Nigerians.
It is now dawning on the Rouge politicians that the People’s movement of Labour Party is a force to reckon with against their supposed structure that is built on corruption. The man and the party that is presumed to be without structure, is now in the center stage and possibly the front runner.
It is my hope and prayer that the death of Godfatherism in Kenya will rub off on the upcoming Nigerian election to pave way for a true democratic dispensation, where the will and needs of the people will precede that of the political cabal that have held Nigeria hostage for decades.
United we stand, because there is dignity in Labour.
Life and Times News
(He is also the convener of Diasporas Alliance for Good Governance in Nigeria: DAGGON)