“Things are working out towards their dazzling conclusions. So it is neither here nor there what ticky-tacky we befuddle our brains with.” – Ama Ata Aidoo in Our Sister Killjoy
Politics guarantees that people are bound to blame Peter Obi for whatever decision he takes on the pursuit of his presidential ambition. He is already being judged, some harshly, for leaving the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He is running away from challenges, his accusers say. They see no solution in his decision. Some say his departure from PDP has decimated Obi’s chances of amounting to anything subsequently.
The truth is that Obi is desperate to be President of Nigeria. He is desperate, not for himself, but a certain pull draws him towards suicidal political decisions like telling delegates they would not get a dime from him, then leaving PDP.
Unthinkable decisions have to be made to match the dazzling dash that rescuing Nigeria requires. There is no time. There are few takers. The Electoral Act’s late arrival, the firmness about sticking to the schedule have engendered a ferocious pace that is new to our elections.
Nigeria is in dire straits. People who see 2023 as another season of elections miss the point. The first task is to pull Nigeria back from certain calamities she has been thrown through particularly in the past seven years of divisive decisions. The time to do that is during the pre-qualification of candidates. That time is now.
The elections are about Nigerians searching out those willing to fight through the rubble on which Nigeria stands and make something out of it. The professional politicians see another season of harvests of their calling as delegates turn desperadoes.
Negotiations are about cost of delegates. Obi said his politics would not accommodate the waste, distortion, corruption that system entails.
Criticisms of his position are endorsements of more than N9 billion the 774 PDP delegates could earn at $20,000 each. Different figures apply in the different parties.
Obi is aghast at this expenditure. People abuse him for his legendary stinginess. Obi asks these questions which bear directly on how reckless political expenditures affect our lives –
Where do aspirants get dollars to buy delegates when manufacturers have no forex for critical spares and materials?
Why would people be spending dollars when the official currency is Naira?
How would these free spenders recoup their investments?
These questions should draw us to deeper contemplations of where Nigeria is heading again. They judge us. They point directions for us. They warn us of the dangers ahead.
We are on the verge of losing more of Nigeria again, if we add another bad decision to the one that got us here. The times are telling, trying, and tumultuous. Our existence is at stake.
Only Obi provides deep perspectives to managing these issues and their possibilities. His track record of performance whether in governance, business or personal life are practical demonstrations of one who tackles matters sustainably for the common good. He sees the bigger picture.
Without an acceptance of the fact that Obi is the best of the aspirants in the race, across parties, across regions, across religions, we would fail ourselves again. Obi has connected with Nigerians. He is a movement without the traditional ties that tilt power to personal purposes.
Are we joining Obi and like minds to rescue Nigeria? Is pulling Nigeria from those pernicious holds not more important than which party wins the elections? Do Nigerians feel strong enough about their despondency to act against it?
If we cast our lot with Obi we can build the new Nigeria we only have in speeches and social media debates. It is possible.
Where are the coalition of parties that would mobilise their resources over the next eight months to pull Nigeria back from the brink? It is the need of the hour.
The behemoths, APC and PDP, are formidable forces in this race. Yet they can be defeated with articulation of alternatives to what they represent.
Concerns should not be about what happens to Obi. They personalise and minimise his quest. We should be more concerned about us. Obi’s stinginess would lead us out of the current morass. We should follow him as he dismisses vote buying, an act that is illegal. Like most laws, parties gleefully breach the electoral regulations.
Speed is of essence as Nigerians decide who would fix their broken country. We should not join delegates, a miniscule part of our population, to bring further ruination on Nigeria.
Obi has pointed the way to a new Nigerian political behaviour that returns power to the people. Let leaders and the led embrace Obi for the obvious difference he is.
If the mission is to rescue Nigeria, Obi is the best choice by miles. It is time we joined him in halting the charade that is hurting us.
DRAMA will never depart from Rochas Okorocha. The lengthy live video production of Okorocha and family supplicating to the Almighty to save them while agents of the Economic and Financial and Economic Crimes Commission, EFCC, banged their doors, captures bits of the character of this presidential aspirant. Is resisting arrest a matter for the Almighty?
THE landscape is still drenched with blood. The killings continue. We cannot find the killers when we distract ourselves with blame-sharing. Anyone who can stop the killings should.
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