2023 ELECTION, “SAINT OBI” AND HIS OBI-DIENT FLOCK: THIS WAY FOR A SHROUD
Peter Obi’s supporters are becoming irritants, aberrants and an holier than thou people.
If you do not support the man – or like me, a political analyst, who believe, based on my sound understanding of Nigerian politics, that although Peter Obi is a good presidential material, the tailor that would make him a fitting shirt in 2023 is still an apprentice, they see us as unpatriotic, “typical Nigerians” who likes to smile while suffering and as enemies to Peter Obi, the Obi-dients flock and Nigeria.
Someone should hurriedly tell the Obi-dients to stop this nonsense – because it sends the wrong message/signal as opposed to what they are supposed to be preaching and that it would eventually become a shroud. Two days ago, their godfather, Peter Obi himself, had to tell his supporters to be tolerant of the views and choices of others but they won’t listen. The average Obi-dient follower can be likened to someone high on marijuana or Sapele water – or an overzealous Pentecostal Naija Christian.
Obi-dients (those who support Peter Obi’s candidature) must be reminded that in a democracy (or more appropriately, “civilian rule”, which best describes the Nigerian reality), every Nigerian who is 18 years and above has the fundamental human right to support and/or vote for whosoever he or she wants, not minding if his/her reasons appeals/makes sense to you or not. So no, it is not in your place, or anyone else’s, to coerce and/or blackmail other Nigerians to join you in supporting Peter Obi or any other candidate.
And for a robust and unbiased political analyst like me, I am surprised that overnight Obi-dients alias “super tocano” emotionally charged patriots believe that i hate the man and by extension, Nigeria. But pray, how else can a group of people be both politically naive and intellectually puerile? As an analyst, my job na to scientifically and empirically interrogate the issues, analyse them and predict the outcomes based on PRESENT AND PREVALENT REALITIES. That i say Peter Obi cannot win the presidency in 2023 does not mean he isn’t the most qualified, but certainly not the best, from the three/four main contestants in the competition. It also doesn’t mean I hate Nigeria and want the sufferings to continue. It means that I am talking about today’s reality, 2023 certainty and the hope for 2027 and beyond. Would emotions allow the Obi-dients to understand that I am like them but the difference is I do not believe in political miracles and “suddenly-suddenly”, especially when it has to do with the presidential election.
The truth Obi-dients must now embrace is simple: Rome was not built in a day/overnight – so expecting Peter Ob/Labour Party to win the presidential election in 2023, when he only left the Establishment ten months to Election Day is akin to expecting your nine months old baby to eat boiled yams. I have severally argued that although Peter Obi cannot win in 2023, he should stay the cause and continue to dig and wet the ground after that elections. Politics, electoral politics, is a system. It is the gradual arrangement of different bricks. It is a structure (Obi-dients hate this word). It is a step by step laying of blocks, particularly for a presidential election in Nigeria where the winner must have at least 25% of the votes in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states plus the FCT. This is a Herculean task that requires both time, strategy and patience.
If Atiku Abubakar wins in 2023 as I have predicted he would (except he shoots himself as he is now doing with the Wike issue), he would be achieving an ambition he had since 1990. Bola Ahmed Tinubu also had the ambition to be president at least since 2014 when he tried to be the running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari and then succeed him in 2023. Peter Obi may have had the ambition to be president of Nigeria from when he was a child and I am not saying he has to contest several times before winning it but until two months ago, the man was still part of the Establishment the Obi-dients are rallying to overthrow. Those who hate the PDP today because of Peter Obi would not hate the party if it had given “Saint Obi” it’s presidential ticket. Peter Obi saw that he isn’t going to win in the primary so he left and joined the Labour Party, thereby displacing people like Prof Pat Utomi and others who had presidential ambitions.
My advice to the Obi-dients flocks is: like you, other Nigerians also have patriotic reasons for supporting an Atiku/PDP, Tinubu/APC, Kachikwu/ADC, etc. And this doesn’t mean they are wicked, unthinking, brainless and thoughtless. Just as supporting “Saint Obi”; Nigeria’s newest messiah (in 2014, President Muhammadu Buhari was seen as the messiah but now he dey show us pepper upon pepper) doesn’t make you smarter, more patriotic and a better Nigerian/human being. So stop your aberrant, insultive, holier than thou self-righteous and puerile campaigns – or your efforts would be counterproductive and become an albatross on the road to 2027.