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#Obidatti rally in Lagos showed great numbers to put Obi's structure on display [Editor's Comment]

Since Obi defected to the Labour Party four months ago, his popularity has grown beyond the expectation of many who had doubted his political influence.

Obidients' rally in Lagos showed great numbers to put ‘structure’ on display.
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This is most likely the mindset of many who joined the rally, but while Obidients must be commended for their peaceful gatherings, it’s important to note that the rally is not an end in itself.

However, the massive turnout of Obi’s supporters in Lagos showed the Obidients have the numbers to give other presidential candidates a run for their money.

An election is a game of numbers, and any party and candidate that’s serious about winning the forthcoming political contest has to work day and night to get significant numbers where it matters.

In Obi’s case, the impressive turnout of Obidients in Lagos is a testimony that the presidential candidate of the Labour candidate is no longer ‘the little horse’ he was initially perceived to be in the race for Nigeria’s highest political office.

The campaign for Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed in Lagos on Saturday was so loud that it drowned the celebration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary.

In the city that is reputed for being the centre of shows in Nigeria, the Independence celebration was dull and uninspiring because many of the places where Lagosians could have gathered to celebrate the anniversary and observe the holiday were occupied by Obi’s disciples.

On social media, the #Obidatti rally swallowed all conversations online as Obi’s supporters flooded the internet with photos showing their impressive outing and numbers in Lekki, Surulere, Ikeja, and Festac where the rallies were held.

Since Obi defected to the Labour Party four months ago, his popularity has grown beyond the expectation of many who had doubted his political influence.

At first, supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (PDP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the nationwide presence of their political parties dismissed the possibility of Obi gaining numbers of following huge enough to scare other candidates and their parties.

Four months down the line, the political structure the Labour Party purportedly lacks is manifesting as a result of the growing popularity of its presidential candidate and the youths’ clamour for good governance.

Every Nigerian desires a country that works for them. Every Nigerian wants to see a better Nigeria from 2023, and interestingly, every Nigerian supporting a presidential candidate believes their candidate is the best person to deliver the Nigeria of all Nigerians’ dream.

For the Obidients, their presidential candidate is the only competent candidate who has the capacity to fix the country and make it work for the benefit of all.

Though they acknowledge that Obi is not a messiah, in their narrative, they believe a vote for Bola Tinubu of the APC or Atiku Abubakar of the PDP is tantamount to putting their future in danger.

It is against this belief that Obidients determinedly trooped out to show off their strength and numbers to demonstrate their claim that they have the political structures the APC and the PDP arrogantly boast of.

In Nigeria, a political rally like this is one of the metrics for measuring politicians’ influence and popularity, and with the Obidatti political awareness in Lagos and other states in the southern part of the country, the former governor of Anambra state is already giving a Hussein Bolt’s vibe in the race to Aso Rock.

Also, conversations and analysis about the relevance of Obi in the 2023 election are gaining more traction offline because many obidients have taken it upon themselves to work assiduously to ensure that Obi’s presidency becomes a reality.

It is also worthy to note that the rally gave some sort of credence to the permutation that outside his stronghold in the southeast, Obi would get a significant number of votes in Lagos, a city that politically belongs to the APC candidate.

But beyond the rally, which is just a tool mainly for political awareness, the only way the various rallies organised to push Obi’s agenda can reasonably translate to votes is, if everyone who identifies as obidients has his/her Permanent Voters Card (PVC), cast his/her vote and mobilise others to do same for Obi next year.

Winning elections requires more hard work than organising rallies. Politicians understand that the crowd at political rallies can be deceptive because aside from being an awareness, it could mean different things to many other members of the crowd.

For fun-seekers, a political rally could be an avenue to catch fun. It could be a social escape for people who are enthusiastic about meeting new people, and for politicians, it’s only a means to an end.

It is not enough to organise political rallies to show great numbers and determination, more need to be done to win more hearts. The numbers are good for optics, but the efforts after the rally are all that matter in politics.

In any case, obidients have demonstrated their claim that they have the structure and the numbers to wrestle power with the mega parties. And as things currently stand, the APC and the PDP can no longer afford to joke with the people they initially dismissed as jokers.

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