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What exactly is Peter Obi doing differently? [Editor’s Opinion]

Obi needs to understand that no one can set the country on the right path by hobnobbing with those that brought it to its knees.

Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, Ibrahim Babangida and Peter Obi (Peter Obi/Twitter)
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The Obi agenda has been well received among the youths who want to see a new Nigeria from 2023. A Nigeria that is devoid of political opportunists whose knees tenaciously pin down the country.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, the economic and political powers in Nigeria have been within the same circle of people who are bereft of initiatives to turn around the fortune of the country in spite of its bountiful natural and human resources.

The idea that politics should serve as a service to the people and the betterment of communities is novel to an average Nigerian politician whose belief is that politics is a career, and as such, the interest of the individual politician must always come first.

As if perpetuating themselves in power for however long they choose to stay politically relevant is not obnoxious enough, many of the current crops of politicians in the country feel it’s ideal to retain political powers of their home state in their family to have their hands eternally dipped in the cookie jar.

With corruption oozing from every corner of the key sectors and trusting the affairs of the nation in the hands of the most incompetent among the kleptomaniacs in power, the change Nigerians desire will remain a pipe dream.

However, with the emergence of Obi, a new sense of hope is sweeping widely across the country among the youths, who desire to see a leader they can identify with and a country they can call their own.

Even though Obi has not extensively reeled out his plans for the country, his supporters see in him a new breed of politician that is coming to make a difference if given the chance to lead the country in 2023.

Obi is fully aware that a huge percentage of the youth population now known as ‘Obidients’ are staunchly behind him and are ready to fight his cause till he gets the national seat of power.

The popularity the former governor of Anambra state currently enjoys is substantially predicated on the belief that he would run a frugal government against the wasteful system that democratises the stealing of public funds and rewards questionable characters with political appointments.

While this is a political environment Nigerians want to see, it’s not lost on them that this was the same narrative the All Progressives Congress (APC) sold to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

Unfortunately, the party that promised to arrest corruption and take it to the slaughterhouse has failed to save itself from the clutch of corruption. The APC government, despite its anti-corruption braggadocio, has raised the level of corruption to a new height.

But while the narrative that ushered in President Muhammadu Buhari was largely about his aversion for corruption, Obi’s campaign has been more about his frugality, which many believe he practised when governed Anambra State.

Apart from this, nothing separates him from a typical Nigerian politician. Like the APC presidential flag-bearer, Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, Obi in the eyes of the public is not without his baggage of corruption allegations that won’t go away until he stops being a politician.

With the youths on his side, the presidential candidate is doing a lot to register his candidacy, but he is not doing much to separate himself from those he wants to take power from.

Recently, Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana advised Obi, and the leadership of the Labour Party to stop visiting those who “destroyed Nigeria to seek their support.

Falana even begged Obi against ‘adopting the method of the usual’ saying he won’t get the power if he follows the usual route.

Providing him with an alternative, he advised him to visit the offices of all the trade unions in Nigeria; the offices of women organisations and youth organisations to spread his campaign.

But barely two weeks after Falana’s advice, Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed visited former heads of state, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalam Abubakar.

On Monday, September 26, 2022, he visited former president, Olusegun Obasanjo to extensively discuss ‘issues of national interest.’

Granted, political campaigns have not officially started yet but Obi’s visit to the military leaders was without a doubt aimed at seeking their blessings.

Politics is a game of interest and mischief. Like a gift from the devil, whoever Obi seeks support from among the old guards will have their hands in his administration and take all they can get from it if he gets the power.

The old guards are not willing to accept any change or new ideas that will reduce them to a nonentity. Obi needs to understand that no one can set the country on the right path by hobnobbing with those that brought it to its knees.

If Obi genuinely wants to identify with the youths who have been relentless in spreading his campaign all over the country, he needs to heed Falana’s advice and seek the support he needs from those who will demand nothing but good governance from him.

But if he continues to go cap in hand to discuss ‘issues of national interests’ with those that could not save the country when they had the power to, he’ll strengthen Omoyele Sowore’s claim that he is a lapdog of the old guards.

*Pulse Editor's Opinion is the viewpoint of an Editor at Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the Organisation Pulse.

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