Peter Obi Presidency will be Breakfast for Nigerians

by Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Peter Obi

Dear Mr Peter Obi, in my recent memo to Bola Tinubu, I said that the reason I don’t believe in him is that politicians – of which you are one – are people who would greet you ‘good morning’ only for you to find out that its already midnight. You people campaign in poetry and govern in bland, dour poetry. I have had many of your supporters insult me whenever I have asked them why they support you instead of the other politician. My guess as to why they support you is three reasons. One they are very, very tired and disappointed at the present state of things and therefore see you as some kind of messiah. Two, is that the kind of support that they gave to you is no different from the blind support they gave to Muhammadu Buhari in 2013 – 2014. Third is your populist idea of not giving ‘shishi’, synonym for your alleged prudence.

Dear Mr Obi, I must tell you as well that I have no conviction in your ability to save Nigeria. You are no different from the rest. The only difference between you and them is that you have not been accused of being a drug lord. If they say one of them is a bullion van man, you have issues with handling public monies as well – as governor, you had a reputation for saving up a bunch of money which your successor allegedly pilfered. Prior to those monies being pilfered, you quarreled to no end with your successor over those monies, mostly because he did not let you have your hands on some of it. But who goes about saving monies in the face of the mountains and stacks of developmental needs that litter the place? Who does that? In the development sector, organisations give you money on the proviso that you have the ability to spend it. There are also issues with hiding your hard-earned monies in offshore locations to avoid paying a tax; together with your alleged investment of public funds in a family business.

You rose to prominence on a populist drive – at a point where Nigerians were desperately looking for a high fix, something to numb their pain and suffering. You are allegedly a billionaire, knowing that Nigerians were looking for the opium of hope, you began to promote your Spartan philosophy – not giving shishi, and in having only a pair of shoes and sleeping in inexpensive hotel rooms. If that kind of rhetoric was going to fool anybody certainly not the silent circumspect minority of Nigerians. Politics and the democratic process is about giving money and is a trade –  trading in local and foreign currencies that pay for venues, transportation, air fares, feeding and the like – mostly for and around a large body of people.

All of these things are not important now though – the questions I often asked your followers before the elections were the following – if you indeed claim that you know Peter Obi and are convinced in his ability to help Nigeria, do you know all the other candidates campaigning to fill the positions of Governor, Senators, House of Reps members, local government chairmen and councilors and etc under the LP banner?  If not, it meant that there was going to be only man Peter Obi as president from the LP, slugging it out against powerful politicians manning very sensitive positions of government – the senate and the House of Reps – who would either be APC or PDP. How then would you Peter Obi govern Nigeria knowing that you would have to work with either the majority APC or the PDP? I got an answer from one of your propagandists, that you were going to be running Nigeria with executive orders. Executive Orders are like decrees issued under a military regime. They are what most presidents resort to if they do not have the support of the legislative and judicial arms of government. Your propagandists did not realise that Nigeria is not a kingdom where a king makes proclamations for the rest of us to obey and submit to. It is a democracy (I use that word advisedly).

So Mr Obi, what I found out throughout this election is not the failure of the BVAS or the habitual attitude of politicians to use religion and ethnicity to win elections. What I found out is the biggest challenge of all – that Nigerians – are still a largely underdeveloped a people, easily swayed by populists like you Mr Obi. I have prayed that you would have won. Your winning would have exposed you as the greatest ‘shishi’ giver of all times. To govern, you would have either decamped to the PDP or consistently bought the buy-in of the politicians who will hardly support your administration, with pots and pots of shishi, and to avoid your impeachment. In the days after the failed Muhammadu Buhari cash swap, I found you agreeing with the policy. Now if that did not give indication that you were coming in as president to serve Nigerians breakfast, nothing else does. I hope you get justice in court and become president, but not because I believe in you but just so that the veneer on Nigerians about you will disappear for Nigerians to get the Peter Obi they deserve.

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