There are many moments in life when decisions are made not just to shape the particular moment or the next but to mold destiny altogether. Those who know to make the correct decisions in such crunch moments know that the pains are usually the pains of childbirth.
For Mr. Peter Obi, former Anambra State Governor and for many Nigerians, the man who symbolizes the hope that Nigeria can come back from the land of the dead, May 24,2022 was the day such an inevitable decision was communicated via a letter he wrote to the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party intimating the party of his decision to leave the party. The decision sent shockwaves among many Nigerians but not keen political observers who saw it coming all along. For keen political observers, in a party as notoriously spendthrift as the PDP, the famously austere Mr. Obi was always going to struggle.
Just as Nigeria is at a crossroads having been run aground by the All Progressives Congress in the last seven years, the PDP is on a journey of redemption. It has to be redemption because it was the party`s political debauchery during sixteen bittersweet that ultimately tore out the door to enable the All Progressives Congress gain access to the sanctum of Nigerian political power in 2015. sIf in the eyes of many Nigerians, the PDP failed in power for sixteen years, in the eyes of many more, the party has failed to provide virile opposition in the last seven years.
Nigerians are a disillusioned lot. All over the country, there are many who have lost faith in the future of Nigeria. There are many who have grown weary of the concept of Nigeria and are thus wary of those who seek to convince them that Nigeria can work again. To tell many Nigerians to be patriotic these days is to waste otherwise useful breath.
However, as the 2023 general election continues to draw closer by the day, the disillusioned lot who lament that Nigeria is only fit for the political refuse dump have found a lullaby in the voice of Mr. Peter Obi. They have found in his words a man who delivers something remarkably different from the political pitches of many others. They have found a man who has a mountain of work in Anambra State to back up his claims. So, they have warmed up to him confident that he can repeat the miracles he worked in Anambra State in Nigeria.
Ye, for the PDP, it appears that old habits die hard. It is and remains the challenge of transactional politics, the idea that politics involve some degree of buying and selling until everything is bought and sold on some level. With Mr. Peter Obi now gone from the PDP, the party is expected to rally around its other candidates. The Nigerian situation may yet offer some light at the end of the tunnel.
With the political garbage currently greeting Nigerians from the refuse dump of the All Progressives Congress, Nigeria may have again lurched into a season of anything goes as was the case in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari was elected. However, in engaging Nigerians politically, in seeking the votes of a people made wary by the wanton lies told them for many years, the least the PDP could do is to keep in mind the baggage it carries in the eyes of many Nigerians.
The staff who stuff the party`s top echelons may selectively choose to remember a time when the party gave power to Nigerians, but Nigerians also have in mind the sixteen-year period during which corruption fastened its fangs into national institutions while violence buried its proboscis into the electoral processes all under the PDP. It is not with a clean slate that the PDP will approach Nigerians. Very little has been done by the party since it lost the general elections in 2015 to show that it has turned a new leaf. Indeed, the epileptic opposition it has provided the ruling APC is a major reason Nigeria is currently embroiled in a crises of noxious and nonchalant leadership.
For many Nigerians, the question of credibility now blurs party lines. The shocking experience of many Nigerians is of vipers delivered into the corridors of power concealed in the pandora`s box of political parties. It was this shift in mentality that got Nigerians on the side of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 when his personal appeal overpowered the smokescreen of the All Progressives Congress.
If many young Nigerians, at least those far removed from the core North where a shocking educational gap has left many in the stranglehold of poverty and mental slavery, are able to connect with Peter Obi on a level far deeper than they can to any other presidential candidate, it is because to hear him speak about his dreams for Nigeria is to bathed by a breath of fresh air, to be flooded by light even as Nigeria remains submerged in the darkness.
But there is more to the enigmatic former Anambra State Governor whose relentless three-year legal battle forced the PDP to give up the mandate it had stolen from him in a first which rewrote the electoral timetable of Anambra State. He does not just speak, his antecedents amplify his voice. His sterling performance while he was governor of Anambra State continue to put many past and present governors in Nigeria to shame.
The hideously greedy delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party may yet elect the highest bidder to become its presidential candidate, yet, with the loss of Mr. Obi, a rare opportunity has been lost at a time when everything should be done to put credible people into the halls of power in Nigeria.