Let me begin with the words of Howard Zinn, an American historian, playwright, philosopher, socialist thinker and World War II veteran. He was chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College, and a political science professor at Boston University. Zinn wrote over 20 books, including his best-selling and influential A People’s History of the United States in 1980. In 2007, he published a version of it for younger readers, A Young People’s History of the United States. Howard posited: “Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from Obedience”
Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown. Interestingly a packaged ‘messianic’ called St Obi, who is as deficient in self-worth as those he tries to distance himself from. Hence, the topic (pinch of delusion, dash of intolerance, extremism and exuberance), thus if we’re honestly interested in levelling-up we may as well worry about harming our core values.
Peter Obi’s ‘Obidient’ movement has become a flame that ignites Nigeria’s youth, particularly the restive youths which may be an offshoot of the EndSars movement, Biafran and Oduduwa separatists and pockets of angry/disenchanted individuals. “OBIdients” as recently coined from Obedience It is a phrase that has appeal for some of our citizens, who, unless they themselves have a powerful grievance against authority, are afraid of disorder. In reality they are mostly complicit in the same thing they are fighting against. Issues ranging from; indolence, dishonesty, misconducts and disobedience are top on the range.
In other words, of many things, the worst thing that can happen to anybody is to be deluded. It makes a victim out of unreasonable and unrealistic expectations. Therefore, it is practically impossible that the OBIdients movement will survive the emotional distress given the level of misplaced optimism. I sincerely hope that the movement will not end up like the candle light in the wind after the next election circle, partly because of wrong motives and inability to endure failure. This is exemplified by intolerance, extremism and exuberance that characterized the trademark symbol of the “OBIdients” which has also been recently described as “Headless mob” by the current governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Soludo. Soludo in his lengthy epistle further discourage what he described as ‘Nzogbu-Nzogbu’ Politics! Meaning by force, by force politics.
Flowing from the foregoing, the trajectory of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola who built a network of interpersonal relationships and build bridges across the nation which subsequently translated to a Pan-Nigerian victory, is a good example of strategic relationship. Similarly the presidential candidates of the ruling party APC and the major opposition party PDP are not strangers to the real factors that influences electoral victory. Paradoxically, it is only the so-called “OBIdients” movement that believes in magical victory in election. In the meantime, I will like to share with us the trajectory of a renowned philosopher and former President of United States of America.
Abraham Lincoln Didn’t Quit
Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn’t quit, look no further.
Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of America. Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:
1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818: His mother died.
1831: Failed in business.
1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860: Elected president of the United States.
Conclusively, I like to place it on record that given the significance of the 2023 general elections. The ‘OBIdients’ movement will need the resilience of Abraham Lincoln, the consistency of Atiku Abubakar and ruggedness of Emilokan to stay afloat after the next election circle because of the reality that is likely to confront them will definitely be different from the illusion of today.