From London where he held official meetings with Nigerian politicians (including ‘Baba’ Olusegun Obasanjo) the Labour Party presidential candidate in the forthcoming presidential poll of next year’s February, Peter Obi, flew to the Americas, (Canada and the United States), for some lectures, town-hall meetings and interviews. Before the USA/Canada trip he had stopped over in Germany and Italy to interact with Nigerians living in the two European countries. Obi has since returned to Nigeria to continue with the ‘Obidient’ movement. As September 28 approaches, a date set aside by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the official commencement of electioneering campaign Obi and his supporters are battle-ready for the poll.
Ever since he dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Labour Party Obi has effortfully changed the presidential narrative in Nigeria. For all intents and purposes he is poised to be a crucial factor going forward into the poll. Call it the ‘third force’ if you want but Nigerian politics has not experienced such ‘obedience’ before, a political baptism of fire.
Leading ably the ‘Obidient’ movement, mostly made up of disenchanted youths at home and abroad, Obi comes across as that detribalized patriotic leader who has positioned himself for the supreme electoral price. Critics and adversaries have called him names, others had lambasted him for visiting churches in search of Christian votes but he is determined to lead the struggle for the soul of Nigeria post-Buharism.
Obi is a Catholic in particular and Christian in general, so he reserves the right to commune with his fellow Christians be it inside a church auditorium or elsewhere. No one has said it constitutes a crime for a presidential candidate to visit church(es) or mosque(s) anywhere in Nigeria. The APC’s Asiwaju Tinubu or PDP’s Atiku Abubakar on NNPP’s Rabiu Kwankwaso can visit mosques or shrines as they please! Not every Nigerian is a Christian, Muslim or pagan. Others worship no god or simply worship mammon.
Obi plays politics without bitterness or rancour! His constructive engagements with Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora stands him in good stead to wrestle power from the corrupt clueless elite ruining our collective lives, hopes and aspirations. Some idiots in the opposition had accused him of being a ‘Biafra’ candidate! And others had ignorantly swore that he could not lead Nigeria but only become a President of the Igbos! What gibberish, utter balderdash!
Some others seeing the hope and dream he represents for this generation had said his stewardship as Anambra State Governor is nothing to write home about. One scoundrel even said that in Anambra State what he heard about good governance and development revolved around ex-Governor Chris Ngige! Obi as Governor did not build roads, schools or hospitals! And we laugh whenever we hear these craps spewed by ignorant folks.
What ridiculous hare-brained assertions! The absurdity of the moment can not go away unless or until we sweep the house clean of executive thieves and terrorists. President Buhari has brought us to a sorry pass and it would take a man of great political sagacity to take us out of the ditch.
Early in September a former Nollywood actress, Victoria Inyama, had described 70 percent of Obi’s supporters as “Zombidients” and “Obidiots”! Ms Inyama stated this while reacting reportedly to a post (since deleted) shared on Instagram by popular on-air personality, Michael Collins Ajereh, better known as Daddy Freeze.
Freeze had taken to his Instagram page and categorised Peter Obi’s supporters, the Obidients, into three categories. One: “Obidients: Amazing guys who understand his philosophy and support him passionately.” Two: “Zombidients: These ones just follow Obi cluelessly with their eyes closed as the name suggests”.
And three: “Obidiots: A coagulation of louts and touts lurking online and offline, ready to jump and attack anyone who doesn’t support Obi”. Brilliant stuff, albeit a mischievous categorization by a show-biz coward who later deleted the post as a result of backlash or negative reactions online.
Peter Obi is not a god! And he has not claimed to be one. He has not told anyone that he is that messiah long awaited. He is not desperate to establish a cult of personality even though the ‘Obidients’ have built one around his personality unsolicited. Obi remains, in the eyes of his many followers, a global brand. He is a kind of brand that appeals to all and sundry irrespective of tribe, region, religion and culture.
That is why you can find ‘Obidients’ everywhere, from Ihiala to Kano, Lagos to Ibadan, Warri to Port Harcourt. From cities to towns, villages to hamlets, all united for one purpose: change the rotten system and rebuild the broken nation. They believe the damage already done to the system is repairable with sound leadership. And they, therefore, chorus: yes, we can! Yes, he can!!
Obi’s entry into the 2023 race as the Labour Party candidate for the February’s presidential poll may well turn out to be the game-changer. He may or may not win the election to become President but the fire has already been stoked for another day, another battle, four years hence.
‘Obidients’ are neither “Obidiots” nor “Zombidients”! Those assertions or categorizations exist only in the wild imagination of the loudmouth Daddy Freeze and the nonentity called Victoria Inyama.
“Obidiots” or “Zombidients” do not exist within the fold of the ‘Obidient’ movement. What exist are determined passionate young Nigerians, male and female, manifesting their desperate desire from every nook and cranny of our federation to use their PVCs to dethrone the old insane order and enthrone Peter Obi to power as their President.
The President for this time must be someone that has something to offer. It must be that somebody hale and hearty; that detribalized patriotic Nigerian supremely confident of possessing what it takes to unite our divided peoples, bring about radical change and make security and welfare of the masses his primary purpose of governance.
As the charismatic former Anambra State Governor recently said in an exclusive interview with the US-based CNN: “we want to dismantle (the broken system) now and ensure that the next election is based on character, capacity, competence, and commitment to do the right thing”. We concur!
Peter Obi, we dare say, is the President for this time! This time of helplessness and hopelessness; of poverty, disease and insecurity. Let us join hands electorally, therefore, to make his presidency a resounding reality and success.
Yes we can; Yes he can! 2023 is the right moment for us to strike!