BY AUSTIN OYIBODE
There are three major contenders for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2023 general elections. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is contesting under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is contesting under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) while Peter Obi is contesting under the Labour Party. Though there are others, these three are the major warriors for the Nigeria’s seat of power.
Atiku is from the Northeast of Nigeria. Tinubu is from the Southwest while Obi is from the Southeast. Atiku was former vice president from 1999 to 2007 under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. He also contested the presidency in 2019 but was defeated by incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. Tinubu was former governor of Lagos state from 1999 to 2007 while Peter Obi was also governor of Anambra state for two terms.
In the build up to the 2023 presidential primary elections, Obi was initially with the PDP but he had to edge out because he felt with the moves of some power brokers in the party, he might not secure the presidential ticket under the PDP. Atiku eventually won the PDP ticket while Tinubu, in a keenly contested primaries with other heavy weights, won the APC ticket. But Obi defected to the Labour Party and was given ticket to run under the party.
In their respective primaries, Atiku and Tinubu reportedly spent thousands of dollars to get the presidential tickets of their parties. Atiku would not have secured the ticket if he had not allegedly spent such huge amount of dollars. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers would have cleared the ticket and sent Atiku back to his Adamawa country home. But that was not to be.
Wike was reportedly betrayed by his supposed Southern brothers who had earlier agreed in a meeting hosted by Delta and Lagos state governments that presidential power should be moved to the Southern states of Nigeria. But at the convention, they all turned away from the agreement they collectively made and went for a Northern candidate.
These are sellouts and betrayals. They are after their personal interest at the detriment of the weeping masses. They do not care for their people but for what they can gain, and the masses can perish if they so wish. It is of no value to them. The security challenges in the country have no place in their agenda. These are selfish souls who can go to any length for their pleasure while the masses pine away.
On the APC end, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo would have been preferred as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). His speech at the venue of the primaries was legendary and gave hope of a new Nigeria with dignity. Though many blamed him for not applying his knowledge in the present administration, it is believed that he is under a master who has 100 percent right to accept or reject his advice, hence his knowledge may not be useful in the administration. He is only to make comment when his boss, Muhammadu Buhari, is not in the country and perhaps when power is delegated to him.
His political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, defeated him and he lost the party ticket. However, in the eyes of Nigerians, Tinubu is not fit to be Nigeria’s president. He is seen as old, too weak and not healthy enough to shoulder the responsibilities of a muti-ethnic Nigeria. Nigerians are no longer at home with old folks who are seen to have run short of ideas and are no longer in tune with the present realities in the world.
Many of the old people who are gunning for power are reportedly seen as people who have plundered the nation, hence Nigerians, especially the younger generation, can no longer trust them with leadership positions. Over the years, the old people have been in power, but the nation has not been able to come out of its security, educational and economic challenges which have held the nation to the jugular. Even at present, universities are on strike due to the ineptitude of these failed leaders.
With all these, coupled with the last endSARS experience, no Nigerian with sane mind is interested in voting old people with warped mind and almost dysfunctional brains into the office of the president of Nigeria. It is believed that these men have lost grip with realities and are now living in the ancient past. The present realities therefore do not need these men in power. Besides, many of them are seen as thieves and are running to capture the vault for themselves and their cronies.
Now, a revolution, a mass movement or call it a tsunami is happening all over Nigeria. All classes of people, the suffering old and rural dwellers, the city dwellers, the youths who form the highest voting population are clamouring for Peter Obi, who is believed to have the brightest idea that could solve the myriad of challenges in the country. In Peter Obi, Nigerians have seen a deliverer, a man who has the blueprint for a greater Nigeria. All Nigerian youths are now ready to pull resources to vote Obi as the next Nigeria’s president.
All over the media space, Obi is projected by all Nigerians as never before. Nigerians have never supported a candidate as Peter Obi since the emergence of true democracy in 1999 or even in 1993 when MKO Abiola won the presidential election that was later annulled by former military head of state, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
Most of the previous leaders have always imposed themselves on Nigerians, and since Nigerians could not get alternatives, they have no option but to allow them have their ways. This has been the trend over the years. But now, Obi has come as an alternative to the twin evils of APC and PDP whose leaders have, over the years, plundered the wealth of the nation and amass wealth to themselves at the detriment of the weeping masses. A revolution is now taking place across Nigeria.
A massive youth enrollment for the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is taking place all over Nigeria. Youths are now stepping up having seen one whom they can trust with their votes and with the belief that the nation’s wealth will not be plundered. All over Nigeria, there is an upsurge in voter registration. This is to the extent that INEC had to send more 209 machines to Lagos, Kano and the South east to get youths registered.
Peter Obi’s name is trending as never before. On every social media space, youths are pushing for Obi as the next Nigeria’s president. Though few supporters of the PDP and APC are raising some unfounded allegations against Obi, their allegations are not gaining ground as they are being overwhelmed by the massive wave of Obi’s supporters. The support base is thick and is coming and well-coordinated as the endSARS protest was well coordinated by the Nigerian youth on the social media platforms.
Churches, market women and youths are working without seeking payment for the actualization of Peter Obi’s presidency. This is the first time since the history of Nigeria that Nigerians would on their own volition campaign for a presidential candidate. It is historic. All churches are queuing behind Obi. All eyes have been opened. No one wants to take chances any longer. The old politicians have stolen enough. It is time to take power by force. On every street corner, the only name being mentioned is Peter Obi.
Well-meaning Nigerians at home and Diaspora are donating funds for the campaign for Peter Obi’s presidency. Obi’s campaign is almost being taken over by Nigerian youths and the APC and PDP old men are taken aback at the upsurge for Peter Obi’s government. Obi has been seen as one of the stainless leaders Nigeria has ever produced. His words and actions cannot be pushed away. They are captivating, inspiring and portraying a man with great vision for a new Nigeria. His honesty is second to none. Nigerian youths all over the North, South, East and West are mobilizing and it is going to be a massive revolution that will sweep throughout Nigeria.