2023 Election Series 5 (THE FINAL SERIES)

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Why Peter Obi Should Have The Highest Votes on February 25, 2023.

By Obideyi Olanrewaju Lobinco.

It will not be out of place to say this coming Saturday’s presidential is the most important and will probably be the most defining for Nigeria in the history of our elections. Considering how our polity has been extremely permeated by people who had really never espoused what they preach, people who join politics just for it’s pecks, people that are more loyal to their political parties than they are loyal to the progress of the country, it is imperative for us as a people to maximise this rare opportunity to determine the direction our country will be steered in the next four years at the least.

I as an individual, a common Nigeria in his 40s and who for love of effecting a change in Nigeria joined politics and became really interested in the polity of Nigeria, but had to resign from politics in 2020 to advocate for fair decent politicking and good governance in Nigeria, have decided the candidate deserving of my vote is Mr Peter Obi/Datti-Baba Ahmed of Labour party.

I know very well before this endorsement that it’s a suicide mission as even before now, because my resignation from partisan politics in October 2020 and my hitherto subtle alignment with the Obidient movement had cost me so much in terms of personal development and well deserved growth. My stance for the nation had cost me loosing friends I hitherto depended on, supposedly loyal clients, betrayals from those I ordinarily could have received bullets for.

I know very well this endorsement could further make me loose more, but then what’s the essence of a life that wouldn’t be willing to live or die for his/her beliefs.

I sincerely hold no grudge against all the friends and associates stated above, because I know they also are victims who unfortunately couldn’t face their worst fears.
I know very well that a win for Nigeria will eventually only be a win for all, whereas a win for segmented interests will never interprete as a win for Nigeria. Hence like Nelson Mandela, I am willing to live or die for the principles I believe will birth a better Nigeria and my belief of a better Nigeria through a shift in our political paradigm.

I have come to realize that the only small impediment standing in Mr Peter Obi’s way of becoming the next president of Nigeria is simply the believe of a few Nigerians that the Peter Obi story is too good to be true and that the power brokers already know who they want. It is assumed by a few that no Nigerian can carry that kind of image and be true to same. This line of thought is something those who’ve held us bound for the past 24years have preached and tried sinking into our psyche.
As for me, “only those who believe can achieve”.

Fair enough, a few of Nigerians like this writer and Mr Peter Obi have in their different capacities proved this line of reasoning wrong. My topic of discuss today is Mr Peter Obi, hence I believe majority of Nigerians will agree with me that Mr Obi had changed the political labdscape of Nigeria, as the LP camp had engaged in the most civil and electorates engagement campaign.

Let me quickly guide you through the reasons of my alignment with Peter Obi.

THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM
We now have an electoral system that breeds trust more than our electoral system had ever breeded. For the first time, the only sure election rigging channel for politicians is only vote buying, and the desperation of the ruling party governors instituting a case against a ruling party’s president because of his public declaration against vote buying and loyalty to nation than to party is a first for our politicking. This is a confidence booster of trust in the electoral system for a lot who hitherto have concluded that the system could never organise a credible election. I’m one of such and my confidence is boosted by the BVAS introduction, which is sure a game changer.

2023 Election Series 5 (THE FINAL SERIES)

I encourage Nigerians to also give this system a benefit of doubt and be confident to come out to cast their votes for candidates of their choice. Not voting in itself is a disservice to our maturing democracy.

Like I always quote Ola Rotimi’s God’s are not to blame, “the gods won’t do for men what they should do for themselves”. God is a team player, and now that the system seems a confirmation of our answered prayers, it’s time we play our part by casting our votes to candidates of our choices. For me that candidate is preferably Mr Peter Obi.

Why this stance by me?

BOLA TINUBU AND APC FACTOR

As a grassroot politician, I was a mentee of the Bola Tinubu political dynasty.

From the history that birthed this dynasty, I am aware that the Bola Tinubu political dynasty was birthed through the efforts of the political gladiators whom Yorubas respected which made the sales of a very brilliant, sagacious, dynamic and strategic Bola Tinubu to their loyalists easy. Unfortunately after that sales and acceptance, all those who midwifed the Bola Tinubu political acceptance had been forced to become inconsequential through strategic decimation by their political godson.

The APC presidential campaign is anchored on Lagos state achievements in the past 24 years as a result of the APC presidential candidate’s hold on the polity of Lagos, and I can say in all honesty from a truly progressive grassroot politician perspective that this hold has hurt more than blessed politics and majority of progressive politicians in Lagos.

It is no gainsay to say all relevant position in Lagos state Nigeria, ranging from political, to civil service and contractors are all on leach in the hands of the Jagaban. Only what’s released by him to who stands.

Merit and qualifications no longer is the prerequisites to growth in Lagos, but loyalty to the Jagaban dynasty and lieutenants.

As a former grassroot politician, my experience in Lagos was that Lagos politicians were only in love with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu not based on love and respect for him any longer from 2015 to 2019, but based on fear and who gets what and when.

It is shocking that today, that majority of the hitherto displeased politicians have aligned because a Bola Tinubu presidency will probably feed all their lusts. It’s about loyalty to party and not the nation.

Should a party become greater than the nation, the true nationalism we need to make Nigeria work will never be actualised.

I won’t bother talking about the imbalance and unfairness the candidacy of the party brings to Nigeria as never seen before.

I feel in all sense of modesty that a Tinubu presidency will take us 30 years back democratically. Tinubu’s political power since 2015 has become one that respects and only honours self interest and loyalty not to the constituents, but loyalty only to the lion of Bourdillion as he’s fondly called.This is why all political office holders, civil service top officers and contractors (who rarely deliver value for money) now only owe allegiance to Bourdillion, and not their oath of office.

A replication of that at the national level will be a disaster. The potential free fair and credible election Nigerians look forward for this weekend may just become a thing of the past with an Asiwaju Tinubu ascendency.

The agiliti wouldn’t have been a subject of discussion had there not been a younger candidate. If we will talk about USA, President Biden contested against a fellow old citizen and probably only won because Americans wants their democracy to be preserved.

Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.

PDP AND ATIKU FACTOR

The immediate past President before the current one had said his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian and he lived up to his words.

A true nationalist should never put their ambition ahead of the country’s best interest.

Nigeria is a very secular country and a sincere and humane leader must always put this perception for the sake of the slim fiber that holds the citizens of our country together.

My boss at at time taught me about gentlemen’s agreement. This is a form of agreement which needs no document, but which is simply sealed by handshakes. I will call this “noble agreement”.

Any ambition that puts self interest above all’s interest certainly can’t be in the best interest of all. The zoning arrangement even if not written or constitutional, should be respected by all Nigerians because of our secularism.

That aside, a man who couldn’t unite a once Africa’s biggest political party shouldn’t be entrusted with a country with this peculiarities.

I have intentionally not talked about corruption because like Yorubas will say, “kosi eni ti o mo ogbon ka feran senu, ki a wa ti (No one is foolish to the extent of not knowing how to put meat in the mouth, and have it disappear).

We have towed the old part for too long. It’s time we change trajectory.

LP AND PETER OBI FACTOR

It is no doubt that Peter Obi is a special breed of Nigerian politician as the civility, trajectory and mien he brought in the campaigns is one never before witnessed in our country.

Like I stated at the opening paragraphs of this write-up, I think the only small factor working against him is the fact that he looks toovgood to be true, hence his co-contenders who hitherto at the beginning of the political meanderings saw him as inconsequential, now have a great work to discredit his uniqueness as a politician in terms of trajectory, personae, humility and simplicity. They now have an herculean task of trying to convince the Nigerian population of the impossibility of any Nigerian being able to live up to such image.
Unfortunately records really don’t lie for those who will be willing to verify them.

Following the Peter Obi story, his empathy and alignment with the common man irrespective of his status which he attained outside politics definitely doesn’t align with the regular Nigerian politician.

This next thing I’d say, please my brothers from the eastern extraction of the country should pardon me. It is generally assumed the easterners are the most lousy people in Nigeria, but a close study of Peter Obi shows probably the most refined, humble, decisive and deliberate breed of politician in Nigeria.

I can easily relate with Peter Obi, because I share his passion for Nigeria. This is someone who by providence came into Nigeria politics and his experience in the system birthed a desire to further serve the larger country.

I can relate with him because an average Nigerian believes to be relevant politically, one must join the ruling parties, yet Obi started in the least popular party and won and became the toast of the ruling party, to the extent he was a force to reckon with even in the Governor’s forum of his time. A simple unbiased search online will bring his unique strides as governor to bare.

No wonder his sterling performance as a governor got an Atiku picking him as a running mate in order to use his credibility to gain popularity, while Obi was actually thinking he was rolling with a major party to gain influence to be on the national stage.

Like I realised and which made me decide to quit the APC and as such ignore my political ambitions which have always been geared towards a better Nigeria out of holy anger against the status quo which negates my principles, I guess same happened to Obi in the course of the PDP primaries.

There comes that point of redemption for every great and selfless people. That point you realise you can risk wanting to be known as a unique loner in a crowd. Your uniqueness will eventually draw the crowd to you like is the case with the LP candidate now.

Finally is the fact that Nigeria needs true reconciliation. the Igbos definitely have been the most marginalized and most unfairly treated in the marriage called Nigeria.

Every agitation in Nigeria till now can’t be denied as fair agitation and this is irrespective of which quarter is sponsoring the agitation.

Luckily for us as a country, we now have someone from the most marginalized section of the country who coincidentally now appears the finest politician the country ever had contesting the number one post.

We have in him a politician who’ve earned trust of the masses across the country not based on political negotiations, but based on connection with all sections of the country just like MKO in 1993.

This is rare opportunity we must not miss as a country. Political power can’t be consolidated within four years except the candidates consolidates the trust of his constituents.

A four year trial of a force that comes with a total difference in appearance of what we’ve always known deserves a try.

A friend of mine always tells asks me “who knows you, that makes you think you can have a voice in Nigeria” whenever we are having discussion and I’m espousing my thoughts on what a better Nigeria should be and do.

That continuous and regular insulting question from my friend who’s a civil servant, and who believes the only way to grow in the country is not to ask questions, even if the questions are the right ones, is one of my drive for a better Nigeria, where those I’m loyal to does not have to be the only factor that determines how successful I become, but a Nigeria where my talent, skills and brilliance will be my major propellant to success.

I want a Nigeria where I don’t have to sell my conscience for the basic needs of life in the name of loyalty when I know that my intellectual capacity could actually breed more successful people aside me. I want a new Nigeria I see as PO-ssible under the leadership of Mr Peter Obi.

My name is Obideyi Olanrewaju Lobinco, a Nigerian national who’s coincidentally a Yoruba, and not a Yoruba Nigerian, and I hereby endorse Peter Obi as the best presidential candidate in this Saturday’s election.

Obideyi Olanrewaju is a passionate Nigerian Youth.