By Promise Adiele
Mortar and pestle, day and night, land and sea, heaven and hell are all in unison that Nigeria’s unhindered declivity towards tragedy is almost complete unless there is divine intervention on the horizon. I believe in divinity – that realm of the supernatural which renders the wealth and intelligence of men inconsequential. Divinity is supreme, but many people do not realise this truth.
Through divinity, a seed can survive the ashes of ruin and grow into a big tree. Please don’t ever joke or discountenance the power of the divine. Divinity does not respect time or human permutations. It does not conform to the rules and ordinances of mere mortals. Divinity defies the laws of establishments. It makes nonsense of human structures and postulations. It is only by the power of the divine that Barrack Obama, a black man, against all odds emerged as the president of the United States. Men can try but the divine is the ultimate.
The current political season in Nigeria has opened a new vista in the country’s intractable conundrum which continues to adorn negative apparel daily. Who will bell the cat? Developments in our country confound the living and confuse the dead. Sometimes, one wonders about the kind of characters that inhabit our political spaces. Truly Nigeria is not a normal country. It is a similar situation that Tess Onwueme confronts in her play The Reign of Wazobia. In the play, Wazobia is caught in a patriarchal society with all the male dominating, macho asserting realities. As a courageous woman whose name transcends ethnic consciousness, defiant and non-conformist, through a mechanism of sublimated resoluteness, she rises to challenge the segregating customs of her people towards women. It is the Reign of Wazobia that has inspired this essay on the reign of Nigeria’s current divine phenomenon Peter Obi.
Recently, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, former governor of Anambra State, emerged as the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party. Since the news broke out, many people, especially the youths, have celebrated the development. According to them, there is hope for Nigeria after all. Before Peter Obi’s emergence, it was difficult, almost impossible to behold Nigeria’s political firmament and stick out a neck for any party or politician. This is because the two leading political parties APC and PDP are birds of a feather, the same party thinly separated by nomenclature. It is hard to see any member of the PDP who has not at one time or another been a member of the APC and vice versa. PDP politicians who almost erased Nigeria from the world map through avaricious embezzlement of public funds for sixteen years immediately crossed over to APC where their sins were forgiven. It is indeed apparent that Nigeria’s anguish is caused and sustained by politicians in these two parties. Under PDP’s sixteen years of governance, Nigeria consistently suffered a financial and economic haemorrhage. When APC took over, the trend continued and most actors during the PDP era immediately crossed over to the APC where they were welcomed with open arms. The law of homogenous attraction is real.
Nigerians cried to God of the heavens for a saviour, one who will redefine the moral canvas of our chequered polity. Then Peter Obi and Yemi Osinbajo emerged. Nigerians agreed that the two men are the best the country could offer. However, they were irredeemably smeared by the political parties they belonged to. I have argued that even if a messiah emerges in Nigeria, as long as that messiah belongs to APC or PDP, his efforts will be tainted by the foul political culture of both parties. Peter Obi couldn’t achieve anything or convince anyone about anything positive in Nigeria as a member of the PDP. Yemi Osinbajo can’t claim to redeem Nigeria as a member of the APC. PDP and APC cannot save Nigeria. Both parties drink from a common trough of retrogression, corruption, and economic backwardness. By a stroke of divinity, Peter Obi left PDP and joined the Labour Party, a relatively unknown party to the masses.
Although the Labour Party has its internal challenges, it is poised to become an instrument of divinity. With Peter Obi, there is going to be a change of narrative in Nigeria. He is rightly positioned to deliver Nigeria from the hands of wicked men who have strangulated the country for many years. These men have used the youths as thugs instead of providing jobs for them. These men have continuously plundered the exchequer, stealing humongous amounts of money. These men have enabled terrorism for their selfish ends, amassing wealth to confounding levels while the poor working masses suffered untold hardship. These wicked men have taken Nigeria away from the original owners – the workers, students, and salary earners handing the country over to thieving, economic predators. While their children school abroad, they ensure that Nigerian universities are shut down. While they visit foreign lands for medical attention, they ensure that our local hospitals are ill-equipped. While they invest millions of dollars abroad, they ensure that our naira is almost useless and having grounded the naira, they resort to spending Dollars and Pounds. For how long will this continue?
As long as Peter Obi remained in PDP, it would have been impossible to ascribe any shade of responsibility to him because the PDP is antithetical to any positive complexion of governance. So it was through divine intervention that he joined the Labour Party. I believe Peter Obi not because of his ethnic origin, absolutely no. There are other Igbo presidential aspirants whose intentions to be president can be described as a sacrilege to the Nigerian polity. Rochas Okorocha, my former governor and Orji Uzo Kanu, former governor of Abia State fall into that category. It is laughable that these men even considered the possibility of becoming Nigeria’s number one citizen. So it is not about ethnicity. Peter Obi is in a different class. With him, it is time to rescue Nigeria from political atavism, wicked men who have deliberately submerged the country’s potential over the years.
Atiku Abubakar is one character that never fails to amaze me. Why is he so desperate to rule Nigeria? He will be 76 next year and hopes to rule Nigeria for eight years. Nigerians certainly can’t be stupid forever. It was alleged that Atiku Abubakar shared dollars in millions to induce party delegates in the last PDP primaries. If truly he wants to serve Nigerians, why should he do so through a mangled process? It gives one the impression that he is out to serve and fulfil an inordinate political craving. Given the verdict of his former boss Olusegun Obasanjo that he stole excessively as Vice-President, no rational person will want him to become the president of Nigeria.
Although the APC is yet to hold their party primaries, what happened during the PDP primaries will repeat itself even on a higher scale. Money will be spent, delegates will be bought and when these kinds of people emerge as leaders, the tragedy of our country will graduate to new heights. Take a good look at all the presidential aspirants in APC and you will have a good laugh. These men are jokers, those who have serially bludgeoned the common people and tired of crippling the future of Nigerian youths, they are motivated to finally bury it. It violates the sensibilities that APC is aspiring to lead Nigeria again after the horror of the last seven years. Nigerians should at this point disobey that Biblical injunction which encourages us to turn the next cheek to our adversary for another slap. No, we will never turn the next cheek for APC to slap us again because we may not survive it.
Peter Obi’s emergence is a clarion call for all the millions of deprived, denied youths in the country to take back their land. All the university lecturers, common people, workers, the unemployed and the averagely employed, destiny beckons on us all to take back our country from those who only wish us dead. Let us support Peter Obi to revive our country’s ailing economy. The spirit of #endsars must be revived to rescue our country from pervasive, wicked and desperate men who have nothing to offer the new generation. To the millions of youths in Nigeria, it is time to retire insatiable gluttons who will continue to steal our money even after stealing so much as Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Governors, Ministers, and sundry public officers. Nigeria deserves a new start. This is the right time.
Some people have argued that Labour Party and Peter Obi do not have structures. Divine intervention does not respect such mundane considerations of men. The Peter Obi movement is beyond him. The young man represents a phenomenon whose time has come. Ethnic jingoists should please stay aloof. Today, the Hausa/Fulani man beheads and kills his brother. The Yoruba man kidnaps and kills his brother. The Igbo man beheads and kills his brother. Those who steal our money plunge all ethnicities into hardship. Let us rise above ethnic considerations and take back our country. When #endsars happened, even the government did not understand what was going on. Many of the politicians today aspiring to be president ran away or supported the shooting of innocent youths.
The time of reckoning has come. If Nigeria misses this opportunity it will be ‘to your tenths Oh Nigerians’. The true change we all desire is here. Peter Obi is here to reign.
Welcome to a New Nigeria and welcome to the reign of Peter Obi.
*Promise Adiele PhD
Mountain Top University