By Bode Okudero
Failed presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi’s style in Nigeria politics is to add flavour to the existent typical Nigerian politician’s response to unfavorable election results. Once the results are released and they don’t win, the next thing they take refuge in are frivolous allegations of rigging against them. Indeed, it is only President Goodluck Jonathan, a true hero of Nigerian democracy, that refused to toe this most deplorable line.
Obi’s case is the same with that of the typical Nigerian politician, except for the extra spices and condiments he added to it, right from the time he hurriedly, unhappily and unpreparedly left the PDP. He never went to the LP to win but went there to play a SPOILER’S role against Atiku Abubarkar of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP (who, by the way, did the same thing against Obi by running against him as the PDP candidate, with both of them splitting each other’s votes, thus ensuring neither could possibly win)! Having achieved his purpose, the next move for Obi is the theatre we are now forced to witness.
Peter Obi never bothered his head as to how to win the election by campaigning purposefully with a realistic template for convincing enough voters across this country to vote for him, and this is clearly because he knew he CANNOT win. I mean, this is somebody that never thought of preparing a manifesto from the get go and only hurriedly released one after it became too embarrassing for him that he was running for the presidency without a manifesto for voters to scrutinize!
Instead of campaigning like a serious presidential contender, he got his local and foreign backers to start putting together a series of phantom opinion polls that would kick-start a culture of lies that has since gripped his supporters. His agenda right from the onset was to push a confusing narrative of opinion molding of the the results of the election regardless of the actual outcome at the end of the day. Thus Nigerians were stunned to read and view in national newspapers, as well as on the national television, that Obi was poised to win the Presidential elections while running against veterans like Atiku Abubarkar, not to talk of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who is the undisputed number one phenomenon of this democratic dispensation!
Obi’s collaborators continued to push this lie repeatedly to make it appear to be true, with concerted attempts to take over the electronic and social media space by trying to intimidate dissenting voices into silence. The print media was not left out while the mostly uninformed and impressionable youths were thoroughly brainwashed.
Thanks to God who enabled President Tinubu to be able to strategically define his own theatre of operation well enough to be able to counter all opposition, betrayal, booby traps and obstacles that continuously came his way, Nigeria was able to dodge that bullet. Indeed, unlike Obi who went overboard by openly playing politics of division, ethnicity and religion, President Tinubu masterfully designed his own stage, invited his own target audience of everyday Nigerians across all socioeconomic categories, with himself as the lead actor of his well prepared and highly coherent renewed hope manifesto! Thanks to the APC’s carefully and painstakingly put together PCC and Asiwaju’s die hard supporters who met them toe for toe every inch of the way, Nigerians were able to heave a sigh of relief that the best man eventually won the election.
The LP’s campaign style was belligerent, vociferously empty and abusive while stoking ethnic and religious sectionalism. In short, Obi’s entrance into the fray was never to win even though his supporters were duped into over exaggerating and over venerating his totally nonexistent messianic capabilities. All of these, they were brainwashed into by the unending presentation of lies and statistics from the labyrinth of mathematical impossibilities deliberately peddled by Obi and his inner circle. In short, Obi deceived his followers way too much and should contend with his conscience over this for it is most unfair to them.
Therefore, it is quite understandable why Obi is in court. He has to be in court to continue with the deceit he started with. He cannot afford not to to go to court for, as he sees it, he has nothing else to give to his supporters lest they turn on him with the vengeance of those who suddenly realize they have been duped.
Okudero, an architect, writes from Lagos.