2023: Obi and the impending dramatic denouement

Tell it in the sahel and surrounding hinterlands. Publish it in the atlantic waterfront and creeks. Proclaim it in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. Let the protagonists of good governance rejoice. And let the purveyors of new Nigeria exult.

Without doubt, there are salubrious signposts denotive of marked departure from the disgusting state of failure in the polity. However, more by happenstance than design, there is presently a pleasantly mutating tide in the affairs of the nation.

From the controversies that eventuated to the innovative Electoral Act 2022, through the convoluted party primaries of the erstwhile dominant two parties in the country to the extant campaigns, there appear tokens of impending denouement traceable to an underrated but prodigious enigma

Enter Mr Peter Gregory Obi

Nigerians of all walks of life, region, religion, tribe and tongues are decidedly consensual that there is a sublime disposition influencing and shifting the attitude to and narratives on national discourse which is ahistorical in many perspectives also engendering seismic shifts

Notwithstanding the claim for self appropriated “turn” to rule, and the boisterous assertion of right to rule anchored on region of birth by some presidential candidates, only one front line candidate is canvassing for votes on the objective platforms of character, competency and capacity.

Also, of all the candidates only one candidate has been seamlessly strident in canvassing the audacity of his pedigree and regards for facts and figures for which he has repeatedly beckoned on Nigerians to “go and verify”.

The self same candidate enjoys the singular attribute of consciously and timely predicating his desire to govern on the template inaugurated as a fundamental principle of state policy, to wit that “power belongs to the people”. He did this by urging Nigerians to “take back your country”.

Mr Peter Gregory Obi’s social contract with Nigerians as encapsulated in his manifesto is second to none in all ramifications to the extent that other candidates were nonplussed upon public unveiling of same. The document contains the best intentions and methods of good governance touching on security, unity and welfare of Nigerians and unambiguously asserted: “We are on a mission to disrupt the deterioration of our beloved country. We want to end the race to extreme poverty and state collapse under mercenaries who have posed as messiahs. Now is the time for new beginning. There is a strong determination of Nigerian peoples, especially the youths, to create a new future for themselves, a future of prosperity, safety and freedom. The Obi-Baba Ahmed team is committed to this mission”.

That Mr Obi is humble, decent, adept, adroit, calculative and frugal is merely stating the obvious. This is more appreciated in Obi’s handling of the affairs of Anambra state, expanding the frontiers and fortunes of Labour Party, the unprovoked wish that he would labour to death and the unwarranted but certainly misguided and mischievous letter titled, “history beckons….”.

In all his peregrinations, Obi has demonstrably manifested soundness of mind and body.

Thus, with the emergence of Obi the pastime politics of Old Order is inexorably yielding place to issue oriented campaigns and meaningful engagements with the citizens on different fora and platforms culminating in the widely accepted and trending consultations with youths, the women and the diaspora. In all these, Obi would innovate while others would emulate.

He is the only candidate who campaigns “amongst and in the midst of the people”. He is so receptive and empathic that he listened to the “still small voice” of Arise TV presenter, Mr Rufai Oseni, stopped his campaign and really visited the victims of flood even at the risk of his personal safety

How are Nigerians responding to the illustrious call to take back their country? Will Nigerians witness a dramatic denouement in the 2023 presidential election. What is the place of “structure” recently rechristened “infrastructure” by Governor Nasir El-Rufai who seems fixated with the offensive oddity of the inglorious past when the welfare and security of the people, the legitimate custodians of power, meant and mattered nothing while structures of corruption, ineptitude and insecurity held sway.

The emerging reality is that the status quo of misgovernance, sustained by recycled promoters and patrons of mediocrity and their acolytes, is ineluctably being supplanted and superceded by the people’s driven gravitas to birth a new Nigeria. This is the fons et origo and the salient mantra of the resilient obidient movement.

The message of Obi and its manner of delivery meaningfully resonate with Nigerians who are deservedly demanding good governance from the leaders.

None of the presidential candidates has positively and transcendentally impacted on the affairs, fortunes and frontiers of his electoral platform than Obi. The mischievous and meretricious allegation of lack of structure and invented, though ephemeral, charge of lack of seriousness had since been contextually negated. As a learned friend Chizoba Kevin Ezeoke Esq, a noble mind with righteous disposition put it, events reconciled the situations as Nigerians spurned the dubious and devious claims of officious hirelings and institutional perpetual naysayers

These isolated instances will suffice in solemn demonstration of the likely impending dramatic denouement of 2023 presidential election

Governor Godwin Obaseki was one of the earliest to wholeheartedly acknowledge that the “obedients” are in every household including his government. Governor Umahi upped the ante, publicly and affectionately declared “I love what Mr Peter Obi is doing”. Governor Samuel Ortom , after bemoaning the restraint imposed on him by partisan exigency wholeheartedly admitted that Obi is the best presidential candidate. Chief Olisa Metuh, the erstwhile vocal spokesman of now beleaguered PDP from which he resigned, after visiting one of the far northern states, admonished the errant leadership of his then party that “the obidient movement is not a joke”. Even a serving Senator Smart Adeyemi ignored all ignoble pretensions and avowed that Obi is in issue and serious contender in the 2023 presidential contest.

The significance of the above is not lost on Nigerians and has put in objective perspective the erstwhile exogenous and infamous claims of the duo of Oriental governor and tycoon who embarrassingly muted the idea of deferred presidency for Nigerians of South-east extraction

Prominent and highly respected traditional rulers imbued with nationalistic fervour are fervent on the emergence of Obi. To the Oba of Benin, Obi’s integrity goes before him. To the emir of Bauchi, it is a done deal and matter closed as the revered monarch asserted that Obi is the next president. To substantiate this and further ascribe a caliphate imprimatur to the Bauchi declaration, His Eminence the Sultan Of Sokoto undertook to give Obi a book on leadership.

Socio-cultural groups, religious leaders and clerics, professional bodies, civil society organisations, student bodies, women associations, the diasporans and elder statesmen are unflappable and unflagging in their support for Obi’s presidency. In the weighty and ponderous words of inimitable Elder Statesman Pa Ayo Adebanjo “if Obi does not win forget Nigeria”.

Will the foregoing dovetail to a dramatic denouement for 2023 presidential election ? The answer seems to be in the threshold of affirmation.

When Obi was charged with lack of structure (subsequently downgraded to infrastructure) the Nigerian masses accepted the burden of proof on behalf of Obi, rose to the occasion and appropriately pulverised and excoriated the outdated farrago. The outcome is now in the public domain and has radically though wholesomely altered the narrative and contents of extant campaigns.

Subsequently, it was sporadically touted that Obi is not known and cannot win election in Northern Nigeria. This time Obi accepted the challenge and the burden of proof. He is campaigning in Northern Nigeria and the masses are responding. The short term outcome is that one of the fancied front-runners for the presidency is alleging that he is “now in talks with Obi on how to work together to win the presidential election”.

This aside, a presidential aide Bashir Ahmed displayed the picture of Obi “praying for the victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu”. A further consuemate confirmation of the recurrent and looming importance of the activities of Obi as the “facts in issue” awaiting resolution by Nigerians who are poised to take back their country

As seemingly outlandish as the Atiku Abubakar’s “talks” and Bashir Ahmed ‘s “prayer” may appear, they irresistibly signpost a dramatic denouement for 2023 presidential election

From the various opinion polls that have consistently demonstrated the primus inter pares position of Obi to the widespread acceptability of his illustrious and engaging message, there is the possibility, if not inevitability, of dramatic denouement to 2023 presidential election to be manifested in extensive organic clamour for the emergence of Obi, especially in the North and the concomitant weakening, technical surrender by or defeat of other presidential candidates.

Then and only then would the comments and stance of the patriots herein highlighted make manifest meaning to Nigerians

In the ineffable words of Dr Tanko Yunusa, “It is wonderful to note that the findings of Nextier’s second poll for the 2023 general elections suggest that the message of hope of our presidential candidate Mr Peter Obi is resonating strongly with the Nigerian people. It demonstrates that the efforts of Nigerians from across the nation to take back their country and reshape its character and fortunes to benefit all Nigerians are bearing fruit”.

Okoli-akirika, an Awka based lawyer, was commissioner for lands and survey in Anambra state.