Peter Obi is not running for presidency: The limits of arid sophism

It is widely acknowledged that opinions are free. It is also cognately admitted that facts are sacred. Consequently, while everybody is obliged to unreservedly form an opinion, no one is at liberty to misrepresent facts by bandying about mischievous farragos.

A certain man of recent presence wrote “Peter Obi is not running for Presidency”. He futiley and vainly endeavoured to premise his meretricious and fangled opinions on convoluted fallacies and unwanted premise.

According to this writer, who is obviously a literal piper, Mr Peter Obi’s wholesome presidential enterprise was “an accident”, “ethnic leaning”, “farcical”, ” hoax” and without “plan or manifesto”. In further demonstration of his bargained tendentiousness, the writer vacuously charged Obi with lacking “gravitas”, “network of people and structures”.

Expectedly and inexorably, the writer did not accuse Peter Obi of constitutional infirmities of incapacity of mind, body or character, attributes lacking in prominent contenders but found in Peter Obi, appreciated and accredited by Nigerians across gender, creed, status and tribe.

Is Peter Obi in reality and of essence an accidental and farcical presidential candidate and tribal jingoist. Had he ever been a political liability and a pretender for the exalted presidential position as inanely and lamely alleged by the egregious bystander. Let us appraise, even if isolatedly, some requisite and apposite facts.

Of all the front line candidates Peter Obi is distinctive in his approach to style, manner and language of campaign. While his co contenders insist on befuddling and base sentiments of emi lo kan and region of origin Peter Obi preaches competence, character and capacity. He endeavours to back up his stance with facts and figures. A sublime attribute which none of his colleagues, obviously due to handicap, is attempting to personally contest.

As a necessary aside, it is noteworthy to constantly bear in mind that the Nigerian president must be a chief executive and commander in chief. It is certainly not in vain nor is it fanciful that the highest law in Nigeria doubly emphasised “chief” in the the establishment of the office of the President. This observation is to underscore and emphasis Obi’s reference to “leading” from the front and engaging Nigerians personally and directly: a legitimate position routinely and unjustly obfuscated by spineless hatchet men

Nigerians are now aware that, at all times material Peter Obi personally engages compatriots at home and in diaspora and attends formal and informal occasions to interact and interface with Nigerians.

An unpretentious believer in the humanity of man, Peter Obi was personally in Haiti, South Africa, the creeks of Anambra and flooded parts of Nigeria to variously empathise with victims of man and nature. In the later case, Peter Obi did so at the utmost risk to his life and safety. This, he did without regards to tribe and tongue, region and religion. None of his co contenders attempted to do likewise.

The armchair cartoonist under reference vacantly premised the fatuous claims of Obi’s “accidental” ambition on the bizarre assertion that Peter Obi’s presidential bid “is a hoax and a ploy to get back at those in the PDP who declared him a political liability”. Nothing can be more infantile, frivolous and fiendish. The writer deserves solemn sympathy for ignorance and outright excoriation for disingenuous misdeeds.

The president heads the Federal Executive and shares the same qualifying criteria with the vice president. Peter Obi was robustly qualified and delivered as vice presidential candidate in 2019 before, during and after the election. Have we forgotten the great presidential debate and the enchanting performance of Peter Obi that mesmerised the eloquent and articulate incumbent Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Then three years later he became unprepared and an accidental presidential candidate. How can this be tenably argued.

No matter the inducement or propensity there should be a limit to pastime mischief and infamy. It behoves us to elevate and sustain discussions on relevant topics that would impel good governance and not to succumb to inanities just as Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna state alleged that Peter Obi as governor of Anambra state infracted his fundamental rights when in truth and reality El-Rufai sued and obtained judgment against violators of fundamental rights which never included Peter Obi Without doubt in and outside PDP Peter Obi is a utility citizen. As a sterling governor of Anambra state his South-east colleagues made him and refused to allow him step down as the Chairman of South East Governor’s Forum notwithstanding Peter Obi’s “micro minority” status as Apga governor. On the national plane, Peter Obi was the Vice Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum despite being the ONLY Apga governor in Nigeria.

Enthralled by Peter Obi’s wholesome pedigree, adept competence and illustrious track records Atiku Abubakar chose him as the vice presidential candidate to the orchestrated chagrin of some naysayers. Predictably, Peter Obi delivered and PDP garnered more votes in Anambra state (almost double) than what it secured in Adamawa state. PDP won in Southeast zone and Peter Obi was in the trial and appellate tribunal and court in due defence of PDP mandate. What a man of unwavering steadfastness and unalloyed commitment to a cause he believes in. This, undoubtedly, is contributory to the massive support Peter Obi is presently commanding across regional and religious divides.

Even after Obi’s stellar tenure as governor, he proceeded to improve his learning and skill far above the legal threshold. Thus, he came more than “prepared” and his credentials are without supporting affidavit.

Not done, this skewed writer proceeded to allege that Peter Obi is not “serious” and did not “plan”, “design” nor “imagined” to be a president because he did not “build a network of people and structures”, is yet to have a manifesto but only riding “on anger, noise and passion”.

Regrettably and clearly, this writer is held captive by “old things that have since passed away” as observed by a prophet of old and fixated with reinforcing failure. What has the decrepit structure of embarrassing incompetence, divisive nepotism and asphyxiating corruption done to the Nigerian polity.

What have the long standing desire and “planning” of the incumbent to rule done to the welfare and security of Nigerians the axiomatic custodians of power and the constituents of the cherished network and structures.

The writer in question was not remarkable for wisdom to have characterised Peter Obi as unserious for not having manifesto, “did not plan to have a plan” and refusing to give “details” of his security programme. This, to say the least, is as presumptuous and it is preposterous.

With more than three months to election the writer has concluded that Peter Obi is not “planing to have a plan”.

As for alleged failure to give “details” of Peter Obi’s plan on security, who or which entity or organisation has ever given public “details” of security measures.

On manifesto, Peter Obi has repeatedly and variously stated the terms of his contract with Nigerians at different platforms and fora promising to submit a written document in this wise that will encapsulate the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy.

It may interest this writer to note that manifesto is personal to the candidate and subordinate to the party programmes and objectives which are in turn streamlined by the constitution. That was why President Muhammadu Buhari upon assumption of office argued that it was his party and not himself that allegedly made certain promises. Hence crucial issues of true federalism envisioned by the constitution are brazenly left unattended.


Manifesto is good. Plan is better. The character, competence and commitment to fruitify both remain the best.

Herein lies Peter Obi’s clarion and ardent plea to Nigerians to entrust him with the mandate to serve with love, strength and faith as ordained in our national creed.

Thus, the hollow and distracting allegation that Obi is not running for presidency is a nauseating and arid sophism, full of sound and fury, containing nothing.

Okoli-Akirika, a lawyer was a commissioner for lands and survey in Anambra state.