Political seasons with dimensions of several happenings. Nigerians await campaigning by political parties ahead 2023 general election. Peter Obi Gregory, a 61 years old Nigerian businessman born in Onisha, Anambra state, South-East Nigeria, is the flag bearer of Labour Party, LP.
Obi is a major contender in the forthcoming presidential election set to hold by February 2023. Obi was a two-term governor in Anambra state. Firstly from March to November 2006, February to May 2007, and from June 2007 to march 2014.
Obi is among the politicians who have engaged themselves in “political prostitution”. He has managed to dump from one political party to another political party.
In 2003, Obi contested for the gubernatorial seat in Anambra state under the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA. Obi’s victory was stolen away by INEC, as he was not declared the authentic winner of the election. Obi challenged the election result for about three years, he won the court case and was later given back his mandate.
Obi took his oath of office in March 2006. About Eight months after being the governor, Obi was impeached and overridden by the members of the state’s parliament who were filled mostly by lawmakers in the People’s democratic party, PDP.
Obi’s impeachment made history in Nigeria, enhancing the first and only female governor in the nation’s history of democracy. Mrs. Virginia Etiaba, Obi’s surrogate emerged as the governor following his impeachment.
Obi is perceived to be known for challenging every utterance to unseat him as a serving governor. Obi challenged his unlawful impeachment by the PDP entourage in the state’s house of assembly in a court of appeal sitting in Enugu state. In the end, Obi received a verdict that get him back into office.
Obi bid for a second term, and he re-contested again in the 2010 gubernatorial election, bearing the flag of APGA again beating his predecessor, Dr. Chris Ngige. Obi pulled over 97,000 votes out of the total of about 280,000 votes. He triumphed in the election having 33% of the total votes. Obi continued to preside as the executive governor until his tenure expiration in march 2014 when Obi handed power to Mr. Wille Obiano.
Peter Obi And his Political Prostitution
Nigerian politics is designed in such a way that politicians tend to go for what favors them neglecting the fact that they actually function to uphold the will of the people. Obi is not left behind in the picture. In October 2014, despite being a two-term governor of APGA, Obi defected to the then-ruling PDP to seek political favor. Obi made APGA a stepping stone to earning more political achievements at the federal level.
Peter Obi’s defection was midwife by the then PDP chairman Alhaji Adamu Maazu and some high-ranking PDP members from South-East Nigeria.
Following Obi’s defection to PDP, he was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC). Obi was the chairman of SEC not until President Buhari’s emergence in 2015. Even after Buhari’s emergence, Obi remained in PDP for a long period of time.
In the 2019 presidential election, Obi was handpicked by alhaji Atiku Abubakar as his running mate to contest the election with a joint ticket for PDP. Unfortunately, they lost to the incumbent president and his vice Yemi Osinbanjo. The election result was challenged up to the supreme court, but the outcome of the court litigation came out to be in favor of the incumbent. Obi remained in PDP hoping to independently contest for president by 2023 in PDP.
Prior to the 2023 election, Obi had granted several interviews addressing possible resolutions to problems bedeviling Nigeria as a nation. Obi gained lots of momentum through these interviews he granted, appearing as a genius that has the key to every problem in Nigeria
Some Nigerians believed Obi had also traveled to several countries for diplomatic reasons on the inquiry to seek solutions to the nation’s problem while in PDP.
Following the culture of political prostitution, as one of the 15 presidential aspirants cleared by the primary election committee to contest primaries in PDP, Obi dumped PDP for the Labour party in May 2022, a few days before the PDP primary election.
Obi projected his failure to emerge as the flag bearer of PDP. His sudden defection tagged as a “recent development” appeared to many Nigerians like a ‘rude shock’ for some reasons best known to him. Some political analysts say Obi went for what favors him the most. While some argued that such a move was born out of his political desperation.
Peter Obi And 2023 Presidential Contestation
A whooping amount of N40 was paid on Obi’s behalf to contest for president in PDP. Obi purchased his nomination form and was cleared by the election committee. Surprisingly for Obi to defect to a less structured political party two days before the PDP primaries.
Following Obi’s defection to LP, Obi contested the primaries with the other four contenders. Obi eventually emerged as the flag bearer of LP in the convention held in Asaba, the capital of Delta state. Despite joining LP less than ten days before the primaries, Obi manipulated his way to earn himself a victory.
One of his fellow aspirants in LP was not satisfied with the outcome of the primaries. He approached the court of law to seek redress, but the fire was laterally quenched internally within the party.
The leadership of the Labour party announced Dr. Doyin Okupe as a temporarily running mate to Obi, not until after some time that the decision was readdressed making moves for Sen Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed as the certified running mate to Obi ahead 2023 election poll for LP, with a joint ticket.
Scandals And Allegations Laid Against Peter Obi
In 2021, BBC and Premium Times in their joint investigation of ‘Pandora Paper’ revealed how some top Nigerian politicians and businessmen unlawfully acquired offshore properties overseas. The aims of the investigative report were to uncover what was hidden under the curtain and, to test the legality of bridging bylaws enacting property right outside Nigeria.
Obi’s presidential ambition was seriously affected by this report. Obi had earlier always claimed to be a successful businessman before venturing into politics. Obi granted several interviews calling on anti-graft agencies to conduct a proper investigation. Obi referred to Pandora Papers as mere defamation.
In October 2021, a report made by Premium Times journalist, Mr. Adebayo Hassan surfaced. In the report, Mr. Hassan reported exclusively how “Obi serially violate the law by failing to declare to Code of Conduct Bureau the companies and assets he tucked away in secrecy heaven”
Despite Obi’s advocacy for good governance, openness, and transparency, journalists spot his flaws. Obi and his daughter, Gabriela Obi in a secret business, calibrating the structure and bringing family under an umbrella, his story of playing offshore missing tax opportunities.
Did Peter Obi Really Perform While Serving As A Governor?
While obi was serving as Anambra governor, there are odd records attributed to his personality. Scuttlebutt was passed around that Obi massively increased the state IGR. Meanwhile, when he was a governor, medical practitioners embarked on a longing strike that lingered for over 14 months before it was laterally resolved.
Obi is known for cutting short the cost of governance while in office. Analysts argued he was unable to utilize public funds effectively. Obi’s predecessor, Willie Obiano was Accused by EFCC when trying to jet out of the country on the account of missing funds. The fact continues to stretch that hadn’t Obi utilized public funds, there wouldn’t be excess funds in the purse creating room for glaring embezzlement.
Lies, Falsehoods, And Peter Obi
Falsehoods spread by obi’s supporters were at a high level in aiding to win the 2023 presidential election poll. Nigerians believe that politicians must hype their good antecedents, what they’ve been able to do good in the past to seek people’s support, using it as campaign talks during every election period.
Obi supporters claimed he built over 10 new schools, and reconstructed several hospitals, in fact, blunt lies were in circulation that obi won Bill Gates’s best governor in 2013. such claims were debunked by fact-checkers. It was completely far from reality, such are tagged to be discomforting truths.
Obi had severally been accused of quoting wrong statistics while making his point clear during interviews. Sometimes in June 2022, Obi traveled to Egypt claiming he was on a visitation to understudy the country’s serial growth in the education system. meanwhile, it was later revealed that he only went there for personal reasons.
Following Obi’s assets declaration, Obi was allegedly accused of being dishonest. ‘Pandora Papers’ earlier revealed how obi unlawfully acquired offshore properties in family’s name. Obi is perceived to be a lair, by enhancing himself to make ‘false’ assets declaration.
Peter Obi And His Unhealthy Momentum
Road to the 2023 presidential election, troops of Nigerians in millions refer to themselves as “Obedient”. In the space of Eight months prior 2023 election, Obi has been able to gather huge numbers of genuine supporters in all realms of acquaintances across the nation who are ready to earn him victory by 2023 regardless of his ‘unpopular’ political party.
The wave for obi’s emergence as the next president continues to trail. Many Nigerian youths gained the awareness to engage in political activities endorsing Peter Obi’s candidacy.
Presidential elections in Nigeria have always been a tough battle between the two leading political parties, PDP and APC. The 2023 election makes it a kettle of several fishes as Obi in LP is included among the major contenders seriously pulling heads to win the election.
Sociocultural groups such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo of Igbo ethnicity, and Afenifere of Yoruba ethnic-nationality throw their weight behind Obi’s candidacy. Centre for value in leadership, a civil society organization founded by Prof. Patrick Utomi endorsed Obi’s Candidacy
Well respected political actors in Nigeria, personalities like former president Obasanjo, Femi Falana, Ayo Adebanjo, Aisha Yesufu, Dele Farotimi, etc, are behind Obi. Celebrities in the entertainment industry are also in support of Obi.
Lots of criticisms have also been raised to discredit the synergy towards Obi’s emergence. Mr. Dele Momodu expressed his shock in an interview over Obi’s unexpected momentum in making history in Nigeria’s contemporary politics. Mr. Momodu was the flag bearer of LP in the 2011 presidential election but was totally disappointed with the outcome of the election result.
However, politicians in the two leading political parties, PDP and APC believe Obi has no head in the 2023 election poll. Mr. Reno Omokri a PDP influencer often refers to Obi as a regional candidacy. He believed Obi’s real supporters are from southern Nigeria and only Southerners cannot determine an election.
An APC minister, barrister Festus Keyamo believes Obi’s time is yet to arrive, despite the clamors for ‘Igbo presidency’ in 2023. Obi’s critics, comrade Deji Adeyanju described ‘Obedient momentum’ as irrelevant, a timely wave, and false hope not representing reality.
One of the contenders in the presidential race, Mr. Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress, AAC believes Obi was part of those who disrupted the nation in the past and he should not be given the opportunity to govern if possible.
Although Obi’s supporters continue to increase on a daily basis, many Nigerians still believe Obi is ridding his horse, bidding to be the next Nigerian president with a ‘timely wave’ and ‘unhealthy momentum’. Obi standing on a pillar of a political party that lacks the structure to triumph in national elections.