(THE ARENA) Peter Obi’s MORAL BURDEN
By Comrade Christian Abeh Moses
To many discerning Nigerians, Peter Obi has never sounded genuine. He comes across as an opportunistic if not dubious salesman who shoves his wares down the throat of a disgruntled populace.
Nigerians have for over sixty years been subjected to bad governance and the helpless people look forward to messianic promises and pretentiously redemptive characters every election cycle. It happened in the 2015 election cycle when Nigerians were sold a dummy and they voted an old almost ignorant and non-performing president to run the affairs of the country. What happened after that electoral deceit is the indescribable suffering that Nigerians have been afflicted with.
When those who marketed Major General Muhammadu Buhari came to our doorsteps they told us that he was everything a statesman should be. They said he would eradicate corruption and Nigerians clapped. They said he will fix the economy and Nigerians were hopeful and celebrated in advance. They told us that he would end up insecurity and the people got excited. Buhari won the election, but lost the momentum credited to him. He made Nigerians to lose everything.
Under his weak and unfocused leadership, Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world. Our nation is now one of the three most unsafe places in the world.
Economically, Nigeria is now the poverty capital of the world.
The election cycle is here again and the people as helpless as they are remain hopeful that the election will usher in something new. They are holding onto hope. But it seems as if the hope they are holding unto is elusive and the search for that new beginning might just be deferred if care is not taken.
The new kid on the block in this election period is Mr. Peter Gregory Obi an ex-banker and salesman who entered politics at an opportunistic moment and stole the people’s heart with deliberate trickery.
Obi was Governor of Anambra State and those who couldn’t see beyond his empty and usually unverified claims are deceived that he delivered on the essence of government.
Obi stole the hearts of Anambra people against the background of the colossal failure of Chinwoke Mbadinuju a.k.a Odera.
Mbadinuju sold his soul to a political god-father who drove him to nearly destroy Anambra. It was in that state of distress and depression that Obi came to the scene and offered himself as a messiah.
Obi was soon to deploy massive propaganda to amplify his little achievements in Anambra State. Obi’s little achievements then looked so monumental in view of the disaster recorded by Mbadinuju and his equally notorious successors in Andy Uba and Chris Ngige. The world believed Obi, but not the discerning ones who questioned the veracity of his claims.
Genuine scrutiny based on political economy depicted the monumental failure that Obi’s tenure turned out to be. His two successors in the persons of Willie Obiano and Charles Soludo have variously come out to tell the truth about the Obi years as governor of Anambra State. The so-called achievements only existed on paper. He gave the people of Anambra so much to hope for, but hardly anything to hold on to.
Obi was not and is not genuine. His story is a scam.
Peter Obi is in town again as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP). He is talking and seems to be having listening ears. But that momentum is about to fade out as the LP is becoming Lepers’ Party.
Recent events in Obi’s LP have shown the high level of moral depravity bedeviling the party.
Obi’s acolytes are moral lepers who now constitute a moral burden to the party and democracy. If we are to go by the saying that “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are” then Obi must be of the same weak moral fibre with his co-travellers.
Since the emergence of Obi as the LP’s presidential candidate, the party has been rocked by one moral crisis after the other.
One of the leading lights of the party and the Director-General of Obi’s presidential campaign, Dr. Doyin Okupe was fingered in malfeasance. The man threatened to open a can of worms, but he eventually didn’t. Some other LP leaders were reported to have made away with party funds and many followers also believe that Obi has not been straightforward in his dealings.
The most recent instance of the embarrassing moral burden to Obi is the sentencing last Friday of Okupe to 56 years imprisonment for money laundering to the tune of N240 million.
After the conviction, Okupe has gone ahead to pay a fine of N13 million to avoid going to jail. The ugly reality is that Obi has been at best a pretentious fellow who is in bed with a rogue.
Since Okupe is the DG of Obi’s campaign, the big moral crisis must become an albatross for Obi who no longer has a moral high ground to operate from. Can Okupe still address Nigerians and ask them to vote for Obi?
Nigerians remember that former President Olusegun Obasanjo sacked Okupe from his government for being corrupt. Many of those following Obi today are of the same feather as Okupe.
Another leading figure of the Obi campaign group is the self-styled political economist, Patrick Utomi whose claim to economic and political genius derives from quoting eminent thinkers and theories from the western world.
Utomi is suspected to have written Obi’s unworkable manifesto. Utomi is loud on vague ideas, but low on critical content. Nigerians remember him for the failed Volkswagen of Nigeria, failed Bank PHB and he can hardly point at any sustainable firm. His daydream attempts at the presidency and governorship of Delta State were a fiasco. He was having his bath while results of the APC governorship primary election in Delta State were being announced in 2018.
Former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan gave a testimonial of Utomi as someone full of loud and long talk, but with no capacity to deliver. Nigerians must be wise in 2023 and should not vote for an Obi who must be subjected to the “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are test”. Nigerians should think of Caveat emptor.