Understanding the Peter Obi Phenomenon
Since the years leading to the 1983 elections, I have been privileged to be involved in politics at a certain level. I was there at Nkpor, as a member of Jim’s Vanguard when we clashed with Ikemba Front and threw acid freely. While I am not gloating over that unfortunate incident, I made that reference to show the kind of angst that is cultivated by politicians towards rivals, months before an election.
If not for politics and elections, Funsho Williams, Bola Ige etc would still be alive. If not for elections, “operation wetie” would not have happened. If not for politics and elections, the family of Akin Omoboriowo who won the then Ondo state governorship elections would still be alive.
If not for politics and elections, the Kano state REC during the 2015 elections would still be alive and with his family.
I can go on and on to list more people who were killed because of politics and elections and the truth is, these heinous actions of killing people who disagree with you politically is driven by hate and aggressive self interest. If all you want to do in government is to work for the people, why would you hate and tell lies and fabricate untruths and even kill to get there? You can only do that because you want power for your sake, not for the sake of the people.
It is therefore refreshing and remarkable to find a politician who is different, a politician who is simple and down to earth, a politician who spreads love, brotherly respect and affection as well as calmness of mind.
It is like a breath of fresh air to find a politician who is determined to eschew hatred, bile, anger, violence, guile and deception. He tells the truth as it is. He does not embellish issues and statistics but is able to make informed deductions and inferences from data presented by authentic sources.
The truth he espouses resonates with the hearts of the young and the more advanced. Truth indeed sets people free when it sinks into their heart and enlightens them to know that Nigeria’s problem is leadership, nothing else.
This same politician has demonstrated unrivalled commitment to showing mercy to the down trodden. Countless cases abound where he made staggering donations to worthy causes in Nigeria.
Most importantly, he is willing to step on powerful toes for the benefit of the masses.
His sing-song prayer point in most Christian gatherings he had been to, was asking the congregants to pray that “God would touch all office holders to use public money for the public good”. This is absolutely instructive. For indeed, it is a subtle but critical judgment that Nigerian politicians do not consider public good.
To underscore the principles of frugality that drives his public spending, he insists we can no longer queue up to share the national cake. He insists we must transit from a consumption nation to a production nation.
And, Nigerians are listening!
For the first time since I started following politics, I have seen an organic response to PO. He asked youths to go and get their PVC, they lined up for days to do that. Even Igbos who are said to love money, shut down their shops and their markets, went to INEC registration points and even when attacked by hoodlums, remained focused on their mission.
INEC admitted at some points that they were overwhelmed by the turn out of mainly youths in so many states.
He said he was not giving out shishi and that those who want a change in the narrative should own the revolution. Youths responded in their millions.
On their own, with their own money, time and creativity, hundreds of youths are racing to music studios to create musical beats to promote him. Dozens are creating and producing video promos for him, using their hard earned resources. Scores are buying gift items and distributing same to create an opportunity to enlighten recipients.
Almost in every state, there are matches and road walks to promote him. Young people have created thousands of WhatsApp and telegram groups where promotional strategies are discussed and coordinated.
IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED THIS WAY IN NIGERIA SINCE 1960.
PETER OBI IS AN ENIGMA, NO, A PHENOMENON. HE HAS STIRRED UP NIGERIA’S FIRST AUTHENTIC POLITICAL REVOLUTION.
As a curious soul, I sought to understand what is really going on? The other parties are confused, unable to decipher what is happening. While their supporters are waiting for money before they start promotions, PETER OBI’s supporters are generating money sacrificially to promote him, knowing fully well that he does not know them and he has not promised to pay them back. This is incredible but true.
Hoe did PETER OBI manage to create this buzz and hope about his candidacy? Let me apologise to my moslem brothers as I quote from the Bible.
 Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you]; Bind them [securely] around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.
 So find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.
The Amplified Bible
So here i find, that by demonstrating genuinely that he has mercy towards others and focusing on the truth that liberates, PETER OBI has gained favour both with God and man.
For others who want to compete, instead of being jealous of the unprecedented revolution anchored on the candidacy of PETER OBI, they could borrow a leaf from him.
The code is MERCY AND TRUTH!
Now you can see why PETER OBI does not want his supporters to descend to the gutters with supporters. Now, you can see why he wants issue- based campaign. And now, you can see why he pursues the truth by learning, re-learning and un-learning.
Truth is driven by facts so he does his utmost to update himself.
Who can forgive himself easily if he abandons an express road and instead prods on, in an untarred, erosion- destroyed road? Who can forgive himself if he ignores the man whom man and God had favoured, to vote for a candidate without known age, certificate, ancestry, or even how he made his money or why he did plea bargain in a drug -crime in USA. Who can forgive himself if you vote for a continuation of GMB’s legacies?
Indeed how can you forgive yourself, if you vote for a man who endorsed the tragedy of fulani herdsmen destroying villages, killing farmers and taking over their land? How can you forgive yourself if you vote for a coward who sent out a tweet condemning the gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel only to delete it few minutes later when some loose miscreants threatened his political ambition?
How can a sane, rational well meaning Nigerian not see that only PETER OBI can pull us back from the brink of imminent economic disaster?
And now, only PETER OBI preaches love amongst the contestants. Only Peter Obi could pay obeisance to Atiku with whom he had worked before during the NBA conference.
What a simplicity! What a humility!
If you don’t vote for PETER OBI, do you really wish your family and your country well?
By LUKE OZOKO