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OPINION

South East And The Obi Factor

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There is little doubt that the choice of ex-governor Peter Obi, by the Turakin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  has elicited unwarranted and hate commentaries from different parts of Nigeria and beyond.

While the greater number of the commentators favour the former two-term Anambra State governor, the Biblical thesis that no prophet is with honour in his home front has, however, played out. This is exemplified by the negative disposition of some people who, like Obi, hail from the South-eastern region of our country.

Speaking in the wake of Obi’s announcement as Atiku Abubakar’s running mate, the governor of Ebonyi State, a PDP chieftain, and current chairman of Southeast Governors’ Forum, argued that the PDP Presidential candidate should have asked the Southeast Governors’ Forum to pick a running mate for him instead of directly going for Peter Obi.

While one would not digress into whether or not the choice of a running mate is the prerogative of a Presidential candidate or governorship aspirant, one would rather take a peep into the persona of Peter Obi – his pedigree; how he governed Anambra State for eight years;  his suitability for the job ahead; whether he left the state in a better condition than he met it or not, etc.

Compared to his fellow men and women from the Southeast geo-political zone, what are Peter Obi’s competitive features? It is common knowledge that there are brands and there are brands. There are several things that make the Agulu-born Anambra State PDP Vice-Presidential candidate thick! This piece will pin-point a few of those qualities to show the uniqueness of this Joshua of our current Nigeria.

An expose of candidate Peter Obi shows that he is a rare gem. At the risk of deifying this human being, he is first, a ‘Solomon,’ a Socrates, a Warren Buffet, a Bill Gates and a Mao Tse Tung and (nearer home) a rare combination of Zik of Africa and the Doyen of Western Nigeria politics, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Peter Obi is not a subject for a brief narrative – a short documentary, for he cannot, repeat cannot be properly and adequately dissected because of temporal as well as spatial challenges herein.

A tip of the iceberg will however suffice in the interim. Check out these commentaries from just five referees: the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar who had, as a soldier, served in Nsukka where Obi was an undergraduate at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The Sultan sees Obi as “a visionary leader. His sustained commitment to the socio-economic transformation of the state remains a source of hope and strength to all of us. His energy and wisdom, his tolerance and accommodation and his people – centred development programmes are being appreciated even beyond the borders of Anambra State.”

In the words of the former European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, David Macrae, European Union has always emphasised on proper management of money, that’s why it’s important to have people of high integrity like Peter Obi.” The former Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev Peter Akinola, concurs with him in describing Obi as “a special gift from God and should be celebrated for his passion for the people of the state, his commitment to good governance, provision of basic things of life such as good roads, water and health and education facilities among others.”

Similarly, the former World Bank director in Nigeria, Omo Ruhl, sees him as “an exceptional leader and very prudent in financial management and I believe his interest is to better the lot of his people which to my mind is very remarkable.” For Evelyn Oputu, former managing director and CEO, Bank of Industry, Peter Obi was the first governor on assumption of office to approach the Bank of Industry for collaboration to create job opportunities for the people of the state. He understands the dynamics of the economy.

But a cynic or an arm – chair critic may ask: “is he then an angel?” Far from that. Indira Ghandi was not an Angel, Lee Kwuan Yew of Singapore was not an angel! J.F Kennedy was not one and several other world states men were/are not angels, yet they were able to turn around their countries.

In fact, humanity and angelic dispositions are antithetical to each other. They are mutually exclusive to the extent that angels and humans operate in different worlds in a variety of ways.

But it is trite to state that some human beings have some near-angelic qualities. Peter Obi is one such human being. Therefore, he has some angelic attributes. This speaks correctly to syllogism (Logic).

The critical question, therefore, goes thus: Is Peter Obi qualified to be Nigeria’s vice president? The answer is a big ‘Yes.’ This is because he is a politician’s politician.  By the way, what is politics about? Is it not about service, altruism, patriotism, etc.? A good politician should, among other things, be articulate, humane, transparent and a man of integrity and hard work. He should be well learned, humble, prudent, business-like and proactive, sensitive, a wealth-creator and thorough – bred professional, a workaholic, etc. Peter Obi is all these and much more, hence this advertisement.

 

– Nwachukwu wrote in from Abuja


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