By Wisdom C. Nwoga
The #Obidient movement has, in no small measure, redesigned the nature of politics in Nigeria. In fact, this could mark the begining of a new political dispensation for the nation. At this critical point in the history and historiography of the political entity called Nigeria, it is pertinent to put certain misconceptions in proper light; perhaps as I think and for those who buy my thought. Lest, the people get derailed in the route to a new Nigeria.
#Obdient is not Peter Obi or Labour Party. It is a metaphor for the reawakening and concientization of the deprived people of Nigeria who seek a working nation for all. It is a #Movement bigger than what can be fathomed in the surface and merely found rest on the #obidient nomenclature. This is the crux of this piece.
Like the Harlem Renaissance, the #EndSars movement of 2020 is an offshoot of the awareness and reawakening of the Nigeria people (especially the youths). Such awareness and reawakening seek ways to positively express itself against the culture of injustice.
More concretely, the Nigerian political system is perhaps known for her recycling of a certain class of old politicians who have in the past and present retarded the growth of the country. They have raped and milked the country such that the economy becomes a symbol of a fallen breast. Like P.O.C. Umeh, they are the ‘ambassadors of poverty. The corrupt masters of the economy, barons of incompetence with kleptomaniac fingers and suckling filaments, position occupants and enemies of service locked in the corrosive war of corruption with their people’s treasury’. Every twist and turns in the country’s politics are being masterminded by them. Of course they rig themselves into power even in broad day light.
Nevertheless, the lingering questions have always been, “where are the youths in the scheme of things? I mean in the decision making process of their country. What has been the efficacious nature of the not-too-young to run bill? You see, the youths do not really matter to these old politicians who think it is their birth right. Perhaps they do when it comes to the ‘crucial’ matters of using them as tools to perpetrate evil in the society including snatching of ballot boxes.
Sincerely, the genuine spirit of the #EndSars is against this old order. The spirit did not die after the October 2020 incident and may never die. It only seeks a channel to launch into action. The emergence of the man Peter Obi seems to portend a lesser evil for the concientized youths. While he is no doubt, now a face to the #Obidient Movement, it is safe again to reiterate that the movement is bigger than him and unconnected to the Labour Party. This is why even if the man Peter Obi (whom to many represents the reigniting flicker from the dying embers), had picked a ticket from a party other than Labour, would have still received the massive reception from the people who want a new route to a new Nigeria. Again, this owes to the fact that the movement is not a respecter of political party, does not have a definite leadership and like Rex, no one can say ‘I am more obedient than you’. The movement is like a tornado.
The #obidient movement seeks qualified and competence individuals; fearless with burning drives to rescue Nigeria from the hands of the damagers. From a rational thinker’s perspective, even though Peter Obi is a force in the Labour Party, we will all agree that the best candidates as far as political positions are concerned, do not totally reside in Labour Party.
On many occasions, I have seen bunches of incompetent individuals gerrymandering and hiding under the Peter Obi and Labour Party waves to run for political offices in order to feed their selfish interest. I tell you the truth, if the competent candidate is in party ABC or XYZ other than Labour Party, vote him/her. That is the spirit of a new Nigeria. Otherwise, we might derail as a people if we decide to vote incompetency along party lines, especially those whose intents are blurry. Do not in your perceived vexation over the poor performances of APC and PDP in past, vote these clueless persons. I assure you, there are still competent politicians at the other side.
Although the 2023 election saw Okada riders and vehicle drivers, who keyed into the wave and eventually emerged as winners, the critical questions are, what is the pedigree and the level of preparedness of such people? Can they deliver on their mandates? Can they carry the burdens of responsibility? How dogged are they in terms of challenging the wrongs in the system? Apologies to the Labour party candidate of Etiosa, who defeated Banky W (thanks to the #Obidients wave), I still believe that Banky was the best candidate for the job.
As we go about our activities, let us have it in mind that the #Obidient movement is for a better Nigeria; for the emancipation of the people from economic slavery, not necessary about labour party. Hopefully, this consciousness follows us to our various polling units now and in future.
Wisdom Chika Nwoga is an academic and broadcast Journalist. He is an advocate of good governance.