THE IMMEDIATE TASK BEFORE PETER OBI

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Politics is about conversion not repulsion. Life is driven more by perception than truth. With this in mind, those who endorse Obi should remember that he is not yet VP and needs the goodwill of Nigerians to win. That goodwill will depend on how Igbos conduct themselves not necessarily on Peter Obi’s qualification. We all know that life doesn’t always give us what we deserve therefore victory is not always for the swift. Everybody needs to follow a tactful way to achieve their aspirations. You may represent the best but if your neighbour perceives( rightly or wrongly) that your empowerment will jeopardize his interest, he’ll work against you. This is why Obi’s supporters ( especially if Igbo)must be respectful of the feelings of others (notwithstanding that they might have been taunted in the past) in other to attract the support of other parties and groups in the presidential race. The presidential race is always crucial and sees people shifting from their normal political alliances to vote in the interest of the country. This is why many may vote an APC Governor but vote a PDP President. We need such radical voting disposition to oust Buhari.

It is unfortunate that in Nigeria politics often assume ethnic dimensions. Yet there have been instances when Nigerians eschewed such narrow-mindedness to act in unison. It happened during Abiola’s time and Jonathan’s. As my friend recently posted, ” Buhari has made Atiku a messiah ” of our time. Before now Atiku’s acceptability has always stumbled on the hill of alleged acts of corruption. But now, if he’s corrupt, he represents a lesser corruption than Buhari whose megalomaniac tendencies, obstinacy, insensitivity, belligerence and tactlessness have pushed to self-destruct mode. Like Trump, Nigerians are more interested in saving their country from from the claws of a predator than mulling over Atiku’s sins.

Igbos must understand that much of the problems they encounter in Nigeria is a result of unwarranted distrust and fear by brother ethnic groups. Therefore it is both sensible and politically expedient that they reach out anyway possible to assuage the unjustified fear and distrust reposed on them. Obi’s recently published resume says a lot about his capacity to forge alliances and gain the trust of his competitors. We should follow his example in that.

The big question is: do we want a one-tribe-dominated Nigeria or a country where there are peace and progress, in which we enjoy equal opportunity and universal citizenship? Some think this question is both naive and impractical. But if you have eye and gut feeling you’ll see how very easy it might be using very simple character tools. As for Atiku/ Obi ticket, I see gargantuan prospect, not because of any parochial interest but because both have eyes for history, have been sophisticated entrepreneurs, humble and savvy in their own ways. NOW IS TIME TO WORK NOT CELEBRATE. It would be a victory for Nigeria not for any particular tribe. After all, what particular advantage does the North have over other parts of Nigeria for their long-possession of power? Even if there is, it is only marginal. GOD BLESS NIGERIA

Gabriel Orji

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