By Aanu Oluyide
In what is looking like another messianic charade, the 2023 presidential aspirant from Labour Party has won the hearts of many, most especially young people. Peter Gregory Obi is the 61-year-old aspirant who recently left the People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) before the party’s primary elections because one of the oldest stakeholders of the party, who is also a former Vice President of Nigeria, clung to the ticket. Peter Obi left before the primaries knowing that he would not win in the Party’s Primaries.

He immediately made a press release stating that he is leaving PDP for the Labour Party, and well, it might be yet another making of history or not. Who is Peter Obi? What is his political mandate? What are his chances of winning in the 2023 Presidential Elections? Let’s all dive in, right?

Just like most of those still in Nigerian politics today sing to our ears that “the young shall grow, children are the leaders of tomorrow…”, Peter Obi has been around for as long as it would take for a newborn to be old enough for marriage and have children. His name began ringing in our ears when he contested in the Anambra Gubernatorial Elections under the All-Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2003; he also won a second term in 2010 and eventually bowed out of the gubernatorial race.

Listening to his supporters, his major achievement being paraded is leaving some huge amount of money in the state government’s account at the end of his tenure despite meeting. This single act has been the bone of his campaign, adding to his being the youngest amongst the two strong contestants and the lesser evil. He is the lesser evil because there are little to no allegations of fraud appended to his names compared to Tinubu and Atiku. He is a no match for their evil. The Pandora paper leaks, which would have been the major dent on his collar, were cleared. Like the slogan for his campaign, “Peter is better”, he seems to be the better one out of the others. But wasn’t Buhari also better?

Peter Obi’s Political Structure
Each time elections are close Nigerian Politicians with all hands-on decks have different political campaign structures.
It’s been said that if you want to win any election in Nigeria, you must settle many “people”, no matter how good your intentions are. Usually, Nigerian Politicians do some or all of the following:

*Spending a lot of money, they would never give to people or use it to improve citizens’ lives.

*Giving of rice, beans, garri to people,

*Pretending to be equal with the poor by splashing photos of them eating roadside foods,

*Wearing clothes of other tribes to parade themselves as a “One Nigeria” candidate, giving special preference to the part of Nigeria acknowledged as being determinants of general elections,

*Since we have only been lucky in Nigeria to have aspirants old and unhealthy enough for hospice homes, another political campaign medium is to package them into shirts and trousers so they could appeal to young people.

The aforementioned are all familiar political campaign structures used by all Nigerian politicians. Still, Peter Obi seems to be moving in a different direction, which is why he has been tagged “stingy”. Some weeks ago, a South-Eastern Catholic Priest, Reverend Father Mbaka, even made a statement to that effect, referring to Peter’s Stinginess as a reason he would never become President.

However, Peter Obi has been undeterred. The presidential aspirant has progressed from giving laptops to school students in place of a plate of food to traveling to Egypt to study the country’s education, power, planning, and finance sectors. He has also made several appearances on Television, discussing his blueprint brilliantly should he be president.

As fondly called by his supporters, PO has gathered a lot of support on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It can be said that Peter Obi’s chances in the forthcoming presidential elections increase day by day, but Nigerian Elections aren’t won on social media, are they?

Is Peter Obi the Long-Awaited Messiah that will fix Nigeria?
Unlike Buhari, who was also seen as the messiah, Peter’s butts have been on constant fire. In fact, he has been the most criticized candidate, even though he has an almost clean record. I do not believe that one man can save Nigeria. I believe that the country is gone beyond repair. I am also wary of the messianic complexes we all exhibit as Nigerians. Our political landscape in almost 2 decades is about getting enough trauma from one man we thought was a messiah to yearning for another.

We want a new person; we want someone who will turn the country around, someone meek, humble, who walks by himself and doesn’t have a private jet; that was how we landed ourselves Buhari, who sounded like he knew what he was doing all the years he campaigned and contested to suddenly becoming an effigy upon assuming office.

Today it is Peter; tomorrow, Obi, 2023, it will be you and me.

(c) Aanu Oluyide 2022