Why Peter Obi Remains A Reference Point – (1)

By Ikenga Chronicles January 13, 2020

Why Peter Obi Remains A Reference Point – (1)

–By Tai Emeka Obasi

In the last presidential election I supported HE Atiku Abubakar for many reasons.

First, he is by far a better candidate than the incumbent he tried to unsit. I wanted a liberal-minded president, who is neither a tribal nor religious fanatic. I wanted a leader who would genuinely unite Nigeria in the true expression, ONE NIGERIA.

Waziri’s restructuring blueprint showed genuine intentions while listening to him closely during campaigns assured trust that a Nigeria under the former vice president would mean a new dawn.

But it wasn’t all about Atiku. His choice of HE Peter Obi as running mate pushed me to overdrive. The man we fondly call Okwute was the perfect partner a man with intentions like Atiku needed to achieve the new Nigeria of hope.

God knows why He hardened the hearts of INEC, those judges at the Tribunal and Supreme Court to collectively upturn a mandate duly given to the duo by the Nigerian voters.

I defied all difficulties and security risks to regularly be at the Tribunal to see how the judges manouvred the civilian coup. Even all the tricks in the legal books couldn’t aide President Mohamed Buhari and his tag team of lawyers in convincingly proving that the election was free-and-fair.

In the end it entered history books as the worst judgement in our electoral history with the Supreme Court stamping their own gavel in support of what was more of martial law than democratic justice.

But it’s all over. Hard as it is to swallow, Buhari will lead for another three and half years while 2023 becomes yet another date. History once more beckons but despite my little commitment to the cause, my heart feels for the duo, who spent enormously in resources, emotions, physical and mental exertions…not to mention the huge security risks they navigated while it all lasted.

But it wasn’t all gloom. I don’t think that I need to emphasise that HE Peter Obi is a man I love. Neither do I need to shout it out that I am not alone in this business of loving a man I regard as having come far ahead of his generation.

His eight years as governor of my dear state remains a reference point because his achievements in all departments of human development remains unprecedented. There were truly good governors before and after him but I rate him alongside only Chief Sam Mbakwe of old Imo State in being selflessly people-oriented. Perhaps if Dee Mbaekwe was not trunketed by General Buhari’s junta, his eight years in office would have secured Aba beyond the present ruins being witnessed. I’m looking critically at Gov Seyi Makinde. He is cut in the jib of a Peter Obi and if he continues in his flight course, Oyo State will certainly feel the goodies Anambra felt during eight years of Okwute.

While campaigning in Anambra during the last presidential election, I was nursing some fears. I could take anything but having PDP perform badly in Okwute’s state was one scenario I never wanted to witness. We all went overly overdrive.

And despite all betrayals, all name-callings, all sponsored media smear and Gov Willie Obiano’s campaign to humiliate his predecessor in his own state, Anambra rose beyond all the acrimony to vote massively for the man who made them proud as a governor. And on record is the fact that Anambra State gave PDP the highest percentage of votes of all states in the federation, including Abuja.

People may not understand my joy when results indicated that. My happiness started from my ward where PDP scored 1810 valid votes while APC scored 90. When I got the total result in Anambra, I went home, slept soundly for the first time in 72 hours, feeling vindicated. I felt so because the lovely people of my dear state proved that they couldn’t abandon a man who did everything for them just because some set of people turned envy to hatred of a man who forever means well for the society.

I felt so elated that Okwute was not made to regret his selfless services to dear state. His people made Atiku understand that he chose the right person as deputy. It may not really be enough consolation for being denied a given mandate but it was something to hold onto. I will ever remain a proud Anambrarian and by extension an Igbo man for the block votes the South East delivered for PDP.

HE Peter Obi deserved such confidence because there are not many people God created like him. He is one who Nigeria needs to ever be in such public offices big enough for visible national impact. He is not one molded in the character of trying to outshine the master but any responsibility placed on his shoulders would be very satisfactorily delivered for both the one who sent it and the masses benefiting. His anticipated rejig of the economy was one big anticipation that would have yielded bountifully.

The man who took the reigns of Anambra State after him is anything but the beacon of continuity the voting masses sought after. There isn’t any man exactly like the former governor. All we hoped for was for one close enough. All we got was something so far from the Okwute we had.

In 2021, Anambra State will go to the polls to try to correct a mistake made eight years earlier. They will certainly be hoping to get a governor near enough to the man they fondly call Okwute.

The question is what made this great man tick? Simple – CHARACTER. What are the characteristics of the former governor that made him excel in office?

There are plenty. In subsequent write-ups, I will analyse the man Okwute and his exemplary endowment that distinguished him from other Nigerians who had held public offices before and after him. Perhaps the revelations will guide us as 2021 approaches for a man/woman near enough.