By Dr Kenneth Okonkwo
Land, originally, in law, cannot be stolen. However, when Lagos State suffered terribly in the hands of land speculators, it enacted a law against inappropriate dealings in land that led to illegally appropriating someone’s proprietary interest in land or selling someone’s land to another person or selling same land to more than one person. All these criminal dealings come under the term land grabbing. Land grabbing therefore is usually the swift acquisition of property (such as land or patent rights) often by fraud or force. In Nigeria, with the return of democracy in 1999, politicians, taking advantage of the crude and manual processes of our elections and the docility of the civil society, employed every tactic, known and unknown, to acquire power by fraud and by force. This is the technical definition of power grabbing. Majority of Nigeria’s politicians are power grabbers who have no interest of the country at heart but their own selfish interests. We must note that these politicians always masquerade their own interests as national interests with which they deceive the unwary citizens of Nigeria.
Power grabbing manifests in election rigging, thuggery, intimidation and bullying of political opponents, vote buying and other corrupt tendencies. As our electoral processes continue to improve and modify, intimidation and bullying of political opponents is now the most effective tool of power grabbing. The idea of a third force has been in the offing for a while but the intimidation by the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of the dramatis personae of the third force has hitherto been a hindrance to the emergence of a formidable third force. The greatest undoing of the third force has been their inability to rally round a credible formidable candidate to square up with these power grabbers in the two major political parties. 2023 is increasingly appearing to be different because of the emergence of Peter Obi on the political horizon. He seems to be a difficult equation for them to solve. He has become a rallying point for the oppressed and suppressed people of Nigeria. All the deregistered political parties have lined up behind him.
The natural and circumstantial factors favour him. He is a younger man who intelligently chose another younger man from the North to be his Vice. The two major political parties presented men who are in their eighties (probably official ages) but may in actual fact be in their nineties having been in active politics since 1990. Obi is well read with certificates that traversed several degrees and several continents. He was educated in Nigeria, United States, Britain, Switzerland to mention but a few. The two major candidates for the two major parties are still litigating on the veracity of the only one certificate they have. They are already displaying memory loss so the issue of acquiring new knowledge does not arise. Obi’s presidential ticket is well balanced between Muslims and Christians, North and South and is all inclusive and fits into all the relevant laws of power shift and rotation of public offices in Nigeria. The present President of Nigeria is a Northern Muslim at the age of almost eighty years. He is about to complete his second term in office. Strictly speaking, by the concept of power shift and rotation of power, the next President should be a Southern Christian of a younger age. This will ensure religious, ethnic and generational change. PDP mortally breached this by choosing another Northern Muslim of identical age with the present President while APC even did worse by choosing two Muslims of identical religion with the current President to represent the President and Vice and chose the Southern Muslim presidential candidate from the same Geo-Political Zone in the South which has already produced a President for eight years, Vice President for eight years while the South-East where Obi hails from has not produced either a President or Vice President since 1999. Equity, justice and fairness therefore favour Obi in 2023.
The most eloquent testimony of the need for change is the performance of these two political parties in power. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike for almost 6 months with all their students condemned to a life of perpetual idleness which has made them the devil’s workshop of yahoo yahoo dealings, occultic influence, banditry and armed robbery. This strike stems from a botched agreement entered between ASUU and the incompetent PDP led government in 2009 and inherited by a more incompetent APC government in 2015 with no solution in sight till date. Terrorism which commenced in Nigeria officially in 2009 in the North East with the incompetent PDP government has metastasized into banditry, kidnapping and terrorism all over Nigeria with the more incompetent APC government. Nigeria has been a mono-economy based on Oil and both PDP and APC governments have done nothing to change the situation. We are still importing refined petroleum products from 1999 till date. This failure is replicated in all the sectors of the Nigerian economy and has not attracted any solution from both parties with the resultant effect that we don’t have power, energy, fuel, security, stability etcetera. Nigeria is today facing an existential threat as the present government has borrowed itself out of existence as all its revenue cannot even service its debts. The two major political parties are even in disarray as the greed, selfishness and pride of both presidential candidates have caused intractable disunity amongst their members. Nigeria is earnestly yearning for change and Obi is simply the manifest expression of the hope of that change in the heart of Nigerians.
It’s not surprising that the two major political parties, having failed in all ramifications and still wishing to grab power at all costs, and being threatened by the emergence of Obi, have no more alternative options than to resort to unfortunate misinformation, disinformation, bullying and agitation to disrupt and quench the genuine aspirations for liberation by Nigerians. They have tried to play the ethnic card. The embattled Vice Presidential candidate of same-faith ticket, who is still complicit in the emergence of terrorists in the North East, said that Obi can only be President in the South-East. Another Presidential aspirant from North-West who refused to align himself with Obi as Vice Presidential candidate said that the North will not vote for a Southern candidate and that’s why he will not accept to be Obi’s Vice. They even went to the ridiculous extent of saying that Obi supports separatist movements, trying to paint him as an ethnic jingoist. More ridiculous is their blackmail that he is anti Islam who has demolished seven mosques in 2012. One thing they all have in common is that Obi is qualified and competent to lead Nigeria. Festus Keyamo, the presidential spokesperson of the APC presidential candidate said Obi is more competent than Atiku to be President. Dino Melaye, the presidential spokesperson of the PDP presidential candidate said that Obi is competent and qualified to be President. He is only pleading with Obi to defer his ambition to enable Atiku Abubakar, Dino’s less qualified candidate, according to Keyamo, to be President first. This automatically reveals that the deliberate misinformation by power grabbers is self serving and flies in the face of objective reality.
On the issue of demolishing mosques, the purveyors of this fake news forgot that Obi was the Vice-Presidential candidate to Atiku Abubakar in 2019 and there’s no way a Fulani Northern Muslim will ever allow a person who is anti Islam to be his Vice. They forgot also that you don’t have concentration of mosques in Anambra State where Obi was Governor as the State is 99.9% Christians. On the issue of supporting separatist movements, the South-East Governors were on record as the only Geo-Political Zone that publicly proscribed all the activities of separatists before even the Federal Government stepped in to outlaw them yet some Boko Haramic Governors of the North East, who are finding their way into the presidential tickets of some of the religious political parties are looking for innocent Peter Obi to accuse. In fact when Obi was the Governor of Anambra State, he issued an order to the security agencies to shoot on sight any agitator or separatist who adopts violent means to forcefully achieve his objectives while the Boko Haramic Governors are publicly seeking amnesty for the terrorists that have destroyed innocent lives after initially dining with them. On the issue of whether North will vote for him or not, the cardinal question these power grabbers should answer is what the North has gained by voting fellow Northerners. A Northern Muslim is in power today, yet the North has the highest number of out of school children, bandits, kidnappers and terrorists. North is the poorest and most educationally disadvantaged. Also Northern Muslims have voted for President Obasanjo and President Jonathan, both Southern Christian Presidents, thereby putting a lie to the words of the power grabbers. Not only will the North vote for Obi, he will be their best President after voting for him, because he will transform the North from consumption to production to ensure their industrial take off when their solid minerals and agricultural resources are put in productive use.
It will be important to point out that Peter Obi’s ambition is not powered by ethnic consideration. Indeed, the first set of people that rose against his ambition were the political elites from the South-East. From Ekweremadu (Former Deputy Senate President) to Umahi (Governor of Ebonyi) to Ugwuanyi (Governor of Enugu) to Uzodimma (Governor of Imo) to Ikpeazu (Governor of Abia) to Ulasi (Former Chairman of PDP, Anambra State) etc, their belief is that they will not support him because he doesn’t have structure on the ground to win. Some of them are rethinking their stand today because of the massive youthful support across the country Obi is gathering. Guess who were the earliest supporters of Peter Obi? Doyin Okupe, South-West, who saw in Obi the most capable hand to lead Nigeria and stepped down for Obi in the presidential contest. Afenifere, Yoruba social-cultural organisation. Abdullahi Sadiq, Muslim Scholar and Cleric from Kano, who said, “I have decided to stand with Peter Obi because I see the sparks of the anointing hands of God upon him … let us collectively vote for him irrespective of Religion or Ethnicity. Even majority of Hausas here in Kano are campaigning for him … the movement is not an ordinary one. It’s a revolutionary movement and it happens once in a while”. Obi will be voted in by Nigerians and he will surely be President of Nigeria not President of any sectional group.
- Zik joined Ogboni in Lagos
- 2023 February 25 Election: Peter Obi writes letter to Nigerians
- You Are An Illiterate, Fayose Blasts MC Oluomo
- You Are Working For APC, Atiku Knocks INEC
- Sanwo-Olu, call your attack dogs to order – Ify Rhodes-Vivour
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER NOW
TEXT AD: To advertise here – Email firstname.lastname@example.org