The Peter Obi revolution should be moving now from the urban clusters to the provinces and rural communities. The capacity to win over the heavy populations of the urban centres and penetrate the wide expanses and low population densities of the provincial and rural communities should be the crucial test for the recognition and acceptance of the popular movement and really transform the Peter Obi phenomenon into a mass movement of the Nigerian people.
Rural Nigeria is particularly vulnerable. Poor and without cash, it also suffers from low level education, poor health facilities, impassable roads and poor communication. Rural Nigeria is particularly susceptible to manipulation and abuse by the corrupt political class and are unable to resist their cash and other material baits for votes.
If the Peter Obi revolution is to take deeper roots and achieve electoral victory, good thinking must be invested to secure rural Nigeria to the side of revolution. The enthusiasm for change must be implanted into the rural communities so well and so deeply as to secure it to reject and spite the tempting offers of corruption.
Many revolutions in world history have failed because they fail to secure the mass following of their rural populations. Chiang Kai Shek’s Nationalist movement known as the Kuomintang failed to penetrate rural China and so was eventually ostracized by the resounding message of the communists in rural China by the forces of Mao Tse Tung and eventually was overwhelmed, suffered military defeat and driven to the island of Formosa, now known as Taiwan.
The survival of the Peter Obi revolution depends on the capacity of the revolutionaries and the agitated youth population to seize the rural population and hold their loyalties. The Peter Obi revolution is lucky for the fact that the corrupt political elite of Nigeria lack the imagination and understanding of the historical forces at play in this revolution which has the clear potential of forcing an end to corruption and the present regime.
The elite of Nigeria do not exhibit the creative imagination necessary to confront the Peter Obi forces which has now overwhelmed their settled hegemony. A more intelligent elite will have long instituted a systemic review and re-evaluation of their greed and corrupt practices across the institutions of government to counter Peter Obi’s moral challenge and demand for rectitude. NNPC for instance, is such a corrupt and opaque institution that if reviewed and justly repositioned, can correct many of the fiscal challenges of this Government. But instead, the Nigerian establishment is doubling down on its opacity and corruption.
If the established order understand the forces and dynamics at play in the Peter Obi challenge, the Nigerian political elite have not shown it by their self-comforting feeble responses and knee jerk denials of the ferocity they see unleashing in the cities. The Nigerian political elite live under the illusion that this season will fizzle and pass away or that institutional forces of coercion can be deployed to force it to an end.
Of course the entire history of Nigeria has borne witness to the unceasing triumph of the forces of reaction and counter revolution over the forces of change. But today, in this unfurling revolution, things have changed and the tables have turned. Prior to this time, the forces for change have never been able to amass such critical mass of aggrieved youth believers with such ferocious and menacing enforcement prospects.
A third of the work of revolution has been done with the marches in the cities and state capitals almost completed. Two parts of the daunting work remain to be accomplished.
The next challenge as previously identified, is the transplanting of the anger and the determination for change into rural communities and provinces. As did the rejection of the communist push for kholkhozy, the collectivization of farms in the defunct Soviet Union, the rural populations awareness of and rejection of elite corruption followed by the embrace of the Peter Obi philosophy of rectitude and change will bring about a ferocious repudiation of the present order and add a new and perhaps violent impetus to the revolution never previously envisaged.
The third big task is the commitment to the close monitoring of polling on the day of the presidential election. Monitoring will not mean just being present at the many polling units and ensuring that the electoral laws are followed to the letter, it will mean and require a clear understanding of the laws, history and mechanism of todays elections. It will mean for instance, a clear grasp of the vulnerabilities of the technologies undergirding the database of INEC and the BIVAS system, the clear understanding of the inner workings of INEC, their data transmission systems and the synergy between INEC and the telecommunication companies that it engages.
We have seen APC stalwarts in Lagos giving out credit cards from the telecommunication companies for loading to phones. Can there possibly be a link between such underhand practices and the voting system? The Labour Party has to mobilize telecom experts to investigate this activity quietly.
The work will be done.
Viva la revolución. A luta continua; vitória é certa!
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