Tuesday, 31st January 2023
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Democracy and governance #OBIdient: Revolution or evolution? – Part 2

By By J.A. Ezihe
31 August 2022   |   2:43 am
The Fairweather OBIdients do not and have never understood that this race is not a sprint. This is a marathon with all the obstacles of a steeplechase thrown in.

[FILES] Peter Obi. Photo/facebook/PeterObiGregory

Continued from yesterday

The Fairweather OBIdients do not and have never understood that this race is not a sprint. This is a marathon with all the obstacles of a steeplechase thrown in.

When the pains of nation-building start to create personal inconvenience, they will behave like those Israelites of old who in the wilderness were heard ranting against Moses and Aaron. Why did you take us out of Egypt? At least in Egypt, we had food. If the movement is populated to a large extent by Group 1, they are capable of scuttling any march to any pro

I hold no statistics but going on the strength of similar patterns in historical events, this is ‘doomed’ to be the minority group. If 10% of OBIdients belong in this group then I would already declare it a miracle. True OBIdients understand that this needs to be an evolution, not a revolution. Borrowing a leaf from Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Martin Luther King OBIdients must now become the change we want to see in Nigeria.

In a returning-to-the-path-of-sanity Nigeria:
Everyone will have to take their place in the queue regardless of position. I have been at a cash machine where someone felt entitled to shunt to the top of the queue because he was in a Man O’ War uniform. When I reminded him that we were now in a civilian dispensation, it was clear from his reaction that he could not understand why this woman was being so ‘troublesome’.

It will no longer be possible to bribe teachers so that your child gets a more favourable WAEC result. In some schools, this practice has been elevated to institutionalised cheating. Parents pay the levy. Principal, Teachers and students do the rest.

If you are caught jumping traffic lights you will be penalised. Regardless of who you are. There will be no option to bribe.

If you come late to church you sit at the back regardless of your earthly position. The Queen of England is one of the oldest and most powerful monarchs on earth and yet she does not come late to mass in order to show her importance.

Public and political office holders will actually be expected to show up to events on time. Can you imagine this paradigm shift? There is a lot of discomfort lying in wait – for all of us!

If I may digress, recently Anambra state set a record of some sort. For the first time that I can recall in Nigeria, a high public office holder was ‘reprimanded’ for coming late. If you divest that incident from the accompanying Nollywood antics (and there was plenty) the clear audible message was ‘You are late! You are late!’

The spouse of the first citizen of a state comes late to what arguably is the number one event in the life of any state government. Where in the USA does a First Lady come late to a swearing-in-ceremony? And the USA has 50 states! This is conduct which should fill any decent person with shame. As if arriving late is not enough of a slap in the face to the public, the latecomer proceeds to instigate an altercation with another guest who had the common decency and respect for the occasion to arrive on time.

Under Project Rescue Nigeria’s shame, decency and decorum will return to public life.

Group 2: Average OBIdients. Once again I admit to holding no statistics but by conventional wisdom, I expect this to be the largest zone. This is the grey area. With a sustained quest for discipline and enlightenment, every Average OBIdient can move from Group 2 to 3. Sadly movement can also happen in the reverse direction. From Group 2 to 1. This group is critical because they have the numbers. If there is one message I would wish this group embraces it is the principle that Project Rescue Nigeria is a journey, not a destination.

What are the implications of this?
Good soldiers going into battle, hope for the best but also prepare for the worst.
The worst that can happen in the short term is that the Labour party does not win the Presidential election in 2023. If that happens, it is a hiccup but not the end of the journey.

If Project Rescue Nigeria has started in our hearts and souls, there must be no going back. Regardless of what happens in February 2023.
Let us take a lesson from Nelson Mandela who said – I never lose. I either win or I learn.

All OBIdients must prepare by embracing this notion. We will not lose. We either win or … We learn lessons that will translate to winning in 2027.

You must confront and find it possible to coexist with either possibility. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

Remember Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. Some Americans were so stunned they could not get out of bed the next day. Then followed the ‘Not my President’ rallies. Well that is not how the USA Presidential system works. As long as a President is duly elected he will serve his tenure. The Democrats then had four years to work on a plan that would change the narrative. This translated to Joe Biden’s victory.

So every OBIdient must have a clear plan of what they intend to be doing on Sunday 26-February-2023, Monday 27-February-2023 and the days that immediately follow. And it must not and should not include burying your head in the sand. Take this as advice from a well-practised ostrich. We are either celebrating or … we are back at the drawing board.

Concluded