Peter Obi, 2023 elections and the lies
SIR: Successfully, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, rode on the frustration-triggered and semi-emotional sentiments of gullible Nigerians who had seen him as a messiah – a messiah who proclaimed that he used only one wristwatch and pair of shoes. A unifier he should be, who would unite a sundered country across tribes and religions, but Obi turned out to be the behemoth of dicey religious bigotry. He would move from one church to the other, turning pulpits into campaign premises, while telling the Christians to “wake up and take back your country.”
Really? Has the country ever been taken from Christians? Is the Muslim-Muslim ticket the pretext on which the country would be taken from Christians? Are there not countless numbers of Christian-Christian tickets in the past and currently at state levels? The whole of the South East, South South and South West are currently led by Christians; have the Muslims gathered and cried foul that the Muslims should take back their country? Even in the Muslim-dominated North, are there not Christian governors in Plateau, Benue and Taraba? Are the Muslims unwise for their tolerance?
But when author Angelica Hope, in her evergreen book, Landscape of a Heart, listed nine prevailing signs of social climbers, the fourth, “gloves of bigotry” is secretly worn on the fingers of Obi. He only takes them off when he’s headed for public occasions and wears them when he’s alone or amid his cronies in the church. His latest “Yes Daddy” leaked video with Bishop David Oyedepo where he described the 2023 election as “religious war” again had put a stamp of affirmation on the bigotry of a man who pretends to be a saint but is rather a modern seth.
The heart-wrenching audio – which authenticity has been confirmed by Kenneth Okonkwo, the spokesperson of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council and many fact-checking media houses with the aid of AI tools – is indeed a reason to be grateful for the loss of Obi – a disgrace to the word tolerance.
Tolerant Yorubas did not take the just-concluded election as a “tribal war” when they supported Obi to victory in Lagos and gave him mammoth votes across other states. Northerners did not take it as “religious war” when they handed him victory in Nasarawa, Plateau, and oiled him with millions of votes across other Northern states. The excuses he would tell Northerners in 2027 should be a project he’d start thinking about, because, peradventure he has 200K votes in the North in the next election, that would mean the Ndi Igbos’ population over there.
Sadly, religious bigotry has marked the end of the political career of a man who tickles Muslims in their front but taunt them behind, an hypocrite, who the Czech writer, Milan Kundera, described as one “with one real face and several false ones.” Like the day, it’s now glaring that Obi’s political dream is insincere. Nigeria indeed dodged a big bullet that could have ripped her apart.
Hashim Yussuf Amao tweets via: @LegalBard.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.