Peter Obi and the Nigerian spring by Nduka Nwosu

Something interesting happened last week. Chief Martin Agbaso, a former APGA chieftain, now a leading force of the Labour Party, and Chairman of the Unite Nigeria Group (UNG), donated his campaign office in Owerri Imo State to the party.

According to him: “this is for the purpose of executing the upcoming election campaigns. The movement is real. This is an important time in our history. I am very delighted to know that the Distinguished Senator Victor Umeh is now in the Labour Party and supporting the candidacy of His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi for the 2023 Presidential Election.”

This gesture came at a time Obi-skeptics are querying what structures are supporting his Presidential campaign, given the enormous financial, human, and physical resources the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Atiku Abubakar campaign organisations have in their war chests.

In this upcoming battle, Obi is David while Atiku and Tinubu are the Goliaths. Just as God instructed Gideon in the battle against the Midianites, a company of 300 soldiers, was all that he needed to do the job of defeating the Medianite Army of 120,000 soldiers. A sense of urgency and awareness are needed to win this war.

Ochudo Martin Agbaso has always been a harbinger of worthy causes that cannot be recounted here. What is important is that thousands of Nigerians are rising to make sense of the Obi mantra of no more sharing but a productive economy, away from a consumption-oriented market economy. This mantra is resonating among millions of Nigerians who constitute the Obi/Labour Party political machine.

The Obi-dient Movement is a case of one good turn deserving another. A woman from Sabongida-Ora in Edo State has converted her shop to that of the Obi Campaign Organisation. She did not wait to meet Obi or his aides or those of the Labour Party before launching out to do her mobilisation c work. Silver and gold, Obi does not have; she in turn does not need dollars and euros stolen from our collective commonwealth to gather the bullets and foot soldiers of this battle of regaining the soul of Nigeria. It will be fought in the hearts and minds of the citizens. As Governor Obaseki lamented while alerting his party the PDP, the Obidient Movement is real. It is more than a political party.

The Sanbongida-Ora convert like thousands of Obidients spread across the country, is on the move, the same way Agbaso and the Unite Nigeria Group (UNG) as well as hundreds of other volunteer groups, recognise the sense of urgency with which this assignment of rescuing Nigeria from the jaws of hungry lions, should be approached. Some overzealous followers of the Obi-dient Movement have been advised to see it for what it is, a national, spiritual surge to change the status quo.

This is our own Arab Spring, our Prague and Velvet Springs. The Prague Spring was kick started January 5, 1968, under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek, primarily to overthrow communism in Czechoslovakia. Although Dubcek was defeated on November 21, 1968, when the Soviet Union and other Warsaw members invaded the country to quash the reforms against communism, the Velvet Spring (November 17, 1989), that threw up the political leader, playwright and author Vaclav Havel was significant in many ways.

Leading his Civic Forum Party, and the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted, Havel played a key role in the overthrow of communism in Czechoslovakia where he presided as its democratically elected President between 1989 and 1993 and as Czeck Republic President (1993-2003).

The Nigerian Spring is here, is still unfolding, yet to blow, in local parlance. Like the Arab and Velvet Springs, Nigeria’s Spring of change may have arrived with minimum notice.

Those with eyes know a movement that will liberate this country has begun with the Obidients, prodded by the unseen hand of God. It cuts across religion, tribe, and class. It is a change mantra. Those who have appropriated our patrimony are uncomfortable with what is happening.

We are faced with two choices, to vote those who have brought our country to its precipice and about to bury it, those that have ruined this country through prebendalism and rent seeking, vote for a candidate whose record till date, would signal a futuristic foreboding for the polity or a candidate who has what it takes to turnaround the fortunes of this country to where it ought to be.

They will offer bread and butter that can only last for a few days and take your lifetime investment into captivity. The weeks are turbo charged, flying with unprecedented speed, the same way the Obi campaign network is running the marathon of 2023. There has been so much talk that Obi does not have a structure beyond the social platforms of his nietezens.

For those who can read between the lines, Obi’s social network citizens have left the train station for the city. They are in the hearts and minds of the new generation cutting across the country North to South, East to West. They are the weary, long-suffering Nigerians who smile and suffer, begging for change, the type of change both the PDP and APC promised to deliver while supplanting it with the worst corrupt practices in modern history.

Can someone advocating for grazing routes in 21st century spaceship earth take us to the global marketplace of ideas where grazing routes constitute a laughable proposition? Your guess is as good as mine.

Can someone who spent milions of dollars buying votes, aided, and abetted by cronies waiting to win inflated contracts, turnaround an economy that borrows to settle its debts?

Can a candidate who bungled the privatisation exercise of public property and became richer after that, turnaround an economy where corruption in the system stands first in Africa? How can the old faces of a corrupt regime turnaround the economy?

How can a primary election where votes were bought with $50,000 for the ruling party and $20,000 for the opposition party, bring hope to an already moribund economy where a collapsed middle-class employee begs for food before the next month arrives?

Sadly, the voting population has been promised huge returns for each PVC that is willing to be compromised come 2023. The Ekiti Governorship election was a testing ground. INEC was helpless and could only arrest a handful of unfortunate voters who would bear the temporary brunt of the hundreds of thousands that sold their birthrights for a mesh of porridge. This is the way we are, yet we are looking for a change that will impact poverty, disease, and education as well as insecurity in a positive direction.

President Buhari and his ruling party the APC deceived Nigerians who were in a hurry to sack President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP. Having done that we boarded the APC one chance bus that has ran aground. The fault dear Brutus, said William Shakespeare through Julius Caesar, is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.

Do not expect anything unusual when the same clique is back with its bag of tricks and false promises. It will be garbage in and garbage out.