Yesterday, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, and in my personal view, the probable winner of the 2023 presidential elections granted a press conference. As expected, the conduct of INEC during the elections, and the judiciary was flagged.
It is quite sad to acknowledge. Yet in my view, Peter Obi’s media activism is belated. Everything that was going wrong with the 2023 elections were brought to his attention early enough. And strategies to avert those were proffered. Labour Party and her presidential candidate had enough momentum going into the elections that they could have substantially impacted the conduct of the elections by tactically deploying pressure on carefully-selected issues before the elections and even shortly after the elections.
This option was rejected flatly before the elections. In one of his witty moments, Peter compared himself to Messi and C. Ronaldo, arguing, rather eloquently, that his role is to play football to the best of his ability. He said he has no business concerning himself with match officiating. We tried to convince him to change his stance. Our reasoning was that once the referee is compromised, whether you play better than Messi and C. Ronaldo put together, that you can still be technically made to lose the match.
But Peter, being Peter, was focused on playing to the best of his ability. Even Messi and C. Ronaldo sometimes protest referee decisions, and mount pressure on the officials to officiate properly. You don’t want to wait till the final whistle has been blown to start complaining about biased referees.
I watched Akin Osuntokun and Oseloka H. Obaze’s press conference months earlier calling on INEC’s Mahmood Yakubu to resign. Yesterday, Peter Obi also fired his shots. To me, this newfound activism is after the fact! Both LP and Peter Obi had all the gravitas to deploy pressure on INEC and Nigeria’s judicial systems before the head has been cut off.
We refused to disarm the madman dangerously approaching us with matchete. We only found our voice now that the head has fallen to the ground. I had earlier written about fairytale assumptions of democracy. It is my considered view that our assumption that everything will go on as planned, and even expecting known crooks to play by the books, wasted the creative energies of young Nigerians.
This is not to denigrate the efforts of Mr. Peter Obi, and his lieutenants. I do not assume that it was easy for him. The battles are intense. Yet, we could have done a little more to scale through. It is not yet over though. We can organise to restructure the Labour Party, provide the badly-needed informed opposition, and then start planning for the next window of opportunity to cause a wholesome change of government.
FYI: By the mercies of God, I will start teaching masterclasses on Bible perspectives to government and governance systems this November. To participate, join the Boqer School of Government Telegram Group via this link: https://t.me/BoqerSchoolOfGovernment
Africa’s morning is at hand.