Peter Obi: the name on the lips of Nigerians; the luminous lantern in which Nigerians have kindled the light of their legitimacy; the prudent, pragmatic and popular former governor of Anambra State.
He is the man who took a party languishing in obscurity to more than six million votes that would have been far more were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) up to its constitutional responsibilities. He is the man who today continues to send jitters down the spine of opposition parties in the country. For many Nigerians, Peter Obi’s identity is simple: he is the people’s president.
He has vowed to challenge the results of the elections in court and for the first time in Nigeria’s political history, he is not alone. Nigerians can sense a messiah. He is far from the lone voice crying in this wilderness of illegality and illegitimacy. Those who strain to listen will readily hear Nigerians loudly howling together with Peter Obi that their votes were stolen and savagely manipulated to give victory to a man they never wanted.
The legal fireworks will start soon and Nigerians in the country and the diaspora will watch proceedings with keen interest because what would be at stake would be more than one man’s ambition.
Already, Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media and Publicity of the All-Progressives Congress presidential campaign council, has fired off a statement suffused with slights where he resorted to the now-expired tactic of painting Peter Obi as a tribal and religious bigot who rode charged chariots of ethnic and religious bigotry as Nigeria went through crucial elections.
The country’s pulse when felt by fair fingers would be found to be pounding. A travesty went down between the time Nigerians voted and the time the results were supposedly collated and a winner announced.
Around the country, Nigerians have not held back in expressing righteous indignation. Amidst the uproar, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has gone ahead to receive his certificate of return as the president-elect. It will be interesting to see for how long he can cling to a certificate some Nigerians have sarcastically described as the only one he has ever had.
The mood in Nigeria is very dark indeed, and as Peter Obi expertly painted it “Nigeria can still not conduct free and fair elections fifty-three years after independence.”
Kene Obiezu wrote via email@example.com