This goes out to the Obidients, the tribe of supporters of Peter Gregory Obi, Labour Party presidential candidate at the February 25 presidential elections in which their man came third after the winner Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Since then the Obidients have been truculent and implacable over the defeat of their principal. They have resorted to waxing lyrical about how the elections were fraudulently contrived by the ruling government to favour Tinubu among other acts of petulance. That is understandable and even tolerable as they have every right under our ground laws to vent their anger and frustration over what they consider an electoral smash and grab against their man.
But in their bid to express their anger they seem to have gone overdrive. There has been a quixotic effort on their part to organise a march to the military headquarters asking for military intervention to impliedly install Peter Obi as the ‘’rightful winner’’ of the February 25 presidential polls. These actions were not limited to the military alone; there have been demonstrations at foreign embassies and institutions asking the ambassadors and heads of missions to convey to their home governments the wish of the Obidients for a concerted foreign action to condemn and compel the Nigerian government to either declare Peter Obi the winner of the elections or cancel them and order for fresh ones under direct international supervision.
Also, there have been calls by some of the supposedly cerebral ones among Peter Obi’s supporters to President Joe Biden of the United States of America, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, European Union President, Ursula von der Leyen for action against the Nigerian government and President-elect Tinubu.
It seems that in their bid to promote the cause of their principal, the Obidients will stop at nothing even precipitating a major internal upheaval with the support of foreign entities to ‘’finish’’ Nigeria.
Talk about cutting one’s nose in order to spite one’s face.
To the majority of Nigerians, the February 25 polls have been won and lost and a president-elect in the person of Bola Ahmed has emerged in one of the keenest presidential contests in living memory.
By all accounts, Tinubu won under the circumstances that our electoral system admittedly with all its imperfections can muster. Those who expect our electoral system to produce a first-class outcome should be helpful enough to answer why we don’t have a first-class power grid, first-class telecoms, first-class infrastructure, first-class banking and financial system and so on.
Quite simply, the sort of electoral outcome that we always produce is a reflection of the attitude we bring to bear on our duties and responsibilities to ourselves and our country. And we must all be brave enough to admit that as much as possible we tend to have a negative proclivity to try and cheat the system when we can in every situation we find ourselves. And when we invariably find ourselves victims of the very act of negativism we perpetrated on the system we are heard to shout the loudest claiming a moral standing and victimhood that rings hollow loudly from here to the heavens.
This, I am afraid, is what the Obedients are about in their unholy crusade against the Nigerian state and the President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Attempts to demonise President-elect Bola Tinubu for winning a presidential contest in which every other candidate including Peter Obi himself deliberately looked the other way or encouraged his supporters to employ the same tactics that he deployed in areas where he held sway is the height of hypocrisy.
Peter Obi himself and his supporters know that he is not as squeaky clean as the Obidients are making out and forcing it down our throats willy-nilly. Obi as has been borne out has proven very adept at playing on the prevailing sentiment of Nigerians for a genuine change to conveniently slip himself into the consciousness of some Nigerians with genuine grudges against the system. But in reality, which is clear to discerning Nigerians Obi, is not much different from those he or his supporters depict as demons and thus his and their attempts to present him as variously as saint, messiah and knight in shining armour did not appear to impress or convince a critical mass of Nigerians who showed him what they thought of him at the polls.
Peter Obi and his supporters now balefully bellyaching over his loss at the February 25 polls should also be nuanced enough to accept that he had also proven very tactically inept in the vast Nigerian political firmament where his limitations were exposed and ruthlessly exploited by both Tinubu and Atiku which led to his defeat.
The February 25 presidential polls were not a beauty, nor a morality contest. It was a very Nigerian political slugfest in which everything was thrown in by all the candidates and their parties to win. And in the end the person who eventually won, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, proved to be more adept at utilizing his advantages of political pedigree, reach, resources, contacts, tenacity and doggedness and yes, luck.
Tinubu had done everything necessary to win including taking calculated risks with his choice of running mate which ran into a storm and for which he was punished in some very strategically important political fields like Lagos where his political status and influence is well known. But he made it up in other political fields like the North West, North Central, North East and the hinterland of the South West where Peter Obi was conversely punished for taking these areas as granted just as Tinubu did in Lagos.
So on May 29, 2023, barring court judgment to the contrary, President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will be sworn in as Nigeria’s next president after President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Obidients now throwing tantrums and trying to behave like kids throwing toys out of the tram for not having their way should let Nigeria be and reorganise for the next round of elections in 2027.