Peter Obi and the Ekiti Phenomenon

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Peter Obi

A cursory look at most of the result figures coming out of today’s poll in Ekiti underlines a threat to Peter Obi’s ambition as I have previously ascribed.

The bandwagon is great. The ideal is noble. But actions on social media do not always translate commensurately to what obtains on the street.

When Peter Obi was first elected as governor of Anambra state on the APGA platform, his party had very few seats at the Anambra House of Assembly. Of course this made governance, particularly legislation, brutally cumbersome as he could not influence a majority in the House. He was eventually impeached by that House. It is next to impossible to be an Executive with no parliamentary support.

The Labour party which has given it’s Presidential slot to Peter Obi has not fielded a mass of candidates across parliamentary platforms. So it is hard to see how a (assumed) President Obi can rule with no legislative backbone. This lack of legislative backbone can however be mitigated as was done by President Ronald Reagan of the United States in the 1980’s when the Republicans were in a minority at Congress. Reagan had to go over the heads of Congress and appeal directly to the electorates, urging them to write to their members of Congress, thus forcing them to do his will which they had hitherto frustrated. I do not know if our democracy has advanced that far, but for Obi it would be worth a shot.

His other option at boosting supporting NASS numbers for his ambition would be in the current talks the Labour party is having with the NNPP about a merger. If they could get other small parties to join them, who knows.

This brings us to the Ekiti phenomena for Obi.
For Ronald Reagan to battle with Congress, he was already elected President. Obi for all the social media support is not yet President, and it is looking increasingly not possible for that to happen if the Ekiti trend continues.

In the Ekiti polls Obi’s Labour party did abysmally. They were never in contention at any point. Even with the serious social media clamour for everything Obi his Labour candidate in Ekiti could not boast of one half of one percent of the votes cast in the Ekiti poll. How then can Obi win? Where are the youths who claimed that they want to change the status quo?

It is true that instead of going to Ekiti to campaign he went on an Israelite journey to Egypt presumably to study their power industry which was boosted by a German company who have since been contracted to do same to the Nigerian power sector. So why did he have to go? Maybe the Afreximbank AGM held in Cairo, ironically on the same days Obi was in Cairo compelled him to be in Egypt. But such unforced errors are very seriously punished in politics. While Obi was in Egypt, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was deep in Ekiti campaigning for the APC candidate.

Obi needs to learn the art of campaigning, of begging for votes for his Labour party compatriots to shore up his political defences, because these are the people who would resist any attempted impeachment were he to win. These are the people he needs to pass legislation. For him to win he must talk to Nigerians and use all media to go above the heads of established parties and politicians to reach Nigerians, the real voters. Egyptians do not vote here. And it is presumptious of Obi to go study Egyptian power when he is not assured of power in Nigeria.

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I am just a researcher. I hold no party allegiances.