ColumnsDon OkoloOpinionPoliticsPeter Obi: Audacity of Raw Truth Over Optimism and Unrestrained Emotions

“I hope that I am wrong. I know that I am not wrong. I am a pragmatist as much as I am a realist.” ―Don Okolo

I am the messenger with the bad news. Especially the kind of news so heavy to bear you’d rather hold it close to your vest for as long as you could until the waves from the resultant surge passed. But I am the one that would go the distance with wickedness, nasty, vile machinations, and the shenanigans of political husbandry as would be practiced by a slate of Nigerian politicians come 2023. What the heck am I talking about? I’ll tell you.


But please hold off on your celebration. Why? You might ask. You know God, The Father, even as you have not seen Him. But you do not know Nigeria, your country, even as you believe that you know how she rolls. Are you getting it? This is not about the Devil you know. Screw that. This is about the Devil that you don’t know. And that Devil is sitting pretty on the mount of Gilead waiting for you to crash. He would descend with the gait of a male peacock at mating time, to wipe that silly grin off your face, and then replace it with the kind of bitterness you could only have reserved for the most hated of men. That joy and gladness, and the euphoria you had taken two years to finesse and mold into a thing of absolute beauty and was ready to carry the two-ton package of glee into a beer parlor, a whorehouse even, come election day, had been doused. You will walk into the beer joint regardless, but it would be with a heavy heart and a depressive countenance to rewrite the mug of an orangutan to bury the sorrow about you. This is not a prediction. This is me writing it out for you…the character traits of a rogue nation and a banana republic as Nigeria is.

What his supporters don’t want to think about is the glaring fact that he will be denied

Just for context: Peter Obi has the chops to resurrect the dead. Figuratively. He was a student of mine at CKC Onitsha. Taught him Economics and Biology in 1974 or 1975. I believe he is the one to get this insurmountable job done. What his supporters don’t want to think about is the glaring fact that he will be denied…not at the polls, but by the most potent, slow-walking predator, Buhari, on one side of the equation. And on the other side, he will be denied by a cabal, an oligarchy of debauched men from the north, of the Muslim faith, who have taken an oath to protect what they see as their holy grail. May I dare remind us tahn more than thirty-six positions of power in the federation are in Hausa/Fulani grip. Mostly Fulani. The idea of an Igbo presidency is freaking far-fetched, it is absurd…and in the minds of the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen, incomprehensible as it is unattainable.

So, how come you guys ain’t seeing what I am seeing?

I am not playing the Devil’s advocate. Screw the Devil. Why would I represent him in this most sacred moment that could…well, resurrect Nigeria? If anything, I’ll be God’s advocate. I am not really into Nigeria because her spirit is soiled, and in truth, her spirit is demented by the sheer momentous decapitation of her citizens by her citizens. All this under the watchful eyes of the Buhari gang of misfits. Have you ever wondered about the totality and size of the scheme that is Nigeria? If you took one minute to run your mind through the mill about the country you love so much, you’d see that your love is misplaced. You wouldn’t even go to war fighting for that entity. In other words, no one that I know would knowingly die for Nigeria.

But then again, just yesterday, we were all celebrating Tobi Amusan, the world champion hurdler. I caught myself as I was drifting into the zone of excessive merriment. That’s where celebrating Nigeria ends for most Nigerians. Those moments of euphoria would usually last as long as a sneeze would. The corruption, the scandal is intoxicating, and abandoning it for social and political equity is unlikely. You are asking the people whose only hope of survival is through these corrupt practices to give up these Allah-handed down gratuities, and that’s according to them, to allow Peter Obi of Igbo extraction, to rise to power, and disable, unplug them from those beneficiary cords they have been tethered to?

Do you expect them to allow Peter Obi to sit on that power throne and dismantle Dangote, Alikaja, and these other northerners with monopolies in trade and power? Until you understand that God is not going to recall the damnation He put on Satan, would you then begin to see the Rigor Mortis set on the Nigerian body polity…and that it is far progressed, it couldn’t be recalled.

President Peter Obi? Sounds great, but unachievable. It is easier for Buhari to declare a State of Emergency and remain in office. It is easier to declare the Camerounian, Atiku, the winner, even as it is clear he lost his ass than declare Peter Obi the winner. Even the one who stole the entire city of Lagos, the Octogenarian, born in 1935, sick as a dog, would be seen as a willing co-conspirator. They would rather give it to him. If you understood the extent of moral bankruptcy these men carry around, you would agree with me that they wouldn’t and couldn’t hand power over to an Igbo man to change things. And if anyone would, and could rewrite the bad, terrible hand Nigeria people had been dealt with, it is Peter Obi.

According to them, Nigeria is their land, given to them by Allah. Allah, the equalizer

As you are reading this, they are scheming in Aso Rock. Tuwoosinkafaa and Furah de nono are on the menu. For coffee, they would prefer a brand of caffeine foreign to the white man. Gworo. Do you want emphasis? I’ll grant you emphasis: THEY ARE NOT GIVING THE NIGERIA SEAT OF POWER TO PETER OBI. If they are so foolhardy to back away far enough for decency to set in, Peter Obi will stop the flow of Billions of dollars into the Hausa/Fulani coffers. Peter Obi is not a joke. Take his words to the bank. The position of power the Hausa/Fulani is holding in a bench-vise grip is also sacred to them. See it that way, first. According to them, Nigeria is their land, given to them by Allah. Allah, the equalizer. This is why you have ninety-seven percent of northerners with oil blocks in the deep south. This is the reason Dangote has monopolies on cement and sugar, where no other person could import these commodities. They know all that largess would go to hell in a handbasket if Peter Obi was installed as the Commander-in-Chief.

I hope that I am wrong. I know that I am not wrong. I am a pragmatist as much as I am a realist. My heart is with you…but that country, Nigeria, deserves a burial. An elegy has been sung, and the result of the 2023 election would determine how low the coffin would be lowered.

Good luck and God’s Will be done.

♦ Don Okolo, Professor and filmmaker, is on the Editorial Board of the West African Pilot News. He is the author of many books.

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