What lies ahead for Labour Party in 2023 and beyond. Right now, we are enjoying the buzz and the new found love for our party, due to the emergence of Peter Obi, as our candidate but is this for real or it’s just a passing phase?
Ahead of the 2023 elections, the major contenders are the usual suspects of the representatives of the two major parties in the country APC and PDP. The unusual thing about this election is the entrance of new players in the game, we have the candidature of Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwanso throwing their weight in the running of things.
Also quite a number of people have seemed to acknowledge one of these contenders as a thriving third force that represents the will of the people. The candidature of Peter Obi has seemed to be the prayer of most Nigerians, he seems to be very different from the regular politicians, he is younger, appears to tick the boxes and seems to enjoy the goodwill of the people. But the question is, is he really who he say he is? Is he a man that can be held accountable to his words? To have an idea of who a man is and where he is going to, it would be apt to look back at where he is coming from. What have those he has learnt from and also impacted said about him? Hence, the question, is Peter Obi a Jesus or a Judas
Peter Obi first foray into the world of politics came under the tutelage of the Ikemba, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu of APGA. Ojukwu had built and established APGA as the party of and for the Igbo interest, the party that represents the uniform interest of the Igbo man to stake their claim in the center of Nigerian Politics. This is the platform that a relatively unknown Peter Obi rode on to the seat of governance in Anambra, and despite the fact that it was not a first term that spelt success, Peter Obi still rode on the popularity of the party and Ojukwu for a second term.
In the words of Bianca Ojukwu, she said “It is simple. I maintain that Peter Obi betrayed Dim Ojukwu, and tried to destroy APGA for his own selfish interests. He has continued to undermine Ojukwu’s personality and recently, he has gone ahead to desecrate his legacy. From relative obscurity, Obi was brought into national prominence when the leader, Ojukwu, through his party APGA, offered him an opportunity and platform upon which he ran and became governor of Anambra State.
“Ojukwu sacrificed so much and labored for him to become governor. He (Ojukwu) was fiercely protective of him and helped him overcome the various challenges that confronted him. Peter Obi had a difficult first tenure and stepped on so many toes that the majority of our party faithful were adamant that he should not be nominated for a second tenure. Yet Ojukwu stood by him when it mattered most, jeopardised his health by traversing all the local governments in a rigorous campaign on his behalf and begged the people of Anambra State to grant him a last wish by returning Obi for a second term.
“This feat was achieved for the first time in Anambra State’s history on 6th February 2010. Peter Obi swore to Ojukwu, upon his honour, that he would never abandon APGA; that he would quit politics or die; rather than leave APGA, and that he would preserve this legacy as a potent voice and rallying point for Ndigbo”
She ended this with a proclamation that History would judge Obi harshly, isn’t this manifested in what Mr Charles Soludo said about Peter Obi recently? Another pointer to how much his own people don’t think much of his personality, is highlighted in the fact that no major or minor politician in his State has identified themselves to his cause, and over the years, not a candidate that he has endorsed or supported has ever won the Anambra elections. If your home thinks you to be not a man of your words, how do you intend on convincing others? Haven’t, we all said, charity begins at home? Peter Obi, despite his promises and oath to Ojukwu, left the party that gave him the foundations, despite his oaths and promises, this is alarming because this is the same man that said “Hold me by my words”. How valuable are his words?
One would think that was the only instance and maybe he could be forgiven for being ambitious but what about his relationship with PDP and Atiku? It is well known how he said on national television that PDP as a party is the only vehicle to his ambition, he also said Atiku has been an elder brother, a boss and a leader. It’s quite ironic that he would want to leave a party that gave him national prominence and wouldn’t be bothered to inform the man he calls Leader and Elder brother. The same man that fought tooth and nail, to defend his choice as the vice presidential candidate.
Not just leaving the party, he has been casting aspersions at the party, at how corrupt the leaders of the party are, a party that until May, he was an active member of. This refers to how he described APGA as a motorcycle, and PDP a vehicle to his ambition on national Tv. The same PDP and APGA he is running against, one now ask, if Peter Obi cannot stand by the words he made in public, by oaths and declarations he made.
Now, the concern is who is Peter Obi? How real are his promises? Now I am concerned, because he is the candidate of the Labour Party, let’s not talk about the whole issue of how he came to the party, I am more concerned with Peter Obi and the future of Labour Party.
So far so good, there has been little to show his interest in our collective vision as a party, he hardly campaign or support, the other candidates in the party. So far, in the campaign process, he hasn’t really identified with either the gubernatorial or senatorial candidates of the party. Labour Party is offering Peter Obi a platform, basically on a platter of roses, he has done little to promote the interest of the party.
Which brings the concern I have, what happens after 2023. Let assume that he wins the election, what happens? Is he going to stick with the party, despite the fact that he hasn’t identified with the other candidates? Or would he decamp to a party, with a more robust representation at the legislature? What happens if he lose? Would he stick with the party and build ahead of 2027, or would he stick to being typical and leave to the next VEHICLE that will drive his ambition?
We have all seen that his words of assurance cannot count for much, so what exactly does Peter Obi want from Us, are we just a vehicle to his ambition?
Which begs the question, Is he really the Jesus, we are told he is or maybe the Judas that betrayed Jesus?
Abasifreke Odion writes from Uyo