Since the beginning of this electoral season, there have been predictions, prophecies and opinion polls by diverse persons, groups and establishments. Most of the predictions come from news media writers/broadcasters and political pundits. The prophecies have been flowing from the spiritual wellsprings of prophets, pastors, priests, babalawos, alfas, dibias and marabouts.
The opinion polls that are supposed to be based on objective data and therefore more scientific and therefore more reliable than the other two genres came from news media and quasi-financial establishments like Financial Intelligent Unit of the Economist and Messrs Fitch Ratings. The first two media establishments to give inkling of what they think the outcome of the 2023 presidential election will be were foreign media organisations.
The more popular of the two was Bloomberg and it favoured Mr. Peter Obi as the most likely winner of the 2023 presidential election. The other parties, especially APC and PDP protested. Then Fitch organisation last week entered the fray and picked holes in Bloomberg and other opinion polls that tipped Mr. Obi and instead tipped Tinubu to win.
This verdict has been questioned by Obi and Atiku groups as being untenable, speculative and “fathom rating” and therefore raises issue for concern. I would rather counsel the parties disagreeing with the predictions, prophecies and opinion polls whether from persons, groups and organisation to take such as a basis for even a more determined effort to plug the loopholes clearly observable in the electoral fields that may be exploited by the ruling party to wallop the opposition parties especially the Labour Party that the other well-entrenched parties have mocked as being a creation of the social media and lacking root in the real electoral field of Nigeria.
That I think is the stance that the PDP and in particular the Labour Party and Mr Peter Obi should take to make their ousting of President Buhari’s party and defeating Asiwaju Ahmadu Bola Tinubu’s at the 2023 presidential election. What is common knowledge in Nigeria since this electoral season is that Nigerians are fed up with the All Progressives Congress’ Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the party’s candidate in the person of Bola Tinubu.
The same scenario played out in 2019 when the main opposition party, the PDP allowed the APC to wallow them by not protecting their votes and raising serious objection at the suspension of the collation of the results of the poll. And instead of overcoming the legal hurdle of unauthorised announcement of the winner of the presidential poll the Electoral Act prohibited by collating all the results already announced at the polling booths and tell the world the total votes won by its candidate, it rather kept quiet and was only hinging its hope on resuscitating the pulled down Independent National Electoral Commission’s website which was then not legally provisioned for.
So, the Labour Party should learn some lessons from the 2019 debacle that walloped PDP. And by the way, I should think that the Abure-led Labour Party is not doing enough to help its presidential candidates and other candidates for the 2023 general elections. Labour Party was not a party with widespread presence in the 36 states and Abuja.
By fortuitous circumstances, it became a political force to reckon with when Peter Obi left PDP to join it and Nigerian youths and all other disaffected groups in Nigeria rallied round it and accepted it as their party of choice. So why is Abure behaving the way he is doing by sitting at Abuja and managing the party instead of going round the 36 states and Abuja to ensure that the party acclimatizes itself with the Nigerian political environment. There are many areas where the party has no candidates for the 2023 general elections and these candidates are supposed to be the foot soldiers of the party as they direct mobilization of the people and canvass for votes.
In such areas, the party thereby lost extensive mileage to its opponents. I think Mr. Abure does not understand this basic political fact. The presidential candidate himself, Mr. Obi should take to mind what yielded Anambra State to him electorally in 2007.
It was his house-house campaign and the message thrown at each potential voter in Anambra State about the socio-political condition of the state. Now as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and the acclaimed holder of the trust and mandate of the vastly alienated populace of Nigeria especially the youths and the security-wise endangered Nigerians and the middle class clearly disenchanted with the PDP and APC ‘garrison’ and ‘cantonment’ military politics, he should descend from the presidential dais as advised by Femi Falana to take the campaign to the grassroots.
He cannot employ the tactics of his discredited opponents garnered over decades of rotten politics of rigging, bribery, frauds and violence and expect to defeat them. That cannot be done! Let him dust up his Anambra 2007 Miracle of grassroots electioneering and sensitization to reach out to Nigerians and reap the electoral fruits that are clearly ripen and hanging there for him to pluck.
The harvest, as Jesus Christ said, is plentiful but adequate workers are needed so that the fruits will not be lost or wasted. A careful reading the Fitch Ratings’ report carefully discloses that it sets out to interrogate the Bloomberg and the Economist opinion polls. One, Fitch recognises the potential damaging effect which incumbency factor, that is, Buhari’s likely support for Mr. Tinubu will have on the electoral outcome. Two, the sitting government and the party, APC have limitless resources which the Labour Party and its candidate do not have and the damage these resources could do to the challengers. And finally, it has appraised the socio-cultural conditions of Nigeria where religion and tribe play humongous roles in the outcomes of elections especially presidential elections.
Looking at these factors upon which Fitch probably based its report one can only tell Messrs Fitch that the conditions have changed drastically from the prism they, the imperial officious bystanders used to know Nigeria. Of course, Messrs Fitch may not have considered the enormous damage the Buhari Presidency has done to Nigeria regardless of religion and tribe hence, PDP believes as it did in its attack on Fitch that no sensible person can vote for Mr Tinubu or APC. Too, the nepotistic anchoring of APC government and its shameless play on religion and tribe have convinced Nigerians that religion and tribe are not actually the problem of Nigeria and for this reason majority of Nigerians want a competent and sincere candidate to win 2023 presidential election.
Thirdly the BVAS and other innovations by INEC may make rigging upon which APC and PDP pin their hopes unavailable and so the outcome will not be as usual, the abracadabra game of the survival of the most fraudulent and violent. Fitch correctly predicts that a rigged election in favour of Tinubu will plunge Nigeria into crisis.
If Peter Obi exerts himself sufficiently on his bootstraps and harvests the enormous goodwill coming his way he may yet win the 2023 presidential election. But it requires doing the needful. Very simple things because like the Scripture says, God uses the simple to confound the wise. Enough of the rallies in the cities and towns because the Obidient Movement, like their forebears (the Zikist Movement), has sufficiently watered the ground for you and raised a political conscious which has not been seen in the history of Nigeria since 1950 when Britain proscribed the Zikist Movement in cahoots with Nnamdi Azikiwe who thought power can be ‘dashed’ to him by Britain on a platter of gold, if only he cooperated with colonialism.
The Obidient Movement is a historical development arising from the socio-economic and political fermentation of Nigerian society the wellspring of which arises from the fountains of the British-aborted anti-colonial nationalism led by Macaulay, Azikiwe and Awolowo, the anti-military autocracy movement led by Nigerian students (NANS), Civil Liberties Organisations, Gani Fawehinmi, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Alao Aka Bashorun and others culminating in the June 12 Presidential election. This is not about Peter Obi. Like the Zikists of the 1940s that was formed irrespective of Azikiwe but to bolster the sagging NCNC nationalist activities, the Obidient Movement is a generational duty by Nigerian youths to take back their country and rework it serve them and their posterity.
Fitch does not understand this, but that is the point. A majority of Nigerians are resolved to take back Nigeria from APC and PDP, any wuruwuru (fraudulent electoral actions) to abort that generational agenda may occasion the crises Fitch predicted. So, it is anything but APC and PDP!