Why Obi is the best presidential candidate

Ungoverned spaces: One of the reasons why Nigerian voters should entrust their electoral preference in this forthcoming presidential election with Mr. Peter Obi is because he appears to be the only one among the presidential candidates who has all it takes to close up all the ungoverned spaces (UGS) in Nigeria.

UGS operationally is defined as areas and issues of governance where the State has lost control and authority of influence and control to non-state actors through outright incompetence, negligence and compromise. In the build to the 2015 presidential election, UGS was expressed in terms of geographical areas where Boko Haram (BH) had taken over almost of the whole of Borno and Yobe and Adamawa states.

Not only that, BH began to expand influence outside the two North-Eastern states exploding bombs with reckless abandon in Abuja, Niger and Kogi states. In fact, where ever they wanted. Fears gripped everybody, everywhere in Nigeria on the dangers of the ragtag army and guerrilla terrorists overrunning the country.

The regime of Goodluck Jonathan (GEJ) responded by pushing the insurgents out of Abuja and indeed territorially restricting them to only 27 local government areas in parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states and shockingly, effectively prevented them from disrupting conduct of elections even in the areas controlled by the BH. Anguished voters from the troubled territories supplied substantial part of the votes that ousted the GEJ administration. The eight years of the Muhammadu Buhari Administration saw Nigeria recovering 25 out of the 27 local governments that where under the control of BH. Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, confirmed in early January this year that there are currently two local governments under the control of Boko Haram terrorists in the State namely: Guzamala and Kukawa, both in Borno North.

As the APC regime rounds up its second term, more territories have been lost to UGS and now under the firm control of violent non-state actors who have multiplied in types and groups to include ISWAP, UGM, armed herdsmen, ESN, etc all, wreaking havoc in the expanded territories they control. Geographically speaking, UGS presently include: many local government areas in Borno, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger states. Other UGS are: all the major and minors roads in Nigeria, all the thousands of kilometers of railway lines, all the forests and bushes and farmlands in Nigeria etc, where these terrorists do, at will, come and kidnap people and boldly call family members of their victims for ransom. Even the internet space has been lost to hackers, fraudsters, and their ilks, who divert ICT for criminal activities.

When you make a mental picture of UGS in Nigeria today, you would be in no doubt that Nigerians have lost their country to evil people. These are the major reasons why there is so much poverty in the country. But why won’t there be acute poverty when traders are prevented from moving freely from one pace to another, when farmers can’t go to cultivate their lands, when internet hackers would make your money in the banks unsafe? UGS under GEJ was highly small and restricted and that probably explains why Nigeria under APC went from frying pan to fire. This is where the Peter Obi factor and magic wand come in. Nigeria needs a man who has no proven relationship with the old order that failed to stop insecurity in the country.

It is an undeniable and incontrovertible fact that the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate has not been involved or corrupted, contaminated or compromised by the suspicious management of the Nigerian security crisis. Such a fresh hand is what Nigeria needs to have an undistracted fight against evil and violent non-state actors in Nigeria. Obi cannot be compromised, either by threats or at the offer of trillions of naira. He has demonstrated this in all his dealings both as a private businessman and as a state governor. It is incontrovertible too, that there are dubious, bogus and questionable dealings regarding the handling of the security crisis in Nigeria.

There are also many conspiracy theories about the insecurity in the country that have refused to wane despite all attempts to wish or wave them away. For instance, why was a former Chief of Army Staff, General Onyeabor Ihejirika unceremoniously bundled out of the Nigerian Army despite his visible successes against BH? Were the collateral damage his method against BH not infinitesimal compared with what we have lost in human lives and resources to the insurgents? Why is it that all the chiefs of army staff and indeed any brave and courageous military officer who showed determination to end the reign of BH ended tragically?

Why is it that alerts from civilians/communities on imminent terrorists’ attacks usually not responded to in good time by the military? Why would a service chief remain in office if after one year he does not show meaningful push against the terrorists? Why would a ragtag army of insurgents put the entire Nigeria and Nigerian military perpetually on the run instead of the reverse?

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