The simple objective of this essay is to help Nigerians have a glimpse of what’s likely to happen under Peter Obi’s presidency. I’m not against him and do not wish to be dragged into the morals of supporting or not supporting him, it’s all politics. Politicians are like seasons that come and go in their time.
Imagine for a split second that we are in March 2023 and the presidential election has been held with Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti of the Labour Party as the eventual winners. Of course, this would be either great news to a lot of people or for many others, very bad news! By May 29, 2023, they would have been sworn in as President and Vice President.
As president of Nigeria under a party without state and LG structures, Peter Obi would suddenly be confronted with the hard realities of Nigerian politics. First, the Labour Party may not have the required majority to produce a Senate President or House of Reps Speaker.
Secondly, the party may not even be having a serving governor under its platform. This means that they will rely on the defection of members of other parties to gain a majority at the federal level. Unfortunately, given the strict laws governing party defection, many office holders who will be defecting to the Labour Party after winning with other parties may end up losing their seats.
Due to the absence of Labour Party leaders and promoters at different cadres prior to the election, Peter Obi will face the daunting task of appointing people from other parties or without political affiliation as ministers and special advisers.
Thus, with very few politicians, Obi may run a government of technocrats. Well, this may sound nice to a lot of people. Unfortunately, technocracy has never worked in Nigeria. In fact, bad as they may be, the politicians are still the marketing officers of an administration’s policies and programs to those at the grassroots.
This is partly due to our ethnic makeup as well as the high level of illiteracy in the country. This was President Jonathan’s greatest challenge between 2010 – 2013 when most of his policies were either rejected or misinterpreted by the North.
Technocrats may be fantastic policy formulators but bad at selling them to the end users. Hence, the sabotage! This is likely going to be Obi’s biggest challenge as a president – deliberate sabotage by a disgruntled elite. Many would work tirelessly to ensure he fails abysmally.
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Starting from the controversies of petroleum subsidy to creation of state police and privatization of NNPC, many entrenched interests would work to thwart his political objectives. And with the infighting in his party which is still forming while in power already, Peter Obi is going to be badly distracted.
In the end, we will all come to the conclusion that Nigeria’s problems are systemic in nature, not just tied to one individual or ethnic group. It will therefore require having more than just one sincere president to resolve these problems.
CREDIT: Facebook.com / Uzogara Tobechukwu
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