By Theodore Ekwem
About 15 years ago, sometime in early 2007, I was in a bus from Awka to Onitsha and the dominant argument in the bus was about governance as it concerned the ousted Dr Chris Ngige, the short tenure of Mr Peter Obi ( between March and November of 2016 before he was impeached) and the Dame Virgy Etiaba’s “interim” stay.
My evaluation of the entire discussion and arguments in which I was more of a listener, was that our people don’t look beyond “the now” in matters of governance. Simply put, we pay no attention to VISION.
Before this particular bus encounter, Mr Peter Obi had taken time to explain his vision for Anambra in many fora, including regular ‘face the press’ and ‘phone in programs’ on radios and televisions. I bought into his vision long ago, and had acknowledged him in my 2004 bachelors thesis: ‘Conscience in Politics'( An option for good governance). Nonetheless,
I erroneously believed that majority of Anambrarians were in sync with his vision and programs. But alas, I was wrong! For on this road trip, it became clear to me that a good number of our people are yet to understand the Peter Obi’s vision and mission.
It was this encounter that propelled the formation of what was tagged: CONCERNED CITIZENS, within the Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary Onitsha.
Members of the concerned citizens group prayed, wrote articles and worked hard to support the actualisation of this vision for Anambra State.
We booked regular Masses for Peter Obi and made great sacrifices. We used our every “Wednesday walk” to go outside the seminary to engage people on the streets on why and how the “Peter Obi vision” was the best. We were faithful to this course until he returned from impeachment, and through his period of tenure interpretation till he cruised into victory to secure his second tenure; all pro bono.
15 years after, I have just had a similar experience in the last 48hrs. In my brief stay in Lagos, I have attempted discussing the prevailing political situation in Nigeria with six taxi drivers from different ethnic backgrounds and on each occasion, I realised many Nigerians have not yet come to terms with the ‘Peter Obi’ vision for Nigeria. Thus it dawned on me that it is yet another time to adopt the “concerned citizens strategy”. A street to street activity beckons; and now on a larger scale. It is the next level after PVC registration, collection and re validation.
Mr Peter Obi represents good governance, respect for rule of law, Job and wealth creation through funding of SME’S, a safe and secure nation, equity and fairness, rebranding of the nation’s battered image, improved, free and affordable education, a united and prosperous nation. Civil servants, lecturers and students, it is time to be concerned.
As a youth, do you wish that your talent, ingenuity and intelligence be recognized and ‘patency’ granted? I remind you that Peter Obi gifted all first class students of Anambra State N1M each as a governor. His tenureship as governor of Anambra State and his long standing verifiable profile in the cooperate and business world are proofs and testimonials to the realization of all these.
Do you hope for a new Nigeria? Are you tired of these recurring and ” avoidable trending tears” in the country? Do you believe in the possibility and reality of the Peter Obi presidency in 2023? Don’t just pray, tweet and Facebook. No! A good number of our citizens are not in those platforms. Again, not all in these social network understand better how the vision of a new Nigeria affects them directly. So, there is need for us to do more and face to face mobilisation is the way to go.
Do not be ashamed of this new gospel of life: life for Nigeria and Nigerians; life for the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Do not think it is an impossible task. It was done with an “obscure’ Apga with her allied forces in a “thick’ Anambra under thoughts of impossibility. It is doable in underrated Labour party with her known and unknown ‘allied forces’ on a national scale.
Remember that in 2003 – 2006 with his given mandate which was temporarily stolen and recovery of same mandate through judicial process, PDP and Mbadinuju’s AD in Anambra never believed it was a possibility. Therefore do not be deterred.
Just remain resolute, knowledgeable, smart, convincing and courteous as you engage with others in this new evangelism. We have good eight months for this project and the message will definitely sink. Even my last taxi guy for today, knowing the outcome of PDP/APC primaries; and as acceptance speech of our “gospel of life for Nigeria”, exclaimed in hope: “They are not God after all”.
So, If you are commuting by bolt, taxify, Uber, bus, molue, bike or walking the streets of Lagos, Kano, Zamfara, Benin, PortHarcourt, Gboko, Abakiliki, Owerri etc; Or waiting to board your flight in any of airports; please create the opportunity and preach about the incoming New Nigeria as envisioned by Mr Peter Gregory Obi.
Are you still concerned? Let’s go to work. We have eight months to a bountiful harvest. By May 29th 2023, APC and PDP will in disbelief acknowledge that the “labours of our hands” were never in vain.
God bless Nigeria !!!
Theodore Ekwem writing from streets of Ikoyi Lagos, 8/6/22, 1:20pm.