The man Peter Obi came into the lime light of Nigerian politics during the General Election of 2003. In that year, his election posters appeared along the streets of Enugu in Enugu State and Awka in Anambra State.
What appeared in the posters was his picture and the writing “Is ANAMBRA STATE, A CURSED STATE”. This question ‘is Anambra state a cursed state’ has a lot of meaning. The PDP government which was in charge then was in a confused state. Both workers and teachers had been on strike for a long time.
Politicians in different political parties started to emerge in their posters with solutions for Anambra State. One of the most striking posters was that of Peter Obi as stated above. By that time he was not known in Anambra or Enugu State. Of course people started to ask questions about Peter Obi.
From questions and answers, Peter Obi was lured into politics by one of his friends from Agulu their own town. It was this his friend who lured Peter Obi into politics. This his friend stated that it took him time to convince Peter to come and play politics. This friend had to travel to Lagos in order to convince him to come home and play politics. After much persuasion, he agreed and contested the election in Anambra State.
That Peter Obi won the election was not in dispute but he was not declared the winner of the election. He went to the court and the court declared him the winner of the election. He had other court cases which he won but not subject to this publication but rather mere history. As governor, one of the first actions Peter Obi took was to follow the path his predecessor in office Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige took in returning the schools to the missionaries which the East Central Government took away from them in 1970. These schools and hospitals were not few. He made sure that adequate compensation were paid to the missionary institutions.
As a good Christian, Peter Obi ran the affairs of the state with caution. Through his ANIDS mantra, he revolutionalized Anambra state in all sectors. It is pertinent to mention that Anambra State is not one of the oil producing states in Nigeria but still Anambra state does better than oil producing states.
The way Peter Obi ran the affairs of the state attracted the attention of many people in and outside Nigeria including the Vatican. His Holiness Pope Francis wasted no time in granting him Papal Knight of St. Sylvester.
When Atiku Abubakar nominated Peter Obi as his Vice Presidential candidate in the forthcoming Presidential Election, there was a wide jubilation across the country particularly in the Eastern States for people regard the nomination of Peter Obi as a round peg in a round hole. But incidentally, the Government of Anambra State did not cherish Obi’s nomination as a Vice President for Atiku Abubakar. People in Anambra State are being informed that APGA has a Presidential candidate for the election. I would like the Government of Anambra State to note that politics is a game of numbers. The Nigerian Nation has a total of 36 states of which Anambra State is one. APGA is in control of Anambra state alone. The governor of Anambra State Willie Obiano is doing well in all ramifications. But only the Government of Anambra is financing the election of this APGA candidate who is not going to win the election. The purpose is to block the election of Atiku/Peter Obi at the elections.
APGA has no plan to win the election in other four Eastern states of Enugu, Abia, Imo and Ebonyi states. APGA should be advised to stop using the name of Ojukwu to win votes. If Ojukwu were alive, Atiku Abubakar would have used Ojukwu as his running mate. As Ojukwu is dead, he has used Peter Obi his political son.
In politics, there is no permanent friend or enemy, only permanent friends exists.
George Bush, a former American President once said and I quote “Political calculation of power is viewed from two angles of being financial and voting strength”. The financial and voting strength of APGA is only in Anambra State.
For those shouting Ojukwu, ojukwu today, one may ask what they did for Ojukwu in his life time. Peter Obi built a University and named it Odumegwu Ojukwu University. When Ojukwu was sick, Peter Obi took Ojukwu to the hospital in London, paid the hospital bills, flew the corpse back to Nigeria for burial, organized and paid burial expenditures. He secured a job for Ojukwu’s wife as Ambassador. Today the wife is back in the country jobless. When the wife of Ojukwu asked the APGA government for a job, the party threatened to discipline her for raising her voice. Mrs. Ojukwu should join hands with Peter Obi in the election for if Atiku wins the election, the issue of job would be a thing of the past. Therefore, Peter Obi is the political son of Ojukwu.
E. I Iloegbunam writes from Enugu