- Follwing the recent happenings in the country, Nigerians are seriously looking for a new leader different from the ones they are used to in the polity
- In fact, most Nigerians are declaring their support behind Peter Obi's presidency because they are of the opinion that the older leaders should give way to the younger generation with a new system
- Interestingly, a few months before the 2023 general elections, Nigerians might decide to change their mindset and reject Peter Obi, as many thinks is part of the old system with the likes of Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar
As preparation for the 2023 election continues to gain momentum, political parties and individuals are beginning to itemize areas they have succeeded and will now begin to use them as campaign materials to sell their candidates.
But there are indications that Nigerians will not vote for political parties, but for individuals with the capacity to deliver on their promises.
PDP's campaign strength
The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), is anchoring it's campaign on it's past successes under President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan. The party even believes Atiku Abubakar was responsible for Obasanjo's positive economic policy, after he assembled technocrats from across the country to rescue the nation's economy.
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In a recent response of the party to a statement by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, the PDP stated that APC was claiming the achievements by Goodluck Jonathan, a former president under its platform. It particularly referenced the completion of the railway project it claimed Jonathan initiated and started.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said in a statement, that it was shameful that the APC alluded to itself the railway project Jonathan revived.
Labour Party's political strength
On the other hand, the Labour Party has constantly referred to the achievements of former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi while he held sway as the Governor of the state.
The party had always pushed forward that Peter Obi will be moving Nigeria from a consumption nation to a production nation. According to the Labour Party, Peter Obi will replicate what he did in Anambra State in the country. With the slogan, "we no dey give shishi" Obi is expected to save money for the future of the country and for its development. Obi had at different instances cited examples of how he managed Anambra State resources and saving enough money for the state.
He had highlighted his achievements in education, the state economy and other things.
But critics have said Obi cannot move Nigeria from consumption to production because he imports more goods into the country than anyone else.
According to Michael Ilebu:
"I wonder what he is saying. This man imports the most goods into the country. How come he is talking about encouraging a production country as against consumption? What does he import for? Not for consumption?"
But the obedient movement has spread across the country with the members believing in the possibility of a change through Peter Obi and Ahmed Datti. They believe Obi will replicate on a larger scale, his achievements in Anambra State. But analysts believe that Anambra is a dot of the nation and that the presidential candidate will find it a bit difficult to achieve results on a larger scale.
A political scientist, Okoro Edwin said:
"Anambra is a small unit of the Nigerian society. Even though I don't doubt Obi's capacity to achieve results, I believe the comparison between his achievement in Anambra and that of the entire nation is completely off. You can't even use the same approach, else you fail."
Besides the pocket of concerns expressed by Nigerians, supporters of Peter Obi believe in a genuine change through Obi and Datti. According to Popular producer and 03 media boss, Alex Ozone, victory is sure for Peter Obi.
He, however, expressed fear that the only problem with Obi's aspiration is those who see Nigeria as their company. He said such people will do anything to ensure Nigeria remains in their pocket.
"The only fear I have is the usual conspiracy from the elites who think Nigeria is their property. They can do anything to frustrate Obi. They can damn the consequences and do the worse to push Obi out."
Analysts believe both APC and PDP will have to work so hard ahead of 2023 to book a place in the heart of Nigerians. But despite investing in the lives of many Nigerians, especially by building political structure across the country, Bola Tinubu, the APC candidate is facing a serious challenge due to the performance of the current government with regard to education, security and the economy.
Legit.ng reports that the railway said to be the biggest achievement of the APC administration is dysfunctional at the moment over the fear of bandits' attack.
The APC government has always boasted that it has achieved so much in the area of road and rail infrastructure. The party has always argued that roads and railways abandoned for years have been revived under its watch and have not become effective.
But oppositions have argued that most of the completed projects were those initiated by the Jonathan government. They have also argued that the infrastructures cannot be used due to the current state of insecurity across the country.
Recall that the Kaduna-Abuja railway is currently shut down due to the fear of bandits' attack. The railway was shut after passengers on that corridor were kidnapped by some bandits. To date, some of the passengers have remained with the bandits.
Nigerians have equally raised the alarm over the unsafe nature of the roads. It would be recalled that several people are said to have been kidnapped along different axes across the country. The Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, Lokoja/Abuja road, Kaduna/Abuja road, Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway, Onitsha/Benin highway, etc, are said to be very unsafe as they have been allegedly taken over by bandits.
Army claims victory
But the Nigerian forces have ensured Nigerians of their safety. A recent statement from the military said that bandits are currently on the run due to the ongoing onslaught by the military.
Also, a statement issued by the Minister of Defence, Major Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi said:
"The critical military objective of the total defeat of the terrorists in the North East is already being achieved.
"Synchronized ground and air operations have continued to inflict huge casualty on the terrorists and have been forcing many of them, including commanders and amirs, to surrender in droves, with members of their families.
"Whilst areas where terrorists hitherto had some freedom of action are being cleared, socio-economic life is gradually returning to most parts of the North East."
Political parties lack campaign direction
But analysts have argued that the top four political parties in the country have very little to show in terms of achievement and will be struggling to convince Nigerians to vote for their candidates in the coming elections. Under serious pressure over this situation is Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC who will be caught in the web of either relying on the achievements of Buhari in his campaign or initiating a different campaign tactic to woo Nigerians. What will be Tinubu or APC campaign strategies on education, economy, security and a host of others?
An APC Chieftain who pleaded not to be mentioned said:
"We have a problem right now. Are we going to build on Buhari's legacy or what? How are we convincing Nigerians?"
INEC fixes date for campaign
Recall that INEC has fixed September 28 as the official date for the kick-off of campaign.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said campaigns in public by political parties would officially commence 28th September 2022 as provided by Sec. 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“Activities towards the 2023 General Election will enter the critical stages this month. In the next 19 days i.e. on 20th September 2022, the Commission will publish the final list of candidates for national elections (Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives) as provided in Sec. 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the commission.
"This will be followed on 4th October 2022 by the publication of the final list of candidates for State elections (Governorship and State Houses of Assembly). Campaign in public by political parties will officially commence on 28th September 2022 as provided by Sec. 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022."
'While Obi was selling tomato ketchup, Tinubu already paid his dues', Fani-Kayode blasts Obidients
Former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has made a revelation concerning Bola Tinubu's past.
Fani-Kayode noted that while the Labour Party’s Presidential candidate, Peter Obi was still a trader selling tomato ketchup and Bournvita in 1999, Bola Tinubu had already paid his dues.
The APC chieftain added that Tinubu made his mark and was already running for the Governorship of Lagos state.
Peter Obi: PDP NWC member endorses Labour Party presidential candidate
“Obi is doing very well. I am PDP but I believe in him because he has an agenda for us.”
He also expressed optimism that with Obi as the next president, Nigeria would reach the next level.