E ISSN: 2583-049X

International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research and Studies

Volume 3, Issue 3, 2023

Interrogating Obi and ‘Obidient’ Movement in 2023 Nigerian Presidential Election as a Spring

Author(s): Dr. CO Okwelum


Peter Obi was a little-known political figure until he resigned his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party to pitch his tent with Labour Party. His finding of Datti Ahmed from the north as a running mate for the 2023 presidential election was a notable plus in integrity, capacity and competence. When they were comingled with the Nigerian social media savvy youths and started speaking to the post-Endsars protest political language of the youths who were shunned and bullied to leave the street barricades to form political parties to run elections (as they were then not too young to run for the highest office in the land) every political space went berserk. When the two groups were galvanized by serious political-actors in the old brigade who were interested in seeing that Nigeria shifted away from retrogression arising from economic and political leadership failures, the table was set and a movement was born. This research which is doctrinal in method begs several issues considering whether the movement has come to stay or it is a flash in the sky in a night of heavy rainfall. How far will the movement go after it has been cheated out through the ballot? Now that it has been referred to the courts by the same State and party which rigged it out in the election from the first division to the third, will the same State and party which controls the judiciary not throw-out the symbol and movement out from the court windows? Assuming but not conceding that they are also made to lose in the courts by the Judges, will the movement be able to survive till another circle of election in 2028? These are the critical issues agitating this study. It is found in this study (drawing from some perspectives of well-known researchers on the subject) that the State, its agencies and the political party in power are not ready to allow the movement to survive and see the light of the day even as brief as it has so far survived. Every attempt is being made at all cost to strangulate the movement because it does not mean well for their ‘business as usual.’ The concepts being preached by the movement are revolutionary in practical terms. It says there is no more to loot and share, that there is going to be hourly pay, politicians may have to be retired because politics is not a business but a pastime, that the era for conspicuous consumption economy must give way to production and people with character deformities must be exposed and shown the way out of public office. It is suggested that whether the movement forms a government not, it must be accommodated for peace to rein or a spring may erupt.

Keywords: Nigeria, Presidential Election, Peter Obi, Political Movement, Spring

Pages: 297-308

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