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Peter Obi the Phenomenon: A full Revelation

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The Nigeria internet space has over the last 3 months been taken over by a storm, so powerful is this storm that it wrecks anything and everything it comes in contact with. What started as a movement has gradually metamorphosed, it is now a phenomenon.

It has sent shivers down the spine of whomever is against it’s flow and it doesn’t hold back or show no mercy when it comes to punishing those who are ‘dis-OBI-dient’ to its cause. Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, there is a real awakening.

Spurred by the successive bad governance the Nigerian people have had to endure for decades, it was only a matter of time before the people revolted to demand better governance, “enough is enough, it is time to give capable hands the opportunity to rule” said Yakubu, a truck driver in the urban fringes of Abuja.

“I am tired of what this country has become, the people who are supposed to lead us are squandering our commonwealth and it seems there are no consequences, we need a man who will come to right all the wrongs and that man is…..”, these are the words of Chinelo, a hairdresser and beautician managing a kiosk in the urban conurbation of Surulere, a low income neighborhood in Lagos metropolis.

But what is at the epicenter of all this? How did this wave come to be in the first place and how did it become so powerful?

Well, it’s not subject to a ‘what’ but a ‘who’?

The story begins in 1961, on the 19th day of the seventh month, a baby boy was born to a relatively wealthy family in the commercial city of Onitsha, that baby would go on to be called Peter Gregory Onwubuasi Obi, the sixth of ten children, his father passed early when he was just 7 years old but their mother through sheer doggedness and a strong will, raised all ten children who all became success stories, two of them are late.

Obi had a privileged childhood, he grew in plenty, but because of his mother’s frugality, he wasn’t spoiled with money and thus learned first hand from his mother, financial discipline, a trait he will be known by going forward for the rest of his life. Peter Obi’s life trajectory from childhood to adulthood represents what an ideal child should be like, what a teenager should be, what a young adult should get involved in, and what a real man should reflect, he is almost flawless. Little wonder why he is so loved across all age groups, he has an appeal to the very young, the adults and the aged, his competence is very loud and clear, he is a force to reckon with.

But how did Peter Obi even come into the equation and national conversation to begin with? What happened? How did the everyday Nigerian come to the conclusion that he is the one true Messiah that they had been waiting on. Let’s go back to 2003 when he joined the race to become the governor of Anambra state.

In fact, let’s go back further to 2001 when elder statesman and firmer minister of health Prof ABC Nwosu was tasked with nominating 3 people for consideration for the governorship seat expected to be vacated by the underperforming Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, the governor of Anambra state at the time.

Prof Nwosu obliged and submitted the three names as requested; Peter Obi, Peter Obi, Peter Obi. He told the stakeholders point blank that Peter Obi was the only one capable of running Anambra state at the time and that he wouldn’t consider anyone else apart from Obi. Peter Obi was 39 years old at the time.

Why was Prof Nwosu so convinced that Peter Obi was the man Anambra needed?

To answer this, we’d have to go back, again, this time to 1996 when he joined Fidelity bank’s board of trustees and became the bank’s youngest ever chairman at 34 till date.

Prior to his banking career, he was an already established and successful businessman in Onitsha with major interest in imports, owning several sole distributorships of international brands and mega products in Nigeria and Africa.

Peter Obi took Fidelity bank from a regional bank to a national bank. Fidelity bank remains one of the most stable banks in Nigeria.

Despite the many closures, mergers and acquisitions of many underperforming banks, Fidelity bank never had a reason to worry because Peter Obi was at the helm of it’s affairs, his legacy is still felt to this day.

He took the bank from a very low profile tier 3 bank to a high profile tier 2 bank, it’s currently on track to become a tier 1 bank.

It was this combination of his performance at Fidelity bank, his successful business conglomerate and youth, that made Prof ABC Nwosu nominate him as his sole candidate.

Nwosu literally begged Obi to contest for the hot seat even though Chris Uba, the political bandit and younger brother to Senator Andy Uba the erstwhile personal aide to President Obasanjo, would eventually hijack the PDP in Anambra state to impose his own candidate; Chris Ngige.

Peter Obi would eventually join APGA, a new political party co-founded in 2002 by Odumegwu Ojukwu, who would then serve as one of Obi’s political mentors.

Obi would go on to contest under the umbrella of APGA, going head to head with the incumbent party PDP and the Chris Uba schemes.

Peter Obi went on to win the 2003 election with this new party even though it was rigged in PDP’s Chris Ngige’s favour and would go all the way to the Appeal Court to reclaim his mandate 3 years later in 2006.

It was in his position as governor of Anambra state that he established his biggest legacy yet.

His achievements as governor is his bragging right and he doesn’t fail to remind doubters to “go and verify”, a phrase which supposedly challenges one to go to Anambra state and seek out his many projects and the overall condition of the state, a testament to his legacy.

From security to infrastructure, education, health, commerce, investments and human capital development etc. Peter Obi revamped the state and revitalized the people which birthed a new Anambra state, literally.

So why do Nigerians, especially the younger generation go agog upon the mention of Obi? The question should be ‘why won’t they?’

Peter Obi inspires hope to the everyday Nigerian, they hear him speak and they see hope, possibilities and opportunities to make Nigeria great again.

This is something none of the other candidates have managed to do. In fact, this is something that even past presidents and presidential candidates failed to do.

Peter Obi inspires HOPE, that’s all the average Nigerian can bank on as the current state of the economy is nothing to write home about.

Peter Obi graciously doles out his plans for the economy and the Nigerian people without attacking his opponents despite their constant shade on him at every opportunity. It is this many attributes that endears him to the Nigerian youths.

One of the major reasons he has a massive following is because of his prudence and financial discipline.

He has highlighted many times that the cost of governance is way too much in Nigeria for a country that has over 70% living below poverty line.

Peter Obi has no EFCC case with regards to his time as governor, he’s one of the only few governors that can boast with this.

To put it in context, his immediate successor Willie Obiano was arrested by EFCC at the Abuja International airport a day after vacating office as governor after 8 years. His corruption free resumé is one of the major reasons he is trusted so much by his supporters.

His humility is also unmatched, despite being a billionaire, he flies coach, moves around without fanfare or security convoy, he places himself in a position to relate with the common man on the street and that alone has endeared him to the lower class who constitute the majority of Nigeria’s population.

To put it plainly, Peter Obi represents hope, potential, opportunity, faith, trust and belief, he is our last shot at making this country work, let us make this one count, for us and for our unborn children to come.

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