Ik Muo, PhD
During the epochal June 12 elections, I was totally for MKO, despite the Moslem-Moslem ticket; I was a ‘hopeful’ young Nigerian, rooting 100% for the Hope 93 agenda. Along the line, my people unabashedly supported Obasanjo, Yar’adua and Lucky Good-Luck, whom some people saw-and still see- as an onye-Igbo. In 2019, I was FULLY Atikulated because of the monumental failure of Sai-Baba, especially by repudiating all his promises! Last year, as a Soludoist, I promoted Soludoism. Prof Soludo was not new to politics but he was not the typical politician and thus, he did not ‘have’ a structure; he had to depend somebody’s structure. People rallied round him, created all sorts of non-APGA structures, campaigned for him with their own money and even donated some money to him. That was in Anambra State. Today, I want to declare unapologetically that I am OBImatically OBIdient! Even though I am not bound to justify my position, my OBIdience is based on competence, character (integrity),transparency accountability and verifiable credentials, performance and testimonies. Of course, equity is also a factor. With Datti-Ahmed as the running mate, I have also become Yusuful and the youthfulness factor has become more compelling. I agree in toto with Seun Okimbaloye (Channels TV) that if we employ the best hands to run our private companies , we should have the best of us to run this country. As a corollary, since we look for the best mechanic to repair our cars, without asking for their religious, ethnic and state-of-origin status, we should look for the best and this time around and today, the ObiDatti package is unarguably the best for Nigeria, of today and tomorrow.
Since Obi ‘dumped’ the PDP because the party was not in sync with his 2Ps (persona and principles), and migrated to the less-known and fancied Labour Party, the main issue by those who believe that he has no chance is that he has ‘no structure’. Why did he even join LP? Because as a servant leader, he wants to labour for (and not boss over) the people and because there is dignity in Labour. Even those who are thieves, including repentant thieves, have been advised to join the labour movement (Ephessians4:28) By the way, the LP logo is about the family; it is not about inanimate objects. So, why all the fuss about structures? ‘Wetin be structure sef’? In Organisational Behaviour and Management, a structure is the ‘grouping of activities in such a way to achieve objectives, departmentation of these activities and provision of authority, delegation and coordination (Ik Muo, (2019) Management: Principles Practices and Processes; Enugu, Potter Creations, P425). But in Nigerian politics, a ‘structure’ refers to the offices and officers for politicking across the federation but in reality, it is a framework for rigging and sharing money; for subverting the electoral process by intimidation, violence, destruction of electoral materials and other forms of unholy subterfuge. In its practical interpretation, it is OBIvious that Obi does not have a structure and following common wisdom, does not stand a chance in 2023.
So, why do those who have chance worry so much about a structure less man who has no chance? Why have all internet warriors, rogue writers, and apologists of the political class devoted all their attack-efforts on Obi? Why are we DESPERATELY searching for the almost non-existent dark sides of PO and looking for dirt to splash on his sparkling credentials? Why have we spared those whose pasts are replete will all sorts of verifiable atrocious records; who stole intimidating sums of money; those that are richer than some states, those who have no certificates or whose certificates are missing or defaced and descend on the stingy man who is OBIsessed with prudence and financial responsibility? Why are some of us rooting for a desperate fellow who ‘privatised’ our privatisation process, milked Nigeria holistically, lives abroad, comes back every four years to contest and who wants to be president by all means? Or the fellow with entitlement mindset who looted and still loots Lagos treasury and wants to extend his lootocracy across Nigeria; who wants to be president just because emi lokan? They are attacking PO because they are afraid that like the fruit among rocks, he will ‘grow and bear fruit when no one believes, when no one expects and when no one gives him a chance; indeed, against all odds! And so it shall be.
Why not go for the visionary one who was a billionaire before joining the political front, whose certificates and other details are verifiable, lives a simple and contented life and believes that ‘things cannot continue to be like this’; who tells you what he has done, and proffers solution to our problems based on his experiences and what he learnt from other climes; who shows incomparable compassion, concern and respect for fellow human beings and who wears simplicity and humility as cloaks?
Why are other candidates and their supporters investing scarce resources in desperate efforts to discover the failings of Peter Obi (PO)? Why is it that rather than marketing their programmes and identifying and proffering workable solutions to the myriad and complicated Nigerian problems they are resorting to analogue strategies like forcing people to pay buy and wear branded vests, intimidating people at the registration centers, sharing of cash and items? Well, in this circumstance, I am moved by the timeless postulation of Marcus Aurelius that ‘when a bunch of known corrupt people unite against one man and spare no efforts to ridicule him, blackmail him and attempt to assassinate his character, blindly follow that one man’. I am BLINDLY OBIcentric! This does not mean that PO is a Saint! As I write this, I came across the words of the sage, Obafemi Awolowo that a day will come when Nigerian masses from the north and south, Christians, Muslims and animists will merge as a force for progress and unity and kick against rigging, corruption and tyranny. As a prophet, priest and king, in addition to being a living Spirit, I believe that the day has come!
Anyway, here are some words of elders that are appropriate for those suffering from acute OBIphobia, who believe that a vote for PO is a wasted vote. Our people say that God drives away flies for the tail-less cow; that at times, a disregarded small pot would produce enough foam to quench the entire fire, that a small flood can wash away the bridge, that a small sh…t can scatter he anus and at times, a smallish elephant might drive away the huge ones. Even those who are close to the Bible will tell you the story of Naboth, Joseph and David, Elijah, whose battles were fought by God. This is for those who look down on Obi, who is the author and finisher of OBInomics.
6OBInomics has been defined as the branch of knowledge concerned with savings investment production, consumption and transfer of wealth according to PO. However, beyond this generic definition, OBInomics as the Economics of PO, has a multiplicity of interconnected elements. It has frugality (prudence, financial responsibility) as a religion in public, private and social lives. It is all about financial responsibility that is allergic to squandermania. If you refer to it as stinginess, ‘na you sabi’ but even at that, the Stingy Men Association of Nigeria( SMAN) has appointed PO, unopposed, as their life Grand Patron. OBInomics believes in deploying public money for public purposes, patronising home-made products and paying for the primary value of goods and services (seeing economy class as the same as first class sit in the same flight). OBInomics adopts a statistics-based governance (go and verify ), prioritises education, health and roads as the foundation for overall economic development, promotes savings, investments and production(as against consumption), separates personal from public resources and affairs, does not believe in enrichment from the office, beyond formal remunerations( which can even be surrendered for the public good), and believes in learning from other climes. The statistical tendencies of OBInomics is highlighted by an unknown Obidient fellow who declared that if one dared tell Obi that a snake swallowed N36m, he will automatically respond that the oesophagus circumference of average snake in China is 1.3cm, Thailand, 0.5cm, Egypt1.cm, Burundi 2,2cm and Nigeria1.7cm. a bundle ofN20 notes is 5.2 cm and is too big for a snake to swallow!
OBInomics is against any form of ostentation and it practices lean government, lean convoys (size and quality), lean dressing, lean accommodation, lean personal staff strength and and zero hangers on. It is based on competence, and is technology-driven. OBInomics believes that everything can be negotiated (advertisements rates, hotel and flight fees); it is against prebendalism, and is also based on optimistic mindset; preaching hope in a hopeless milieu.Something makes POs prudence very striking: he foregoes things that he can easily afford so as to make value-statements. As a manager at Cooperative and Commerce Bank, Ogui Road, Enugu,(1982+) I used to relish abacha & ugba, a local delicacy, washed down with a bottle of dead-cold Coca-Cola. One of our junior staff, Goddy Ezeocha(Zech), would rather take stout and other standard meals. He was so stout-friendly that we baptised stout as Zech, such that a bottle of stout was named a Zech. One day, I asked Zech why he would not be a part of the home-made abacha+ package. He responded that while everybody knew that I could afford any meal I wanted and that I ate the local delicacy out of preference, they would assume that he ate it because of poverty! So, the value of POs prudence is more so because he prefers to be prudent, not out of poverty but because of his values and principles.
Some other time, we shall examine how OBInomics unwittingly led to OBIsession and OBImania!
Ik Muo, PhD. Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye. 08033026624