Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s endorsement letter of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate Mr. Peter Obi has drawn knocks and praises from different angles of political involvement.
Every politician craves for endorsements from big or small personalities, organisations, captains of industries and indeed from anywhere that will enhance his or her public image and influence public opinions to his or her favour. It is an open backing or support given to politicians seeking elections.
Several people endorse political parties and candidates in several ways but there are endorsements that are sought for and that which carries weight.
Like in other countries, political hopefuls seek the endorsement of the former presidents and other politicians. It is obvious that the endorsements carry the aspirants and candidates over the line and eventually win.
In the same vein, Nigeria’s presidential candidates and even the governors often seek the endorsement of former President Obasanjo and other former presidents whose houses have become political pilgrimage centres where most candidates go to seek counsel and endorsement.
For the next election and in his new year letter which president Obasanjo wrote to the Nigerian youth, he asked the youths to rise. While he berated the Buhari administration, he cautioned the youth to “be cautious, not to be fooled again.” by the sweet tongues of the politicians who have nothing more to contribute to the growth of the nation especially in their older age.
Obasanjo pointed out four factors to watch out for in a candidate which he called TVCP – Track record, Vision, Character and Physical and mental capability.
Obasanjo who is eager to right his wrong with his previous endorsement of the Buhari administration under whom Nigeria was faced with failure, insecurity and poverty, he said, “I pray not to be proved right again in the bad sense but rather to be proved right in the positive and glorious sense of Nigeria becoming what God created it to be.”
He charged the youths and of course the Nigerian electorates that this is their time to make their numbers count.
While acknowledging that none of the candidates is a saint, Obasanjo indicated that the Labour Party’s candidate, Mr Peter Obi has an edge over the other candidates.
The new year letter has drawn the ire of the other candidates harping on the statement – “Peter is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost”, they claim Obasanjo plans to execute his third term agenda through Obi. This is a bid to downplay and make Obasanjo’s endorsement worthless.
Recently, Obasanjo was instrumental in the peace accord that resulted in the Ethiopia/Tigray war ceasefire that the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres lauded his effort. This further explains that he was the needle that brought peace in the country. In the same vein, Peter Obi will be the needle and thread that may bring peace in Nigeria’s North and South protectorates.
Obasanjo’s endorsement is not worthless, it serves as a precursor in the direction for which the country should vote and tow.
As a former president still relevant across the country, continent and the world, his endorsement is far from being worthless.
Those he endorsed in the past eventually won the elections which shows the palpitations obviously exhibited by the other candidates.
Abraham Lincoln said, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” It is obvious that Obasanjo is not one of those cowards who as Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi said on the Television, that Obasanjo should ‘just go home, just be quiet, you have had your time.’
Granted that the Obasanjo administration was not without controversies but the administration recorded many achievements. The former president, who is the longest at the seat of government for eleven years in both military and civil rule is seen by many as the father of post war Nigeria. As a father, Obasanjo cannot just go home while the country is in a steady walk to death.
Those who cry foul, would dance were they the campaign that got Obasanjo’s endorsement. As the pacesetter, more endorsements are welcome as the day to the election draws near.
The people are running the election of Labour Party’s Peter Obi campaign and as Obasanjo noted, “he has people who can pull his ears, if and when necessary” The people are running through Peter and they will stand by him.
It is time for the people to take back their country and dictate the tone of governance. It all depends on their determination to vote.