Uzoamaka Eze

Peter Obi’s conditional declaration of intent to run for president

By February 16, 2022 No Comments

After completing his administration as governor of Anambra state, Mr. Peter Obi moved up to the national scene proposing ideas that will bring Nigeria’s economy back from the economic doldrums orchestrated by the policies and mismanagement by the Buhari administration.

In the 2019 general election, Obi was the running mate to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. They ran under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) but lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate; President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obi’s moves, traversing the News rooms, having interviews and offering his ideas on how to salvage Nigeria, are insight to his interest to be the president of the country, unless he was doing so as patriotic duty. Obi prudently managed the resources of Anambra state, and has been speaking about the need to save, especially, government revenue.

The general public read into the moves and his ideas and has been salivating to have Peter Obi to manage the affairs of the country. To this, they have been clamouring for his declaration of intent to run for president.  That culminated to a point that a concerned person with the Twitter name; @FakeBuhari took to twitter, telling Obi that he will be taken to court should he not declare, to which Obi responded that he has no money for a court case.

The tweet read in part, “Sir, if at the end of this month {January} and you don’t declare interest for presidency in the 2023 election, then be ready for a legal action from me.” Obi sent out his conditional declaration tweet on 1st February.

The mood of some Nigerians is to have Peter Obi in the race. They are equally ready to donate to his campaign and the clamour continued that Obi had to open up and own up to the call.

In his declaration of interest for president on Twitter, Obi sent a conditional declaration tweet basing his presidential interest on PDP zoning the seat to the south. He wrote, “Yes, I will step into the field to contest for the opportunity to serve this great country as President if my party, the @OfficialPDPNig, zones the ticket to the south. But if it is thrown open, Nigerians will also hear from me.”

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The tweet was received with joy as it was a response to several calls on him to declare. But Obi was very careful in wording his tweet. He avoided naming the South-east to which it is justifiably its turn. And he suggested that it is possible that the race could be thrown open. This could be read that he did not want to let down the people who clamour for his run but also is not certain if he has interest to run for president.

Conditional declaration is by no means a serious declaration. Should Peter Obi actually be in full desire to run; he would be seen making a serious argument why the party and other parties should zone the president to the South-east. Throwing it up to the south is an avenue to allow other zones in the south to stake a claim. And by saying if it’s thrown open, means that he will not likely make a fuss about it.

In a press release by his media aide, Mr Val Obienyem, Obi said, “All the elections that I followed in the past, the party that I belong to today, the PDP, made a pronouncement and took a stand. At least, in 2019 when I was involved…the party decided that the candidate should come from the North and that was what the party decided. And I believe that the party owes it a duty to say what their stand is. If their stand today is south, be rest assured I am aspiring, if they say North, I can’t do otherwise or they choose the option that everybody is free, then, of course, you will be hearing from me.”

Power is not given, power is taken. From what Obi said, he believes that he will wait on the party to give him power. I think the first step to actualise his dream is to argue for the party to zone the president to the South-east. With that, not only the South-east taking its geopolitical right but also, he will have a limited number of aspirants to contend with.

Arguments are made by various politicians as to why power should shift to their regions. Sitting without making serious arguments and waiting for the pronouncement by the party may not be the best approach or he has other ideas other than to actualize his presidential interest. In that case, he would disappoint the people who have reposed their faith in his capability to fight and salvage Nigeria.

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