Despite the current reality that suggests a nation beyond redemption, a heightening sense of an imminent rebirth of Nigeria is fast overwhelming our limitations. This coming renaissance of Nigeria stretches the old inept, corrupt, oppressive and dysfunctional order by unleashing reserved, untapped and latent energies to fan the embers of development beneath the ashes of national decay. This collective will for the survival of the 200 million citizens of this nation is proving a serious counterforce that will resurrect this nation from the bottomless pit of maladministration to the height of progress and development. To the delight of the teeming population of good citizens, the ramifications of this national consciousness exceed the imagination of the prefects of the old order.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Peter Obi have come to represent the two orders: the old inefficient and the new efficient orders. Hence, Buhari’s Nigeria has degenerated from top to bottom. This piece’s informed position is that Peter Obi’s new Nigeria will go from bottom to top. Though extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, Obi’s developmental legacies in Anambra and beyond produce an undying echo that verifies his suitability. ‘Nigeria, from top to bottom’ is a trending quote attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari. In fairness to him, he said, ‘APC, from top to bottom,’ which was a campaign slogan made at an APC campaign rally in 2015 while encouraging APC supporters to work for the party’s victory from the president to the councillors.
Yet, incidentally, the quote is illustrative of the present reality of Nigeria. She is plunged into a deep mess of mismanagement and primitive celebration of criminal state capture. As a result, Nigeria is headed for a serious regress that she is scoring abysmally low in many indices of a modern state. In fact, in the judgment of many, all the indices of state failure are already commonplace. Nigeria is racing in the opposite direction of progress. She is headed from top to bottom in the areas of security of life and property, economic development, social welfare, national harmony, health, education and power. Answers are fraught as they are essential that the ship of the nation has run out of the control of the current leadership. Though the challenges are older than this administration, the current leadership has worsened the situation. It seemed determined to institutionalise failure, corruption and ineptitude. Despite its presumed goodwill, it has failed in managing diversities and harnessing the enormous resources of this nation for the common good. It lacks the technical goodness and political will to lead. While sound morality is a requisite in leadership recruitment, it goes far beyond morality to include sound knowledge, competence, the health of mind and body, leadership know-why and administrative know-how, among other things.
Mr President might be of good moral character as it is often claimed; however, evidence from his actions and inactions has proved that he lacks the capacity to lead this nation to her desired destination. Therefore, Nigeria needs a candidate who will take Nigeria from bottom to top. And Mr Peter Obi fits the bill. As the 2023 polls approach, political parties have presented candidates who will offer precious solutions and those who will complicate a precarious situation. No one is excluded from the impact of the Buhari maladministration. Among the candidates for the office of the president, Mr Peter Obi stands out for his ability to raise Nigeria from bottom to top.
The case for Obi is supported by many factors, including the power of his example, his experience, his knowledge of the problem and its solution, and the moral argument of justice and fairness to Ndigbo. According to Obi, the bane of Nigeria is the economy. Economic challenges form part of the causes of Nigeria’s social, security and religious crises. A healthy and prosperous economy will drastically reduce these crises because it will deny the fire of these crises its fuel. He has proposed shifting from an economy of sharing and consumption to an economy of production. In this economy of production, corruption will be reduced. Judging from experience, the Obi administration in Anambra State, exuding confidence as the people’s choice, laid a solid foundation, built infrastructure and positioned Anambra for future and global competitiveness.
He did not only lead Anambra out of the darkness but made it light of the nation, both de facto and de jure. He changed the face of governance, transformed the leadership in Anambra, and set a standard for the future development of the state. Mr Peter Obi combined legendary discipline in financial management, shrewdness and expertise in the management of men and materials to change the reality and perception of Anambra State. He cleaned the Augean stables. The movement around his presidential project, the Take Back Nigeria movement, is one of the clear answers to the prayer for Nigeria in distress. Observers in the polity would remember that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria proposed a prayer for Nigeria in distress. This prayer has been said for decades, and some are questioning its efficacy. But an average discerning person would confess the power of prayer, especially this concentrated and focused prayer which has gone on for decades. Without prayer, I am convinced our bad situation would have turned drastically worse, which many would not have survived. Whatever we suffer would only have been an insignificant part of our situation.
The God of dramatic response is also the God of the gradual and procedural establishment of His will. Rarely obscure and greatly appreciated by the youth and people at the circumference of existence, Mr Obi’s life demonstrates that true greatness always comes in profound simplicity. But since the injustice of bad leadership has awakened the youth to resistance, and with proper coordination, Obi will displace the morally deficient damaging directors who run the system. He has articulated the challenges of this nation with their attendant solutions. Peter Obi is prepared. In reality, he possesses the energy, intellectual resources and capacity to solve these enormous problems bedevilling Nigeria. With him, our economy will leapfrog from the present quagmire to success. He will raise Nigeria from bottom to top.
• Rev. Fr. George Adimike is a priest of the Archdiocese of Onitsha. He can be reached via email@example.com