Whether or not you’re aware of it, Peter Obi is one of Nigeria’s most powerful politicians and businessmen. A politician who served as governor of Anambra state from February to May 2007 and then again from June to March 2014.
‘Obi-dients’ nickname for his supporters
‘Obi-dients’ are the supporters of Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi. They are described as enraged Nigerians who have the guts to speak their minds on matters of distress.
Their fervor has propelled Obi into mainstream. His campaign has been described as a populist one, as Obi argues that quality leadership is crucial for Nigerians to move forward. In addition, he has used sacks of rice to buy votes. He also vowed that his massive PVC numbers would translate into votes in next year’s election.
However, Obi’s political opponents dismissed him as a paperweight. They called him names. Some political analysts noted that Obi had dug his own political grave.
Another potential threat to Obi’s campaign is rigging. According to some political analysts, the APC will try to discourage turnout in his strongholds. But in recent reforms, ballot-stuffing should become more difficult.
Anambra state under Mr Obi was rated as the least indebted
During the tenure of Obi, Anambra State was rated as the least indebted state in the country. It was also the first state in Nigeria and the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to launch Sub-Sovereign Wealth Savings.
Before Obi came to power, Anambra was considered a pariah state. It was blacklisted by the Diplomatic Corps and international development partners. It had not borrowed for any of its projects. The State was listed as having a debt of 17.6 billion dollars, which was not the case.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released its data on the debt crisis in the country. It indicated that the State had a debt of N17,6 billion. Peter Obi said that when he left office, he had a balance sheet of the State with no debts. He claimed that he had invested $500 million in local and foreign currencies.
Business credit earned before entering politics
During his tenure, Obi’s administration constructed ten maternal and child care centres in rural areas and increased healthcare facilities in the state. His administration also won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation prize of $1 million for the best immunisation program in the southeast.
The Bloomberg poll found that 72% of voters were voting for Obi. It also revealed that he had a much better ground support than his vice president, Yemi Osinbajo.
Peter Obi is a successful businessman. He served as the chairman of Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Plc. He was also the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum from 2006 to 2014. In 2015, he became the chairman of the Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission. He is also a member of the Nigeran Economic Summit Group. He graduated with a BA in Philosophy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Igbos accuse Nigerian governments of marginalising them
Currently, Nigeria is facing a new wave of protests for a separate state of Biafra. These protests are driven by long-standing complaints about poverty, neglect and injustice. Some Igbo “leaders” have also criticized the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The IPOB is a radical breakaway faction of the Movement for Actualisation of Sovere Sovere State of Biafra (MASSOB). It claims to represent millions of Igbos in the diaspora. The group was designated a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian government.
The IPOB organised protests across Nigeria over a period of years. In 2018, Nnamdi Kanu, the group’s leader, left the country under controversial circumstances. The Nigerian government has charged him with treasonable felony charges. The group has a large following in the diaspora.
The federal government has denied Amnesty International allegations that it killed 150 Biafra separatists in the last three years. The Nigerian military also denied the allegations.
His image in the north
During the recent campaign, supporters of Peter Obi canvassed in several northern states. They were seen at the Anambra North Senatorial District, Bayelsa State, Abia State and Jos, Plateau State. They also held rallies in Suleja in Niger State.
There are a number of questions to be asked about the presidential candidate’s image in the north. The old electoral calculus was based on horse trading to form majorities. Generally, politicians gathered votes from coreligionists and ethnic groups.
It is clear that the majority of voters in the north have not been influenced by the political elite. In fact, the Muslim north appears to be largely non-committal.
The former governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, echoes the sentiments of many in the north. He said Mr. Obi has no real local muscle.