Peter Obi's 'Obidient' Movement Rocks Nigerian Presidential Election - Financial Times UK

Peter Obi's 'Obidient' Movement Rocks Nigerian Presidential Election - Financial Times UK

According to the newspaper, Obi's campaign for the little-known Labour party has gained traction in part due to people's dissatisfaction with the two main political parties, the APC and the PDP.

Peter Obi

The Financial Times, a British daily newspaper, has examined the impact of the Obidient movement and the chances of Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

According to the newspaper, Obi's campaign for the little-known Labour party has gained traction in part due to people's dissatisfaction with the two main political parties, the APC and the PDP.

Report Says;

The 61-year-old former governor is the country's first credible third-party candidate since the country's return to democracy in 1999.

Only a few months ago, the presidential election in Nigeria was billed as a simple contest between two wealthy septuagenarian veterans who had been on the political scene for more than three decades.

However, former state governor Peter Obi, 61, has shaken up the race to succeed outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari. With his promises of frugality and accountability, he has won the support of a young, "Obedient" movement fed up with a wasteful elite.

Given the strength of Nigeria's established political parties and their deep pockets, a candidate from a small party winning would be a major upset. However, Obi has enthralled a disillusioned electorate by topping three recent polls and leading by eight points in a poll conducted by NOI, a leading local pollster.

"People like his frugal attitude and his message about lowering the cost of governance," said Idayat Hassan, director of the think tank Centre for Democracy and Development.

Emoruwa said;

The outpouring of support for Obi can be traced back to the #ENDSARS protests in October 2020, when young Nigerians took to the streets to condemn a police unit notorious for extortion, brutality, and extrajudicial killings. Obi expressed his support for the movement on Twitter and used it to call for better governance in Nigeria. The police unit was disbanded, and the movement was eventually put down by Nigeria's military's heavy-handed response.

According to Hassan of the CDD, the choice of candidates by the two major parties has also upended Nigeria's "informal" zoning agreement in a way that could benefit Obi, a devout Catholic. While power in Nigeria typically alternates between the north and the south, as well as between Muslims and Christians, the PDP chose Atiku, a northern Muslim, as its candidate to succeed Buhari.

Tinubu, a Muslim from the south, is running for president with Kashim Shettima, a Muslim from the north.

Religious organizations have expressed concern about the perceived marginalization of Christians. "Obi is more than just a young people's candidate; he has the potential to be a church candidate, according to Hassan.

Despite the excitement surrounding Obi's candidacy, his path to Aso Villa, Nigeria's presidential residence, is fraught with difficulties.

Since 1999, no presidential candidate other than the two major parties has received more than 7.5% of the vote. To be declared the winner, candidates must receive at least 25% of the vote in at least two-thirds of Nigeria's 36 states plus Abuja, the capital.

The leading candidates benefit from a nationwide party machinery supported by governors and members of parliament, which Obi's party lacks with only one senator and no governor.

Obi has stated that he is unafraid. "The [party] structure will be the 100 million poor Nigerians. [and] The 35 million Nigerians who don't know where their next meal will come from."

Nigeria's devastating floods. Which have destroyed farmland in many states. He says, exacerbate the country's economic problems.

"At a time".  When our country faces rising food insecurity. The ravaging floods will have a negative impact on food production," Obi tweeted on Tuesday.

The wealthy businessman, who owns everything from a bank to a brewery, has promised to boost domestic production and eliminate Nigeria's costly petrol subsidies.

His critics, however, say he has yet to provide a clear plan for dealing with issues such as insecurity, oil sabotage, low revenues, and more than 20% inflation.

Last year, the Pandora Papers investigation, which revealed leaked files on offshore wealth, revealed he owned tax haven-registered business entities and had failed to declare them to Nigeria's asset registry for politicians.

He claimed he was unaware he needed to declare assets jointly owned with his wife and children and that he had broken no laws.

Critics have warned that Obi's candidacy could split the opposition vote and hand the ruling party victory.

"The best-case scenario is that Obi wins," says Obinna Kanu, a 25-year-old first-time voter, "but my personal goal is to shift the needle in Nigeria."

"The current powers that be must be aware that the youth have the ability to bring a third relevant party," he added. "Even if Obi does not win but receives 10-15% of the vote, we can show the older generation that has sucked this country dry that this is only the beginning and the two-party system is on its way out."

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