The polity of Nigeria's political space is getting heated as it should be expected to be during the election period. The different candidates are doing all in their power to get the votes of their party delegates to win their primaries, which would make them the flag bearer for their parties. Most drama has come from the ruling party, on whom presidential aspirants have poured down as if the flood gate of election heaven was opened on them. The ruling party had twenty-eight presidential aspirants to start with, while the main opposition had about seventeen; what a rain of presidential aspirants.
One of the things this election cycle has revealed is that the youths of Nigeria are getting tired of the old political establishment and are beginning to see that they have the numbers and know how to question and destroy it even. This has seen the youths on social media at least, pulling all their support behind the least expected candidates, outrightly ignoring the usual heavyweights. As of today, amongst the youths, the two leading contenders are the current vice president Yemi Osinbajo, for the ruling party, and Peter Obi, formerly of the main opposition. At least, it was so until two days ago, when drama started ensuing in the camp of Mr Peter Obi and the opposition party leaders.
Nigeria's political space is known to be dominated by money politics where political offices are secretly auctioned off to the highest bidders, rendering the franchise of the people useless. This is the leading cause of voter apathy in Nigeria, which creates more room for worsening electoral malpractice; such a vicious self-sustaining cycle. However, things seem to have taken a turn for the worse as the aspirants do not see the need to be clandestine about their illegal money politics. The story of how party delegates made millions during the ongoing primaries is no longer news, and nor is the news of defeated aspirants going back to collect their bribe money and gifts from delegates after losing. Imagine a candidate paying each delegate #2.5million and promising a further #1.5milllion after the election and still lost; how much did the winner now pay the delegates for those votes? #5million, #10million, #20million? Only God knows.
Amidst all this, Mr Peter Obi seem to have decided to play another shameful angle as well. For him, he would rather use the politics of emotions. Before this week, it was looking very possible for Mr Obi to clinch the party ticket, but recent moves and permutations have begun to threaten that possibility. How did he react to this? He left the party. He claims to have left the party because " I came to offer my services to Nigerians free of charge through the platform of the PDP, but PDP decided to sell it to the highest bidder. I did not steal government money and I have no intentions of stealing it in the future. Nigerians have suffered so much as a result of this type of politics of buying political offices. This is the reason why Nigerians can not hold their leaders accountable for their failures because they have sold their right to good governance over a morsel of bread. I left the PDP to change that narrative". What do you think of this grand speech by Mr Obi??
I say it's all bullsh*t. If he was worried about the money politics nature of Nigeria politics, why did he go and pay a whooping #50million to buy the presidential nomination form of the PDP, or that's not buying political office?? Imagine him daring to say we have no right to demand accountability from government officials due to the nature of Nigeria politics, how dare him? The same money politics that wasn't a problem for him when he joined them and bought a form, a piece of paper for that outrageous sum. Now that other aspirants are outwitting him in the long money game, he's using that to buy the sympathy of Nigerians. Who is he kidding?
I'm very sure he already knows he's not going to win the ticket and already planned to find a new party but needed a way to draw the sympathy of his followers to his new party, hence painting the PDP in a bad light to make himself look good. My respect for this man was already shaking when he left the PDP, but that statement he released just sent whatever was left of it to hell. Well, at the end of the day, let the best of them win, cos to me, none of them is ideal.
Thanks for reading….