Peter Obi (7 of 7): “My advice to Nigerian youth – get involved in politics” – Tola Adenle

October 10, 2016


With the hundreds of millions and billions in cash PLUS untold amounts stashed in delicate alcoves and containers inside homes & accounts of politicians and senior government employees at all levels of government, the last submission in Peter Obi’s could-these-really-be-true deep insights/experiences series will probably not fly with young Nigerians.

Where should they start?  Unless they have parents with very deep pockets who can pay their way through the labyrinths created into politics that each party – er, pardon! – the ogas at the top of each party – have designed for aspirants to political offices, it would be near impossible for younger people to enter politics, including local government level.

If truth be told, the Nigeria of 2016, 2019 (next elections unless all Nigerians take restructuring the country out of the president’s hands – and, “yes, we can” to borrow Obama’s campaign mantra from ’08), and beyond, is not a country in which a boy or girl of six or a fresh graduate can say, “I will become the president of Nigeria” one day in future!

THAT is definitely a pipe dream, is never going to happen unlike in many countries where a young person can dream that and it would happen, or something big in politics would happen for that little boy or young woman.

Readers would have to pardon the constant reference to retired General Obasanjo (rGO) who, the second time around, got to rule Nigeria as the first civilian president, a system designed by him as military head of state, and one that has proved expensive and unworkable in a multi-cultural and plural ethnicity society.

rGO paved the way for political godfatherism: “I have not decided who will be my successor”; “He [Yar Adua] will be a worthy successor”, et cetera are to his eternal discredit. He not only decided who would succeed him but chose who would run for governors, “federal” lawmakers in PDP-controlled states, he also ensured his chosen candidates won elections, and through the instrument of his office, he called out the police when citizens got out to protest massive rigging throughout his tenure:

Here’s what the man, who believed his words, as president, was divine, said when Nigerians trooped out to protest the rigged election of Yar Adua:

“The prerogative for violence is in the hands of the government and the taxpayer is paying for it.  Anybody who tries it will regret it for the rest of his life.”  President Obasanjo, April 11, ’07 referenced on this blog’s post of November 14, 2012: “The Verdict of History”.

Godfatherism has entrenched politics of humongous amounts of money in Nigeria, a stranglehold that can only be broken when Nigerians decide enough is enough by making their voices heard through participating in protests. No government can survive massive shut-downs of services.

If winging things along however is the chosen path because we all care not enough, doomsday would merely be a matter of postponed choice when, as I’ve related here before, there would come a time when poverty-stricken Nigerians would be picked off streets as needed by the rich to come into their homes and work for food; a brother-in-law, a professional, gave that dire prediction a while back.

I understand the points raised by the former governor, especially in the example of the teenage Hong Kong school boy who stood up even against his parents’ advice during the standoff between students and law-enforcement officers in the upheaval of the tiny Chinese outpost that became wealthy under British rule and democratic ethos. His reference to the earlier  courage displayed by a student whose iconic image, standing before tanks at Tianamen Square in 1989 is also noted.


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Those two students – incidentally, both Chinese – might possibly have been involved in students’ politics/activism but courage and becoming fed up enough with the status quo in China and Chinese outpost Hong Kong to stand up and be counted led to their actions.

Neither was weaned on a non-meritocracy system as Nigeria has long become, and while  the rigid Chinese political system had its own problems with corruption unlike babysat-by-Britain-Hong Kong, there had always existed paths to political aspirations in both society even in the world’s largest populated country where communism reigned for a long while. It’s always been long and tortuous in China but the path did and does not require tons of money although unlike its outpost, family antecedents definitely could help. That’s all I can offer in that area.

In the Nigerian circumstances of these times, I believe that Peter Obi’s advice has more to do with activism, the same advice that all Nigerians – young, old (not infirm), men, women – in the professions, trades, educated, un-schooled market men and women … need: get involved in what’s going on in the country; make your voice and vote count; do not give up hope on a better country, need to heed.

Student activism/politics was a narrow path in the past through which someone like Ebenezer Babatope moved up to politics, although he would, like the chameleon, change from a staunch Awoist who saw the late sage as THE leader whose footsteps went in a path of true pursuit of true federation, educating the masses … before joining the ranks of the group that has always held Nigeria back, the metamorphosed Northern NPN, then PDP. In a way, Nigeria’s political parties as of 2016 have also become hardly distinguishable, but students’ politics and student activism could still be paths to politics. Along the way, however, the youth would need to sell his soul to the devil after checking out his/her idealism and whatever principles before entering the presence of a godfather.

Ask Chris Ngige, a medical doctor who willingly went to a shrine, stripped to his underwear to swear before the god of PDP: Ngige’s own words on the Okija shrine saga. Unfortunately, I’ve searched unsuccessfully for over an hour for photograph of the trip by Ngige to Okija shrine but there’s nothing. Peter Orji’s remains:

They said they needed loyalty. So, one of them suggested it (Okija) and they now formed themselves into a cabal. One night they said, “If you don’t go with us to Okija shrine, we will shoot (you).” It’s only a living general that can tell the history of a war. If I was shot dead, the story could have been distorted. I have to be alive to be telling you this story. I asked them, “What should I do?” They said: “Let us go to Okija shrine and I said okay, let’s go.”     []

He was governor for three years in Peter Obi’s Anambra before the courts said, get-out! He parlayed that earlier foray into a Senate, and his present cabinet position under the “progressive” Buhari’s APC.

Advice/suggestion from this yèyé who has seen, read or heard about it all?

Nigeria’s youth should work hard in college (all tertiary-level educational institutions) if they have the opportunity, avoid idling away their time, look for what interest and drive them – passions, make goals, stay away from crooked ways, follow their passions … and be positively involved in society, be principled, and teach yourself to deviate from The Typical Nigerian Character – you know what I mean.

Nwannam Peter Obi, no big money, no godfather – no wahala, but then no politics, I beg!

Thank you for these inspirational pointers from which the young as well as older generation can learn from.



1 of 7:  #Peter ObiAndTheChangeNigeriaNeeds

Former Gov.Peter Obi has shown in Anambra the type of change Nigeria needs (1 of 7) – Tola Adenle

2 of 7: How I defeated “ministry people …”

Peter Obi (2 of 7): How I defeated “ministry people …” – Tola Adenle

3 of 7: I was impeached for cutting waste

Peter Obi(3): “I was impeached for cutting waste …”

4 of 7:   Account of Anambra State’s Debt Profile

Peter Obi (4 of 7): Accounts of Anambra State’s Debt Profile – Tola Adenle

5 of 7: Our society is fond of celebrating waste

Peter Obi (5 of 7): “Our society is fond of celebrating waste …” – Tola Adenle

6 of 7: Criminals called knights are sitting in front in some churches


MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2016. 7:25 a.m. [GMT]

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