Peter Obi’s Politics without Principles – By John Ufomba

August 2, 2020
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The defeated Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last elections, Mr. Peter Obi, amply deserves the title of a smooth operator. He derives joy in deceiving the people about his piety. He so much likes to be seen as being right in all instances, even when the issues are direct opposites.

Just a little peep into Peter Obi’s recent activities will expose his hypocrisy. He was all over the newspapers and the online media with condolence messages on the deaths of the former Minister of Science and Technology, Major-General Sam Momah, and the former Senator and leader of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Ayo Fasanmi,who both died on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

According to Peter Obi, “Today, I, with other Nigerians, mourn the death of Senator Ayo Fasanmi and Major General Sam Momah, two great men, whose landmark achievements in our country will be remembered for generations to come. (The) late Pa Ayo Fasanmi was an elder statesman who made enviable footprints in his profession and society in general. His public and political positions at different times in his life were accompanied by laudable contributions to the nation. Aside his contributions to academics, (the) late Gen. Momah, who recently launched his 13th book, served the country and humanity, as a former military administrator, with many honours and achievements to his name.”

Only an unprincipled fellow can oppose someone viciously in his lifetime only to wax eloquent upon his death. General Momah was President Muhammadu Buhari’s right-hand man in his lifetime, and Peter Obi was at daggers-drawn with any promotion of the interests of Buhari. Obi would think that the people had completely forgotten his diatribes of the past against his enemies.

In this light, Peter Obi would want to deceive the world that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, whom he ran with as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP, is such a principled lover of Ndi-Igbo. Obi forgets that people know that Atiku was arguably the singular force that wrecked the venerable Dr Alex Ekwueme’s campaign to be president of Nigeria, reportedly shouting “Biafra” when Ekwueme was addressing the Jos Convention crowd back in 1999. He mobilised serving and retired generals in 1998 and 1999 to stop Ekwueme from being the PDP presidential candidate, reminding them that he was Igbo, or better Biafran. 

It is obvious that Peter Obi is speaking with both sides of the mouth. He can only be said to be shedding crocodile tears for General Momah and Senator Fasanmi.

For a man who is known for his open campaign against the Yoruba, it is galling that Peter Obi is claiming to be mourning the passing of Pa Fasanmi. Not a few commentators have had an axe or two to grind with Peter Obi over his anti-Yoruba politics given that he literally made all his money in Yorubaland.

Incidentally, it was in the selfsame Yoruba territory that his aides were caught pants down wanting to launder millions of Naira at 7 Aerodrome Road, Apapa, Lagos, the office of Next International, his personal enterprise.

Instead of building bridges of understanding, Peter Obi erects wedges of hate. He so likes to see himself in the news every day, more than even his principal Atiku who had since been withdrawn. Peter Obi still wants to be seen as both the governor of Anambra State and the vice-president of Nigeria. This has brought so much division within the PDP.

In the words of the now deceased Echezona Okechi, former chairman of Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Public Petitions, “If the PDP is practically dead at the national level, it is in a worse state in Obi’s Anambra State: it can never resurrect here. Obi and one or two of his political associates may soon be the only remaining PDP members in the state. To remain relevant in the national consciousness, the former governor now attends every function with religious commitment. And he prefers to speak on each occasion. Surprisingly, he prefers speaking outside Anambra State where he makes large claims. He carefully makes no such claims in Anambra State where the people know him better.”

The fear is that Peter Obi’s love for power is so obsessive that if he sees that the PDP is going nowhere in the drive for power he will  dump the party the way he dumped APGA – and join the ruling APC.

Talk of a man of hypocrisy who is so enamoured of playing politics without principles. His forte is to deceive people who cannot properly look into his antecedents.

Here was a man who fought almost to the death to upstage Senator Anyim Pius Anyim to become President Goodluck Jonathan’s Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

When that pipedream failed, he upped the ante of succeeding Senator Stella Oduah as the Minister of Aviation. Even at that, he lost out to youthful Osita Chidoka. The relationship between Obi and Chidoka remains like that of cat and mouse.

The truth is that Peter Obi is in dire need of putting principles in his playing of politics. The hypocritical mourning of General Momah and Senator Fasoranti once more exposes the man who back then lied that he had only one wristwatch and one pair of shoes.

Ufomba is a retired civil servant in Onitsha.  

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