Rev. Elangwe Namaya
One literary scholar stated as he weighed and assessed the political trends in Nigeria regarding the forthcoming elections: “The quest for PVC (Permanent Voters Cards) is very alarming. This has never been this way for about 40 years in this country”.
Reading this with a political scientist’s eye, the statement suggests that there has been voter apathy over the years, even after the re-introduction of democracy in 1999. Today, Nigerians seem to have woken up towards completely new interests in visionary political leadership. This is reflected in the many slogans enticing and convincing new voters to see their dreams fulfilled in a New Nigeria.
So far, the one who is foreseen to make that to happen in terms of catching up with the aspirations of the Nigerian youthful population is the Labour Party’s Peter Gregory Obi, a Nigerian businessman, banker and politician who served as a former governor of Anambara State. Today, many in Nigeria see themselves as his followers, otherwise ‘Obi-dient’ citizens. This is the new salutation for those who are his and within the Labour Party. From afar, it would be interesting to see how it goes, particularly whether there would be a political Tsunami in a nation with many political parties such as the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP); the All Progressives Congress, (APC); All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) and the New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP), amongst others.
The natural gifts and talents of individual candidates will count in all these. People seem no longer to have the osmotic pull and pressures from the parties. They are seeking politicians who can deliver them and not individuals supported by cabalistic calculus and interest peddling beyond region or religion.
In all these, it seems Peter Gregory Obi is not a case of a populist but rather a new paradigm shifting the game to a competitive, more result oriented. Can he turn the tide against entrenched interests and create a new political dispensation satisfying to the disenchanted population? Others across Africa would be interested in such a development in Africa.
Looking at youth expressiveness in Nigeria, there seems to be more political awareness and new political views than ever before. And an ebullient, younger and energetic looking Peter Gregory Obi appears to have got this segment of the populating going. Largely seen not to surreptitiously carted away so much from state or national coffers as predominantly believed to have been the case with older politicians, the question though is whether he can be the new ‘Messiah likely to leap frog the Nigerian Nation into a New Dawn of sensitivity and sanity.
It is interesting watching this unprecedented interest for who becomes the next president of the Federal Republic among Nigerians. The country is a warehouse in West Africa where many of the people from the neighbouring nations have made it and she continues to enhance several opportunities for all who reside and trade with her as the biggest African economy. No one can forget the benefits from Nigeria. Our household products, our training in schools, our books and great opportunities have Nigerian imprint and inputs.
May the forth coming elections, therefore, favour the emergence of the right candidate as seen by Nigerians and as would pave the way for better economic and other opportunities for Africans. Wishing the Nigerian nation the best as they go through the delicate process of electing a new landlord at Aso Rock. It is a Nigerian affair but in which other Africans are, perforce, interested.
The author is a pastor, a theologian and some activist, offering what can be called a distant view from neighboring Cameroon