HE does not strike you as desperate. At least that is the general impression of the man. He is also has control over his emotions as he rarely betrays anxiety.
But more than that he has patience—one quality that is in short supply among young men of his age.
A discussion once came up somewhere in Lagos and the topic was Anambra State. Immediately the issue of performance was brought up almost everybody agreed that Governor Obi has done well for the State. Those who disagreed, cited his austere approach to governance as discomforting. When reminded that it was the only way the State could record meaningful achievements without borrowing a dime, they grudgingly conceded.
But it was the issue of the man’s political future that generated greater controversy. Since the governor’s public disavowal of contesting for either a senatorial seat or going for ministerial appointment, folks are confused as to what he intends to do soon after his office expires in March of next year.
Those who think he deserved higher political office because of his impressive performance in the State far outweighed others not as impressed.
Many think he is the best leg forward for the Igbo nation should the issue of President of Igbo extraction arises. For some , the position of the vice president is not a bad idea.
Those who think this way believe that in the event of President Goodluck Jonathan’s completing his tenure, first or second, Mr. Obi can easily pair with a Northerner. The argument goes thus: Unlike any other person who may wish to contest such with him, Obi has a thousand and one qualities to his credit.
He is young, hardworking, patient, listens, cannot be stampeded into disavowing himself or those of his people, wealthy, has built bridges across the nation within so short a time, trustworthy, discreet, etc. Obi, unlike most politicians is a very patient person.
One of the discussants said emphatically that Obi stands a better chance to clinch either the vice presidential ticket or that of the President for obvious reasons.
Obi, he believes, can pair with anybody as a Vice without giving the person reasons to doubt his loyalty and or competence. For the presidency, Obi, he observed, is the only governor from the zone who understands the meaning of governance and the aspiration of the average Igbo man.
You don’t send a person who does not understand the nuances of regional politics in the country. Or even if the person understands, will be indifferent to it – or because of personal interest will most willingly relegate it.
He thinks Obi can serve both the nation and his people well without necessarily compromising either. He will not fight the cause of his people with rabid fanaticism but will still achieve the set target. Obi is so well disposed for higher assignment, that even if Ndigbo sends him forth he will discharge the duty of the office so well to their approval and that of the comfort of other Nigerians.
He cited instances of how his leadership of the Southeast Governors’ Forum has made concerted efforts to improve on infrastructural development of the zone without necessarily drenching that in the toga of ethnicity. How he has importunated the Presidency for a second Niger Bridge, an International Airport, a federal university for Ebonyi state, rehabilitation of all federal roads in the South-East zone, etc.
For now, except, perhaps he decides to going back to his business when he is through with governance in Anambra State, Obi remains a force to be reckoned with in the people’s march for a rewarding federal assignment. What is more endearing about the man is his consistency Do you know for how long he bore the burden of being in APGA?
Lesser mortals would long have dumped it for wider political association elsewhere. If you are in doubt, look around you and experience carpet crossing at its despicable height.
Mr. ORAKWUE CHIKELUE, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Abagana, Abia State