January 2, 2023

Key things OBJ said about Peter Obi, Tinubu, Atiku’s candidacy  

Atiku, Kwankwaso, Obi, Tinubu

In his usual bombshell letter, he personally signed,  former President Olusegun Obasanjo endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi for presidency in the February 25 presidential election.

In the letter, addressed to Nigerian youths, titled “My Appeal to all Nigerians, particularly young Nigerians,” Obasanjo described Peter Obi as “a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.”

Read also: ‘Emi Lokan’ is wrong attitude, leadership mentality for Nigeria — Obasanjo

Young Nigerians as development partners 

The letter reads, “I am constrained to write this letter to all Nigerians especially young Nigerians, friends of Nigeria globally as well as our development partners because of the gravity, responsibility and implications of the collective decision Nigerians, both young and old, will be making within the next two months.    

“Our leaders have done their best, but their best had turned out to be not the best for Nigeria and Nigerians at home and abroad.  For most Nigerians, it was hell on earth.

“I have come to realise a number of factors in character, attributes and attitude that are necessary in the job of directing the affairs of Nigeria successfully and at a time like this. These characteristics or attributes are many but let us be mindful of some key ones together.  

Emi Lokan is wrong mentality of leadership

“Let me say straight away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the same thing and are wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now.  They cannot form the new pedestal to reinvent and to invest in a new Nigeria based on an All-Nigeria Government for the liberation and restoration of Nigeria.  Such a government must have representation from all sectors of our national life – public, private, civil society, professional, labour, employers, and the diaspora.  

“The solution should be in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and not in ‘me’ and ‘I’.

“The Challenge Is For Nigerian Youth:

If we fall prey again, we will have ourselves to blame and no one can say how many more knocks Nigeria can take before it tips over.  To be forewarned is to be fore-armed.  Future is not emotion.  I challenge the youth to arise.  Let nobody pull wool over your eyes to divide you and/or segregate you to make you underlings.  Nigerian youth, wherever they come from, North or South, East or West need education which is now denied to over 20 million children; Nigerian youth also need skills, empowerment, employment, reasonably good living conditions, welfare and well-being.  

“My dear young men and women, you must come together and bring about a truly meaningful change in your lives.  If you fail, you have no one else to blame.  Your present and future are in your hands to make or to mar.  The future of Nigeria is in the same manner in your hands and literally so.  If for any reason you fail to redeem yourself and your country, you will have lost the opportunity for good and you will have no one to blame but yourselves and posterity will not forgive you.  Get up, get together, get going and get us to where we should be. And you, the youth, it is your time and your turn.  ‘Eyin Lokan’ (Your turn).

Power and the future of Nigeria

“The power to change is in your hands.  Your future, my future, the future of grandchildren and great grandchildren is in your hands.  Politics and elections are numbers game.  You have the numbers, get up, stand up and make your numbers count.

“Let me say it again, loud and clear, Nigeria has no business with insecurity, poverty, insurgency, banditry, unemployment, hunger, debt, division and disunity.  We are in these situations because advertently or inadvertently, our leaders have made the choices.  They have done the best they could do.  Let them take their rest deservedly or not and let them enjoy their retirement as septuagenarians or older. 

Youth of Nigeria, face the future

“Youth of Nigeria, your time has come, and it is now and please grasp it.  If not now, it will be never. I appeal to you to turn the tide on its head and march forward chanting ‘Awa Lokan’ (Our turn) not with a sense of entitlement, but with a demonstrable ideological commitment to unity and transformation of Nigeria.

“Leave The Past, Face The Future:

“Can we let the past go? I appeal to the young Nigerians to stop inheriting other people’s prejudices and enemies. Make your own friends and stop inheriting your father’s enemies. Let’s stop criminalizing and demonizing one another on the basis of the civil war on which we are all wrong. And let’s praise and thank God for preserving the oneness of Nigeria. The Scripture says that if God would take account of all our wrongdoings, nobody would be able to stand before Him. 

The civil war in our minds

“While not suffering from amnesia, let us stop still fighting and reacting to the civil war in our hearts, minds, heads and our attitude acrimoniously. Let’s stop living on our different wrongs or mistakes of the past: treasonable felony, Tiv riot and its handling, first military coup and its aftermath, second military coup, araba, pogrom and the civil war, all in the 1960s. And more recently OPC, Egbesu, MASSOB, IPOB, Boko Haram and banditry.

“No region can claim to be innocent or to be saintly. And no justification will suffice. In our respective individual or regional positions, we have done right and we have done wrong.  It is therefore not right for any of us to be sanctimonious to see ourselves as saints and the rest as devils incarnate.  

“Just let us agree to move forward together in mutual forgiveness, one accord, inclusive society, equality and equity. Together and without bias and discrimination, fear or favour, we can have Nigeria of one nation in diversity, in truth and in practice. 

“Let us honour, cherish, respect and even celebrate our diversity which is the basis of our potential greatness and strength. If we will only continue to harp on wrongs done by each of us individually or collectively, we will never be able to stand together. If we will continue with wide brush to paint a national or sub-national group as bad and never to be trusted with leadership because of past error or mistakes that some of them were responsible for and treat their offspring as inheritors, it will amount to great injustice that will surely lead to no peace, no security and no stability for development and progress. 

National Integration and the choices before Nigerians

“First, no group is faultless; second, for the greatness of the whole, we need one another as constituents of the whole; third, we cannot be talking and working for Africa’s integration and for Nigeria’s disintegration at the same time. Why for instance should I be stigmatized or despised because of my place of origin, place of birth or where I come from? Where I was born, by whom I was born and when I was born were not choices made by me. They were choices and prerogatives of God. Any antagonism against me on that basis is unfair and is tantamount to fighting against God, the Creator. 

“Such derogatory attitude and mindset do not build any human institution let alone a nation. While not forgetting the past, let us put the past behind us for it not to continue to mar our present and our future and that of the coming generation. We must rise above primordial animalistic instincts and behaviour. Yes, we are human and higher than animals in the wild. Let us develop national ethos and national characteristics that can take us collectively to the promised.

The two tribes of people in Nigeria

“My dear young men and women, let me assure you that there are only two tribes of people in Nigeria a tribe of good people and a tribe of bad people. You are either a good Nigerian of Igbo extraction, Kanuri extraction, etc, or a bad Nigerian of Yoruba extraction, Ijaw extraction etc.  

“May God help, save, protect and sustain Nigeria for all Nigerians, for Africa and for the human race.  We can only continue to play politics of ethnicity, religion, region and money bags at the peril of our country and to self-destruction.  

“We need selfless, courageous, honest, patriotic, in short, outstanding leadership with character and fear of God beyond what we have had in recent past.  

“None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge. 

Peter is a needle with thread

“One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.  In other words, he has people who can pull his ears, if and when necessary. Needless to say that he has a young and able running mate with clean track record of achievement both in public and private life.

“In conclusion, I want to bring to our remembrance part of the great speech that Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa made on October 7, 1960, on the occasion of Nigeria being admitted as the 99th member of the United Nations:

“The Tafawa Balewas are gone.  But the eternal truths inevitably remain and persist that cooperation, friendship, justice, equity, love and fear of God which are hallmarks of the three religions practiced in this country are the basis of our full and fulfilled lives and living as Nigerians.”