The CONVERSATION: Peter Obi And The ‘Biafra Agitators’

The CONVERSATION: Peter Obi And The ‘Biafra Agitators’


This week’s edition of The Conversation is coming after a critical look at the forthcoming general elections and the build ups to the various party primaries.

I didn’t take notice of it until my attention was drawn to a new horizon within the polity as it has to do with the candidature of Mr Peter Obi and the ‘Biafra nation’.

In the course of my Conversation with friends in the build up to the 2023 general election, it came down to me that what we all once thought is not possible is eventually happening with Peter Obi in the contest. This contravenes the initial belief we had and shared at several occasions about the inability of the South-east to support a candidate from the zone.

It was during this period, having critically looked at friends from the Eastern extraction that virtually all of them are supporting the Peter Obi candidacy. Until the emergence of Peter Obi, the South East was viewed by many as a no go area, that can’t have a united purpose owing to the way and manner the politicians jostle for power even the smallest of it when zoned to them.

 During the reign of the PDP and the office of the President of Senate was zoned to the South East virtually all states in the zone jostled for it, depicting lack of unity. And also during the Presidential contests, the South-east has produced more contestants than any zone. This has been the perception of all towards the region.

The build up to the Presidential Primaries showed a high level of insecurity and threat to our national unity by the IPOB agitators. We witnessed several killings in the zone, and kidnapping became more pronounced. Sit-at-home and its enforcement became real with a call for succession on high demand. The zone became a place of concern and fear enveloped the land. Cases of ‘unknown gunmen’ became rampant. There was no South East leader to stop this, as anybody that dares is seen as an enemy.

 In pre-presidential primaries, some ethnic nationalities urged political parties to shift power to the Southern region, with some empathic about power-shift to the South East for equity and fairness. As the call resonates by zones sympathetic to the South-east, we expected the leadership of the zone to produce a common Presidential Candidate, but instead we saw over 10 aspirants again, signifying no unity.

Obi’s entrant redefined the system, asked the youths to register for PVC and doused the tension and growing agitation from the East for self-determination.

The current unity and lines falling into its right places within the region is thus surprising, as the emergence of Peter Obi has changed the whole narrative. Ever since his emergence, I noticed that all the major differences within the zone have been closed down especially within the masses of the region. They suddenly rallied around him and are doing perfectly well with it. Even though the acclaimed ruling classes are still largely divided, the masses of the region have formed one strong bond with all chanting Obi-Dient nations.

We no longer hear or read about the agitators again; the call for secession is halting, signaling a fresh hope in a new Nigeria. The high demand for unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu freezing, the sit-at-home order has been relaxed unlike before. Majority are involved in canvassing regime change and power shift to the zone. All this was made possible around the personality of Peter Obi, whom they see as a better option in the project Nigeria.

The lesson of this sudden change is, we can have peace and unity in the county if we do it right. What we thought is not achievable based on ambition is now workable, even though you don’t support Peter Obi, you can’t come out and speak against him. Therefore, if Peter Obi’s candidature can do this, we can still achieve better feats over time within the zone.

Peter Obi’s candidature is no doubt gaining momentum, what most people fail to see is the way he has been adopted by all in the zone. There is now a shift from secession to politics of inclusiveness.  On social media, on the street, in offices hardly will you see a person of Igbo extraction not been Obi-Dient.

Going forward, now we have relative peace in the build up to 2023 in the South East, the big question is what will happen after the election?

I believe in equity and fairness, the zone of many decades has not produced the President of this country, some blamed it as a result of the Biafra- Nigeria war which many of us didn’t witness. We are good neighbours, associates and we cohabit without the prejudices of being an Igbo. Obi is doing what nobody in the region has done before, hope it won’t turn out to be temporary.

To the Obi-Dients across the region, playing the game within the rules is best and one hopes that after the general election dates, no matter what happens the movement will still be maintained and they won’t return to old ways of doing things. We can no doubt salvage the country together

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