By Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)

Preamble
NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The Nigerian people became powerless over the years. They lost the power to elect its rulers. Demoracy became a mirage or a farce, to say the least. It metamorphosed into plutocracy – government of the party, by the party and for the party. Primary election became primary selection where “O jebego” became the campaign mantra of some parties. Political offices began to go to the highest bidders. The rich became richer while the poor became poorer. Poverty became weaponized as the people were strategically rendered hungry and poor so that when they see crumbs falling from the table of the Politicians they begin to sing “Hosanna to the son of David”.

Basic amenities like good schools, good roads, rural electrification, pipe borne water, etc became rare commodities while political appointments (some lasting less than 6 months) became modus operandi for sharing democratic dividends. They called it “nrashi” in my state. Some others called it by its real name – “poverty alleviation”. Salaries and pensions became privileges rather than the rights of workers and even peaceful demonstration/strike action became anatemized. All that became conventional was to organize a group and go to Government house and be rewarded in high currency. All these instigated the people’s angst and gave rise to a new revolution in Nigeria known as the OBIdient movement. This movement led temporarily by Mr Peter Obi has come in 3 phases.

Phase One: Restoring Power to the People
The #Endsars gave the first signals of this revolution but it was nipped in the bud due to some unwholesome motives behind its organizers. But the New Electoral Act gave the second signals of hope for this revolution. It came from the Politicians themselves with an intention just to checkmate themselves from electoral malpractice. But the Nigerian Youths suddenly took interest in this electoral act especially with the introduction of the BVAS for accreditation and uploading of results and waited patiently to see it test runned at Anambra and Osun election. When Nigerian Youths spontaneously found themselves at WADATA PLAZA beconing on the PDP to give them Obi shortly before the 2022 Primary election, little did anybody see this as the last warning bell. The Youths suddenly heard Obi’s message and decided to take back their Country during the just concluded 25th February Presidential Election. Everybody decided to be OBIdient, went out to get their PVCs and made a lot of noise in the Social Media. The Politicians took them for a ride believing that the OBIdient movement had no structures until the structureless party struck on that fateful day and succeeded in retiring many old Politicians and sending shocking waves on the rest of the naysayers among them.

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Phase Two: Giving structure to the structureless party
Labour Party suddenly became more than a third force. It became a people’s force. But some corrupt Politicians dared the people, as expected, and stole their votes. Some came surreptitiously while we were sleeping politically and “buggled” the INEC office through a number of shoddy deals. Some came like thugs during election and scattered the ballot boxes. Some resorted to lobbying the people for their votes, bribing the returning officers, INEC REC Chairmen and the rest.

Now the Nigerian Youths are regrouping for a repeat match on 11th March (now postponed until 18th March). They are still angry because their Principal, Obi was robbed of his mandate. But he has told them not to worry but just to help him give his party (the Labour Party) some State strongholds. They are more determined now to vote and defend their votes both at the polling units and beyond that. This is making some parties jittery. Everybody is now claiming to be OBIdient, even those who previously derided the Labour Party as a “structureless party”. Some have resorted to violence – killing some of the Labour Party Candidates. Some have ran to the Churches wanting the bishops and priests to anoint them as leaders of the structureless people they previously derided. Some have gone to the media to play both ethnic and religious/denominational cards tying to confuse the gullible church members.

Phase Three: Good Governance to the People
The end point of all these will be the arrival of good governance for the people if the OBIdient Movement finally succeeds. Even those who have been temporarily favoured will soon be asked for their VERIFICATION OF GOOD GOVERNANCE CERTIFICATE or they will be shown the exit door by the next four years. Anybody who doesn’t speak the new language: GO AND VERIFY will surely be disgraced out of office and shown the way home.

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The truth is that this movement is beyond any party, religious or denominational provenances. Peter Obi may need us to vote for Labour Party just for now so that his followers may have a political foothold. But sooner or later, the movement will be devoid of any party identity. Let’s be patient and watch this movement unfold. Stop trying to pitch yourself against its momentum no matter who you think you are! The OBIdient movement is a Divine force. It is prayer for Nigeria in distress answered!

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