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Peter Obi, an off-ramp for a Nigeria train headed to disaster town

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RECENTLY, there have been increased conversations on the need for Nigeria to have an “off-ramp” out of its problems. In other words, a way to divert the Nigerian train heading toward a catastrophic end and return Nigeria to a relative sense of normalcy and restored hope. Peter Obi is the off-ramp.

Let’s face it, in the past, Nigeria has been through many missed historical off-ramp opportunities to return the country to a place of unity, hope, and economic progress. But, despite many missed opportunities, Nigerians moved on. At this point in history, ignoring another chance to put Nigeria on the right path may be the last nail in the coffin. So, stay with me as I make the argument.

Remember the June 12, 1993, election? Its annulment was a missed opportunity. Let me review the situation in Nigeria back then to understand why it was a missed chance for Nigeria’s unity and progress. In 1993, Nigeria entered the Second Republic with hope, even in the throes of a military dictator. And it was evident that the people sought an opportunity to choose their leaders.

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At this point, democracy seemed to be the missing component in the lives of Nigerians who otherwise enjoyed a booming economy. So, when Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, IBB, began transitioning to civilian rule, it was heralded in Nigeria and worldwide.

For many international observers, the 1993 presidential election remains the most credible election in Nigeria. It was an election that transcended ethnic, regional, and religious bigotry. It proved that Nigerians wanted a country where merit and credibility formed the basis of winning. But when IBB annulled the election, the aspirations of Nigerians and the foundation for transparent democracy once more eroded.

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Since then, tension in Nigeria has doubled. Religious, ethnic, and regional conflicts are on the rise. As a result, the country is now one of the world’s most violent and ungovernable countries. However, the truth remains that Nigerians are good people searching for responsible leadership and role models. For Nigeria, this period is a critical point in history. It is time to get it right, or any mistakes will tip things overboard to the end of no return.

But once again, providence has offered Nigeria another off-ramp to avoid a catastrophic crash. Moreover, there are apparent similarities between MKO Abiola’s and Peter Obi’s appeal to voters: they represent a chance for new beginnings for Nigerians. Also, history will record that MKO Abiola and Peter Obi were chances to get things right.

Understandably, democracy is the process of campaigns and elections. So, I am not making a case for Peter Obi to become the shoo-in candidate. However, because the fate of Nigeria is in the balance, candidates must commit to a free and fair election. It is the only way to ensure Nigeria survives, assuming it misses the opportunity of allowing the best candidate to lead as it did with MKO Abiola.

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There is another good reason Peter Obi is Nigeria’s off-ramp from disaster. He is an excellent alternative to the growing crescendo of a violent revolution. Politics obscure this truth. But the ever-increasing anger among Nigerians makes it evident that a change is needed, either peacefully or violently.

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy said this on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress on March 13, 1962. This statement seems to capture the point that I am trying to make. But unfortunately, the status quo in Nigeria goes to an unbelievable extent to make change impossible, even when it is evident that the people want change.

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They have set up structures to make change impossible. But in this instance, an excellent way to encourage a peaceful revolution is for the candidates to commit to a free and fair election. Sadly, they have managed to sell these to the Nigerian people as political structures. They are not. They are frameworks set to perpetuate a status quo that puts Nigerians in peril. So, when you hear that Peter Obi has no political structure to win, it means that he does belong to the status quo.

But the idea that Peter Obi has no structure to win is laughable. Anyone who says that may be missing the point that Obi’s campaign is about dismantling deep-rooted corruption. It has developed all the trappings of a revolution but a peaceful one. Historically, revolutions do not rely on similar structures as the one it is meant to change. They are usually a spontaneous call for change.

Finally, regardless of how Obi’s campaign turns out, win or lose, many of us are encouraged by the support he gained from Nigerian youths. It shows that they are aware of their stolen dreams. In the end, Peter Obi has set up a political framework that others can improve on. For this, I say he is already a winner.

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Outrage as Ezendigbo of Ibadanland confers chieftaincy title on Olubadan

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There has been an uproar as a self-titled Ezendigbo of Ibadan land and Oyo state, Alex Anozie, conferred an Igbo chieftaincy title of Ezi ogo ukwu Ndigbo on the Olubadan of Ibadan land, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Senator Lekan Balogun.

Anozie, who conferred the award recently in Ibadan, explained that Ndigbo on January 29, 2023 made history by gathering together to launch their almanac besides using the opportunity to honour their beloved great in-law, His Imperial Majesty, Kabiyesi Olubadan, with an Igbo title, which means a very good and great in-law of Ndigbo.

He recalled that on December 4,2022 during their Igbo day celebration at Liberty stadium, Ibadan, Ndigbo conferred on their daughter, Her Imperial Majesty, Joyce Balogun with an Igbo Chieftaincy title of Ada Oma Ndigbo nala Ibadan and Oyo state.

Anozie observed that Kabiyesi Olubadan is married to one of their beautiful daughters of Igbo origin from Onitsha adding that the marriage is wonderfully blessed with beautiful children while the couple are living together peacefully all these years as husband and wife.

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“With the authority conferred on me by my people Ndigbo in Ibadan and Oyo state since the year 1997, I hereby confer this title on our dear Imperial majesty, Oba Lekan Balogun”, he declared, “Everything we can do to keep moving on with the peaceful and progressive manner Ndigbo and Ibadan people and indeed Yoruba have been living together in Nigeria, we shall continue to do and encourage.”

However, this didn’t not sit well with Yoruba scholars and elders as such title was seen as an insult on the throne of Olubadan and the Yoruba race in general. Many were of the opinion that the self acclaimed Igbo king, a guest in Ibadan, overstepped his boundary by giving a title to the Olubadan kingdom, his host.

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“Àyà gbàngbà nílé onílé, hábà . Àlejò conferring a title on the King on his own land! This shows how stupid we appear to have become! A mà wá r’ógo o. They are playing politics here but it is rude and we have to separate issues and disallow our revered Oba being disrespected. Ọba kii joyè n’ilẹ̀ tiwa. Nobody can confer Chieftaincy title on any of our Ọbas no matter how tiny his town his. This lady should be scolded and made to publicly denounce this nonsense and apologise to Kábíyèsí,” one wrote.

“Abomination. Even a prince don’t take chieftancy title from other king,” wrote another.

“One “Anozie confers chieftaincy title on Olubadan.” Meaning an Anozie (whoever he may be & wherever he may be from) conferred a chieftaincy title on the paramount ruler of Ibadan! Other than the audacity, it is even procedurally and ethically unheard of, for a paramount ruler (equivalent to a King) to now be subjected to the indignity of being regarded as a lesser Chief of whoever! Abomination buruku niyen now! That’s the height of indignity that can be visited on a King! Abi after King, wetin remain?! Conferring our Olubadan with another minor chieftaincy title is akin to subjugation. The “conferer” has essentially assumed authority over the “conferee”. It’s simple!

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“That someone would even think of doing it is one thing, that the person now actually has the gut and effrontery to actualise it is quite galling. Arinfin gba niyen! It is the worst of slight and an affront to the Stool.

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“How do you demote a paramount ruler (King) like Olubadan and now call him one of your chiefs?!

“There was and is nothing noble behind that intention! It was a deliberate act of mischief calculated to ridicule the symbol of the people of Ibadan. Plain and simple!

“Where else have you heard of such ridiculous conferment?! What is bad is bad please.

“If the Olubadan can’t run the culprit out of Ibadan, let him at least reject such brazen insult with extreme prejudice! Arrant Nonsense!” a lawyer submitted.

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“Èèmọ̀!” wrote one indignantly.

While response is being awaited from the Olubadan palace over the development, the Yoruba people are concerned about the implication of allowing such action to go unpunished.

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Standard Chartered executives visit Wema Bank (Photo)

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From left to right: MD/CEO, Wema Bank Plc, Moruf Oseni, Executive Director, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Olukorede Adenowo and Deputy Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc, Wole Akinleye, during a courtesy visit, to discuss business opportunities between both financial institutions, at the Wema Bank Towers this week.

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“If No Be Because Of Your Papa, Who Sabi You” — Peter PSquare Drags Seun Kuti

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Peter PSquare drags Seun Kuti, says nobody would know him if not because of his father.

Nigerian music star Peter Okoye of the duo PSquare has called out singer Seun Kuti on his social media.

In the past few hours, Peter Okoye and Seun Kuti got into a social media clash over the upcoming elections in Nigeria.

One of Peter’s posts that has got people’s attention, however, is that where he mentioned that nobody would know Seun without his father, the legendary Fela Kuti.

‘If no be because of your papa, Abeg who Sabi you?’, Peter writes.

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See his post below:

In another post, he said Seun needs to learn how to comport himself from his nephew Made Kuti.

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