While it eluded the political speculators, the candidacy of Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (L.P) is now a wildfire in the desert. Every social media space is saturated with tens of millions of Nigerians supporting the candidate with no inducement. Mr. Peter’s supporters are forming networks, creating support groups, and donating their time and resources to the cause. Since Peter Obi declared for the Presidency, the number of people registering for their Permanent Voters Card in Nigeria increased tremendously. Even businesses, churches, and markets kicked off a campaign to encourage people to get their P.V.C. Every eye in the country is on Peter Obi. But the big question remains, will Peter Obi win the 2023 presidential election?
The Labour Party
In Nigerian politics, the chances of winning an election depend on the political party’s reach. This translates to having a presence in every State, Local Government, and Political Ward. In the past, most minor parties find it difficult to spread their tentacles to the remote parts of the Nation. This makes it impossible to penetrate and reach out to electorates. And every vote counts.
The Labour Party (L.P) of Nigeria cannot boast of such influence. Many states in Nigeria—as claimed by Bashir Ahmad (a member of the ruling party, APC)—has no Gubernatorial candidate representing L.P. If this is true, it shows that L.P lacks the structure needed to deliver votes from every part of the nation.
Reacting to the mantra that Labour Party lacks the structure to produce the President, he tweeted:
“Whenever I hear of NO STRUCTURE, my answer to it is simple; the 100 million Nigerians that live in poverty will be the structure. The 35 million Nigerians who don’t know where their next meal will come from will be the structure. The elderly, our mothers, fathers, and the old ones dying or being owed gratuity/pension will be the structure. ASUU; the lecturers that are being owed and the students who are not in school will be the structure. We’ll create the structure, and they’ll see what the structure is all about. The structure is about human beings.”
Peter Obi Effect
While the political gladiators will do everything to deliver their preferred candidate, Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (L.P) has awakened the political consciousness of millions of Nigerians. With the surge in the number of registered voters, it will be extremely difficult to predict the number of votes needed to win the 2023 presidential election. The involvement of Peter Obi has automatically increased the cost of politicking in Nigeria.
Win or lose, just like Subomi (a Twitter influencer) said:
Peter Obi of Labour Party’s movement stands for something good in our political narrative. Just like #EndSars, it can flip a switch in our collective consciousness. It can also provide much-needed experience.