By Luke Ozoko
Nigeria has never been as divided as it is.
In the first Republic, we had the Northern People’s Congress championing the interests of the North, the NCNC championing the interests of the East and the Action Group championing the interests of the West. But even then, the issue was sociocultural not really religious.
In the Second Republic, it was the same as we had NPN, UPN, NPP, PRP, GNPP, and Tunji Braithwaite’s party. Once again, we had several parties from the North, all led by moslems, so it was not religious contest.
The shortlived Third Republic went a step further. Abiola chose a Babagana Kingibe and together they defeated a Tofa, even in Tofa’s state, Kano, but both were moslems. So, it was not about religion.
In the Fourth Republic, all the parties so far have tried to maintain a religious balance as well as tribal equilibrium.
Thus, after Obasanjo, a Christian from South West, we had Yar’adua a Northern moslem, then GEJ a Southern Christian then GMB a Northern moslem.
But, under GMB, the ruling party went for a moslem-moslem ticket. And, that is not even the more scary part.
The way and manner this was done is an unforgivable slap on Christians all over Nigeria and Christians are reacting!
To compound issues, by his appointments into key offices in his administration, GMB has not even bothered to conceal his vindictive intolerance of Christians in Nigeria.
He made sure they are not considered in the security architecture of Nigeria except for the tokenism of an Irabor occupying the obtuse office of Chief of Defence Staff.
The same thing applies in the Judiciary. Not only does the administration loathe Christians, it loathes southerners, especially those of the Eastern block.
He had said early when he was sworn in, that he has no time for the 5% that did not vote for him. And, truthfully he kept his word!
Today as never before, Nigeria is beset with bizarre ethnic tensions, deliberately and subtly promoted by a government that seems intent on destroying the country.
Book haram, ISWAP, kidnappers, unknown gun men, bandits etc are running amock, raping, killing, destroying farmlands and annihilating whole villages, sometimes with the connivance of people who are dressed in military fatigue. It is obvious to all that the military has been compromised and therefore cannot realistically fight insurgency.
It was a high ranking member of the ruling party who confessed that they invited the foreign fulani marauders to destroy Nigeria if GEJ did not hand over.
But, when he handed over, they paid the marauders to go back to their country but they reneged. What a country!
The Igbo fathers are unrelenting in their hatred of yoruba fathers and vice versa; the yoruba fathers are distrusting of the hausa fathers and vice versa; the fulani fathers with their “born to rule” mentality is an enemy of most tribes etc etc.
Nigeria is too divided today, more than at any other time in its chequered history, both in terms of religion and in terms of regions and tribes.
Should another hausa-fulani rule after eight years of the worst government in history led by hausa-fulani?
Should the Yoruba lead after eight years of yoruba presidency and eight years of being vice president.?
Should competence decide how we vote or rather tribal instincts?
With the increasing volume of state allowed killings of Christians in the North, is it safe to trust another Islamic fundamentalist to lead as president or vice-president?
What is the fate of minorities if a skewed and tainted leadership is forced upon Nigeria?
Economically Nigeria needs healing. Time was, when Gowon confessed we had so much money as a country that we didn’t know what to do with it.
Time was when foreign companies were competing to set up in Nigeria.
But today, blind looting and primitive corruption had wrecked us.
We have gone into recession a record three times under one administration.
Our naira has no power to compete. Inflation is roof top. Citizens are crumbling under the crushing weight of unimaginably mischievous Economic policies. Hunger is ravaging the land, killing those who escaped from the clutches of hospitals.
This is the only administration that has the disgraceful record of having monkey, snakes and other animals “eating” our public money and termites eating up the documents.
This is the only administration where billions are spent to cut grass and yet the same government claims they are fighting corruption. We have never had it so bad.
We have borrowed so much that forward looking countries have taken a decision not to lend us money anymore. Shockingly, these borrowings have added no value to us as citizens. It is clear they are borrowing to share it amongst themselves.
They have recovered Abacha loots running into billions of dollars and yet nobody seems to know where the money is: has it been re-looted? Again I repeat: we have never had it so bad.
Our economy needs urgent surgery. It needs wholesome healing. And, the first stage in the healing process is to plug the loopholes.
Then after that, we must transit from a consumption nation to a production nation.
There is a man who understands the steps needed for our economic healing as a nation.
There is a man who does not want to be regarded as a Christian candidate or a tribal candidate. He had carried out his consultations by focusing on what is key, which affects both Christians and moslems: the economy.
Peter Obi does not want to make enemies. He had moved to discuss even with people who are patently opposed to him.
Tune Bakare, that loquacious rabble router who claimed God told him that he would rule after GMB is a man driven by base instincts.
He is one of those who dislikes PETER OBI, but PETER OBI went to his church, to preach the needed message of national healing.
Femi Kuti spoke against PETER OBI but the latter went to see him in the shrine, to spread love and eliminate hate.
PETER OBI continues to go to unlikely places to visit ardent opponents to share his message of love and live-and-let-live. He has no time for bitterness or tit-for-tat.
PETER OBI understands that the elites divide us so that they can control us, and he has set himself against such norms. He identified the youths as the victims of this malicious divide-and-rule and has brought the youths under one banner with the goal of “taking back our country”.
PETER OBI is the predestined anchor for a New Nigeria. He understands that when the combined powers of the youths are unleashed, no problem can hold Nigeria back. But he also knows that to unleash such powers requires unity of purpose.
He is the catalyst for this change in the narrative and thus is best suited to lead the New Nigeria.
Nigeria needs total healing; only PETER OBI understands this truly, and only him is qualified to lead the resultant New Nigeria as President.