Soludo’s Public Soliloguy, Peter Obi And 2023 – Achike Chude

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It takes two to fight. And the nature of such fights, if they are physical is for each fighter to give as much as he receives – no quarter asked, and no quarter given, until one is able to prevail over the other. But it is generally accepted that you do not fight someone who has neither provoked you nor confronted you, especially when he does not respond to your blows and knocks. 

Governor Chukwuma Soludo, it would seem, is acting in flagrant violation of this unspoken rule of provocation and the right of forceful response. We know that he has been angry of late. And he has naturally turned his angry diatribes at the source of his anger – Peter Obi – one-time governor of Anambra state and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party. 

But there is a problem with his anger and the insults and accusations that he has been hurling of late at Peter Obi. He is fighting a man that, to our knowledge has done nothing to him, nor denigrated him, nor undermined him, at least in the public space. 

Indeed Governor Soludo indirectly acknowledged that Peter Obi has done nothing wrong to him but will hold him responsible by proxy for the insults and criticisms he has gotten from his supporters following his ARISE TV interview in which he claimed that Obi’s famed investment over ten years ago are worth almost nothing today. His ego is bruised and Peter Obi must pay the price. 

What a strange twist of faith that the same political elites and parties that promoted, encouraged, and funded social media anarchy by the youths in previous elections are now rising in condemnation only simply because they are now at the receiving end of those who own cyberspace – the youths who are now self-motivated. 

Obviously, we must concede that the governor has a fundamental right to dissent and to hold a political view that is different from others, even if those others are his kinsmen. It is not wise, but it is a right that he must be allowed to exercise. But paradoxically, while insisting on the right to be different, he has indeed taken his people, the Igbos, to the cleaners for holding a political view that is different from his. 

But beyond that, there is something unsettling about a man who has shown the capacity to reveal publicly, discussions that were held privately in the spirit of conviviality, friendship, and comradeship – especially when there is no great, overriding and compelling expediency that demands it. The governor dropped the ball here. Such a person cannot be trusted. It is not a sign of maturity in every sense of the word. And this has nothing to do with the need for accountability and openness.

The governor’s show of affection, friendship and brotherhood with Peter Obi in the same piece which seeks to undermine him is doubtful as it is akin to the proverbial mouse that inflicts physical injury on your skin, while trying to ease your pain with its saliva. 

We want to know all that should be known about those who want to govern us at all levels. Professor Soludo should not tease us about having more knowledge about what went on in Government House years ago and then refuse to say them. What is holding him? He has already started the process. Let him finish it. Unless it is pure and deliberate propaganda aimed at misinformation and disinformation. Peter Obi told us that he took no kobo from the Government House, received no land or property from the government, refused to be part of the morally reprehensible pension scam of ex-governors, etc. He has asked us to go and verify. Perhaps, the present governor of Anambra state can help us with the verification since he told us that an investment made by Obi over a decade ago is no longer valuable without telling us at what point it became worthless. 

Perhaps of greater concern is the position of the governor of Anambra state who showed absolute naivety in his understanding of the various contending power dynamics in the country, their formation and their destination. He worries about the state of political power play in the southeast and the subsequent lower rung in the power pyramid occupied by the Igbos. In his words: “When will Ndigbo understand and learn politics, especially of Nigeria?”

But what is the politics of Nigeria that the governor is talking about? And who are those adept at it? It is the politics of brigandage, of the cannibalisation of the Nigerian state and state capture. It is the politics that has seen a potentially rich country beyond compare, tottering on the brink of failure and despair. It is the politics of the few, by the few, and for the few, regardless of their geo-political cleavages that have been responsible for the total destruction of social infrastructure and mass poverty and inequality in the land. 

And which of the regions is worse off in the scheme of things in our country? You guessed it – the north – the bastion of political power and patronage that Governor Soludo is in awe of. The reward for the hoi-poloi up north is hunger, diseases, illiteracy, inequality, and insecurity. In truth, neither the exercise of political power by the north nor the southwest has led to the emancipation of their peoples. Same with the southeast and south-south. The power praxis that Governor Soludo talks about is absolutely about the acquisition and domination of political power for the satiation of parochial and primordial satisfaction. It is of no benefit to Nigeria and Nigerians.

There is a reason why Awolowo, Azikiwe, Aminu Bello and others in the Halcyon days are held in much higher esteem than their wayward and kleptomaniac progenitors. They might not have been saints, but judging by today’s political standards, they would have been closer to heaven. 

“Echi di ime” (tomorrow is pregnant). 

We shall see! 

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