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Peter Obi And The Labor Party Movement, Implications For The Igbo And Nigeria At Large

Dr. Peter Obi’s emergence as the Labor Party’s Presidential candidate and what his new found popularity and mass movement of support especially amongst youths, mean to the Igbo and Nigeria took the front burners on Freedom Square, a weekly interactive radio program on Saturday.
Recall that Dr. Obi decamped from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) barely 48 hours to its special convention at Abuja where he would have stood as one of the contestants for the party’s presidential ticket, to the Labor Party (LP) where he automatically emerged as the presidential candidate.
However, since his emergence as the Labor Party’s flag-bearer, Mr. Obi’s popularity especially among the youths has soared by leaps and bounds. This is due largely to his type of politics which is different from the old ways characterized by financial inducement, wastage, abuse of power, corruption and bad governance.
Appearing as guest on the weekly radio program, anchored by Hon. Uchenna Cyril Anioke, PhD., Dr. Obasi Obasi, a Public Affairs Analyst, commended the Labor Party for yielding its presidential ticket to Mr. Obi after the two major parties, APC and PDP, failed the South East contrary to the people’s expectations. He also specially acknowledged the remarkable sacrifice made by Prof. Pat Utomi, who stepped down his ambition and allow Dr. Obi to emerge as the party’s candidate.
He said that Labor Party assuaged the Igbo by giving one of their sons its presidential ticket. Now, the Igbo feel they are equal players in Nigeria and that has resulted to the present mass turnout of people for voter registration.
Dr. Obasi said:
“Today, I am proud of the average Igbo youth. He has woken up from his slumber, he has woken up to the reality that, look, we own Nigeria together. The Igbo man is struggling today that we own Nigeria together. I will tell you what that does, you see, the mental subjugation we have gotten into over these past few years, we were meant to believe that we are slaves. We said on this program that nobody owns Nigeria more than the Igbos. And we have already maintained that if we galvanize ourselves together, we are the most proud Nigerian. It is on the back of an Igbo man that Nigeria continues to be a united state. That it is on the back of the Igbo man that the micro and macro economy of Nigeria continues to roll, that the Igbo man brings in foreign exchange into the country more than you can ever imagine. Our people all over the world keep sending in dollars everyday that sustain the economy. We always say it, that nobody owns Nigeria more than an Igbo man. So why are we trying to run away from what we are part of. And the event of the past few weeks has told us that, look, the Igbo man is a force to reckon with.”
It was also observed that the massive popularity being enjoyed by Dr. Obi amongst youths across Nigeria is because people are tired of the failed old system so, everybody wants a better Nigeria. They want a better, younger person as their leader; someone they can queue behind and who in turn understands them and their aspirations.
However, Dr. Obasi warned that the Igbo should not make Dr. Obi an Igbo candidate, rather, they should reach out to other Nigerians across tribes and regions, tamper their utterances and dispositions so as to make him a pan Nigerian candidate which is what he truly is.
“You might not know that you might be doing a little harm through your blog or through twit you send, the little post you could make on your Facebook. You may not know that you are de-marketing him when you popularize him as an ethnic champion. What we are trying to say is – do the right things you should do as a supporter. Be civil to other Nigerians, don’t talk to people harshly, don’t insult people. And you talk to people in a kind way. Make them understand that Peter has come to change the narrative in the system and that the candidate you are supporting is a better candidate for everybody in Nigeria and not just for Igbo land,” he said.
Most callers on the program congratulated Dr. Obi for his foresight and emergence as LP’s presidential candidate. They pledged their support urging all to rally round the candidate whom they believe is the best to emerge so far.
However, a caller warned that Dr. Obi must win for equity, justice and fairness, otherwise the Nigeria we see today might not survive.

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