Skip to main content

Governor Peter Obi: What Went Wrong?

July 19, 2011

Three times the mandate given to Governor Peter Gregory Obi by Ndianambra was stolen by the PDP, and three times he recovered that mandate through sheer doggedness, honesty and sincerity. How come he finally decided to work for the same party that was bent on destroying him politically and inflicting Ndianambra with bad, puppet governance, the result of stolen elections?  

Three times the mandate given to Governor Peter Gregory Obi by Ndianambra was stolen by the PDP, and three times he recovered that mandate through sheer doggedness, honesty and sincerity. How come he finally decided to work for the same party that was bent on destroying him politically and inflicting Ndianambra with bad, puppet governance, the result of stolen elections?  

The extraordinary events that marked the foray of Peter Obi into the Anambra, nay Nigerian political scene, is worth retelling. In April 2003, Ndianambra massively voted for Obi to become their governor: he went to them with a message that resonated with them very soundly. The mandate was stolen by the PDP and given to Chris Ngige. Obi went to court to retrieve that mandate. While the court case was grinding on painfully and slowly, all kinds of offers were made to Obi to abandon the petition and he refused them all. Then out of the blue, President Obasanjo told a shocked nation that the rigger of the election, one rustic Chris Ubah, and the beneficiary of the rigging, the great pretender Chris Ngige, were in his living room when the former told the latter: “You know you didn’t win the election” and the latter said, “Yes, I know I didn’t win.” The tribunal subsequently sacked Ngige, and Ndianambra rejoiced greatly, despite Ngige’s pretensions to being an ‘acting’ governor. Ngige went to the Appeal Court and was defeated there too and Obi became governor in March 2006. But hardly had Obi settled down than the House of Assembly—members of whom Chris Uba told whoever wanted to listen that he personally appointed—impeached him in November 2006. His deputy, Mrs. Virgy Etiaba took over. Obi went back to court and, in February 2007, recovered his mandate once again. But almost immediately after, INEC began to organize elections in the state. Obi quietly told them it shouldn’t include the governorship election. But they went ahead with the organization, whereupon he went back to court once again. While the case was going on, another governor was ‘selected’ by Abuja. Barley two weeks after the usurper was sworn in, he was unceremoniously sacked by the Supreme Court and Obi was once again back in the saddle.

Nobody is asking Obi to pay PDP back in their own coins, but if he couldn’t understand that they don’t mean well for his state, who could? If Obi had worked as hard for his own party as he did for Jonathan during the presidential campaign, APGA would have won at least 70 percent of the votes in Anambra and elsewhere in Alaigbo in all the elections, less the presidential election in which the party naively refused to field a candidate.

There were rumours that Jonathan promised the governor a lot of things, including a future in federal politics. But it seems what he particularly fell for was the promise that developmental projects will be brought to the SE, starting with Anambra: a seaport in Onitsha, and the building of over a dozen new bridges over the Niger River as a gateway to the east, etc, etc, hmmm. This reminds one of the story a man whose dead father the oracles said was demanding the sacrifice of a cow to appease him. The man told the oracles to ask his dead father how many cows he slaughtered during his life time: none. How many goats: none. The man then told the oracles to go and tell his father that since he couldn’t afford to slaughter even a goat during his life time, he has no grounds to ask for a cow after his death. Simply put, the man didn’t deserve what he was asking for.

Why did Obi naively sell out to the PDP for nothing? In the past twelve years, what has the PDP-led federal government done in the SE? What has the party done in Anambra state apart from bringing sorrow, tears and blood? What made Obi to believe that a PDP presidential candidate (no matter who that may be) deserves the votes of Ndianambra?

All through his fight on behalf of Ndianambra, Obi projected the uncommon image of a highly principled, determined, honest, sincere and hardworking fellow. What then made him to pitch tent with the enemies of the people?

I’m not among those who say that Obi is a failure as a governor. Only the most biased critic would deny that he has recorded landmark achievements in the state. One may quarrel with the quality of some of the amenities he built, but to say that he did nothing, or that he has not surpassed all his predecessors put together in bringing development to the sate, is simply dishonest.

But the PDP presidential candidate, with Obi’s support, won over 99 % of the votes cast in the state, a result the Almighty himself would envy. Given that highly questionable result, my question for Obi is very simple: as the presidential election tribunal would soon subject the votes cast in Anambra to a forensic examination, what if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the elections were rigged for the PDP under his watch, what would he tell Ndianambra? What really went wrong, governor Obi? What happened to your honesty and sincerity? How come Jonathan recorded a bigger victory in Anambra than in his own Bayelsa?

Methinks Obi owes Ndianambra who believed so much in him an explanation on why he sold out (I’m not saying anybody gave him money). He could tell them that Jonathan promised to build heaven on earth in Anambra and he gave him his support. But even after that it done, I don’t know how he’s going to explain the 99% percent victory of Jonathan to discerning Ndianambra. Is it possible that our own Peter is involved in rigging elections?

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content1'); });

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('comments'); });

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content2'); });