OBIcracy vs gerontocracy, plutocracy & kakistocracy: The die is cast!

Sometimes ago, the energetic and irrepressible Seun Okinbaloye made this passionate plea to all Nigerians: …’Like a proverbial knee on our necks, this nation is choking. We can no longer breathe. There is a shortage of air. We need to allow this nation thrive. I’m pleading with you on behalf of millions of our people … This nation cannot be taken as a private enterprise anymore.

The nation belongs to all of us and this time around again, no sitting on the fence. We must pick up to rescue this nation…2023 election is make or mar. Look, this nation cannot make a mistake with its choice of next leader. It is a must we get it right. If you employ best hands to run your private companies, we should have the best of us run the affairs of this nation. We must get leadership right.

Not only at the center but across the states. Knowledge, crisis management skills, character and integrity, vision and courage to make tough decisions, effective communication skills, ability to unite the nation. Leaders who cannot show these traits cannot be hired. Enough is enough.

Nigeria, rise, vote and vote right. And your time is now. When he made this plea, almost in tears, the election appeared far away. Today, it is just a few hours away. And just the other day, Casmir Igbokwe supported his motion when he opined that ‘in this election, competence and character matter.

Nigeria is on the edge of precipice and needs to be rescued. There is no sitting on the fence. For too long, Nigerians have suffered the consequences of bad leadership. For too long, ethnicity and religion had coloured our voting pattern; not anymore’ (The Sun, 20/2/23

But long before now, at the PDP National convention preparatory to the 2015 elections, Lucky Goodluck, the man who moved from grass to Grace and from Grace to greater Grace made this prophetic statement: The choice before Nigerians in the coming election is quite simple: a choice between going forward or going backward; between the new ways and the old ways; between freedom and repression; between a record of visible achievements/beneficial reforms and desperate power-seekers with empty promises.

Unfortunately, like entranced folks, we gleefully chose going backwards, the old ways, repression, and desperate power-seekers with their empty promises. And true to his ‘prophecy’, we are now in a more precarious position than we ever imagined that we could be.

If you are in doubt, consult the government-funded data agency. We have tested their change and it was fake and bitter. We now demand genuine change and the choice before us is like that between day and night. We have two broad options; to choose OBIcracy, or the detestable and insufferable troika of plutocracy, gerontocracy & Kakistocracy.

OBIcracy, is the theory, practice and philosophy of OBIism or politics as practiced and espoused by Peter Obi. It is a system in which ‘people who are disenchanted with structured political leadership choose a structureless but competent leader of character, voluntarily deploying their 3Ts to mobilise and campaign for him against FULLY structured incompetent leaders with missing and/or doubtful certificates, age, integrity, origin and even parentage’. OBIcracy espouses inclusiveness, shared prosperity, ‘youthocracy’, social cohesion, compassion and preferential interest in the poor, underprivileged and marginalised.

It prioritises character, competence, openness, pro-people policies, respect for the rule of law, civility and moderation in speech and action whether in public or public life; clean, simple and credible lifestyle and all round education and exposure sufficient to lead Nigeria from the ‘nth’ world( we had long gone far below the third world) to the current world and to the future.

Under OBIcracy, one can confidently go and verify! It is built around a holistic concept of integrity, which always seeks the good of others, believing that if something is not good FOR BOTH SIDES, then, it is not good for either side and that you may succeed momentarily for what do or know, but you can only succeed permanently because of what you are (The Word for Today 1/3/19; Before I Die, 30/4/21).

It also SOLEY thinks and works around whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, whatever is excellent and praiseworthy (Phil,4:8). It abhors desperation and ambuscade, and believes strongly in equity, while adopting the golden rule!

OBIcracy is underpinned by OBInomics: from consumption to production, frugality and committing public resources to the public good, verifiable transparency and placing round pegs in round holes.

Plutocracy is a political philosophy in which a state is governed or ruled by the wealthy. Under this philosophy, the power of the ruling class derives from their wealth. Usually, there is a transition from democracy to plutocracy. The state starts from a democracy, a quasi-democracy or a pretend-democracy in which the state pretends to be democratic, but its principles and practices are anything but democratic.

Then the ruling or ruining elites gradually introduce and execute plutocratic policies. Such plutocratic policies in Nigeria include indirect primaries, which makes it easy for the rich to buy the delegates and even other candidates as it happened in the APDP ( APC+PDP=APDP) primaries.

No poor party or person can play effectively in the elections and poverty is weaponised as the poor who are desperate to put food on their table choose to monetise their votes. In the forthcoming presidential elections, the emphasis is not on what they will and can do for us; it is about their ability to overwhelm their opponents and the voters with CASH!

Under plutocracy, we go for cash and discountenance verifiable records of achievement, competence, commitment and character. Surprisingly, plutocrats are deeply religious because they draw their principle form Ecclesiastes 10:19: Money answereth ALL things, including political power!

Gerontocracy is a form of ‘oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by leaders who are significantly older than most of the adult population. In many political structures, power within the ruling class accumulates with age, making the oldest the holders of the most power’.

In Nigeria where the youths consist of 60%+ of the population, people who are 80+ are striving to lead! How can they linkup with the online generation? How can they communicate with the millennials? What kind of vision can those on the injury time visualise? How can ‘A-grade’ elders visualise a society which by the normal course of nature, they will not be a part of???

And then, we have kakistocracy; ‘a government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. This is the worst-case scenario in which Nigerians, with their eyes wide open, go for the worst, least qualified, most incompetent, the most Machiavellian or most unscrupulous!

How can Nigerians who are creating and breaking records in all fields of human endeavour all over the world, and who need a conducive environment to replicate their global records at home, go to bed with kakistocracy?

Fellow Nigerians, ‘olugo n’omume’(It is time for action) ‘Chineke nke igwe ndi agha’(the Lord of hosts), who knows the end from the beginning promises us that ‘never again will I expose you to the contempt of other countries…I will restore the years eaten by the locusts, the caterpillars and … Nigeria will never be humiliated again( Joel,2: 19-27).

But all the promises of God are conditional and these ones are no exceptions! We have to do the right things, seize the opportunities that He has created, with both hands, and think of the future, not just about stomach infrastructure of here and now! It is our responsibility to SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNE moment! The slate almost is clean and it is up to us to write the right things on it!

For us to optimise this scenario and come out of the inflexion point stronger, we MUST embrace a paradigm shift. The new paradigm requires us to put our best foot forward, to start with our first and best eleven rather than ‘managing’ whatever any group presents to us.

Thus, we should ask henceforth, always and with all seriousness, whenever anybody presents himself or herself to serve us, IS THIS THE BEST? This is and should continue to be the refrain anywhere anybody is presented for service in any part of Nigeria today and evermore.

Frantz Fanon tells us that Each generation must discover its mission and fulfil it or betray it!(Wretched of the Earth). The mission of this generation, which has become sharpened by the current state of affairs, is to ensure that Nigeria is placed on the sustainable right path; that we lay the foundation for the greatness that we have been yearning for; a yearning that has become more strident in the past 8 years when we have been recklessly wrecked from top to bottom by people who promised us heaven on earth.

At this inflexion point, we must choose between OBIcracy and plutocracy, gerontocracy and kakistocracy. And without mincing words, OBIcracy is it! Dr Bolaji Akinyemi believes that these are the questions that should determine our choice on 25/2/23: ‘Who is the candidate with the competence and character of frugality that we must model as a country? With N77trn debt hanging on our neck, who is that candidate adverse to loan as a way to growing our economy?

Who among them has shown charismatic communication that brought his plan for the country home to ordinary Nigerians to understand? Who has promised to cut off the extravagance recklessness of political office holders and their civil servant cohorts whose financial flamboyancy we can no longer continue to bear?’

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As one ‘unknown author’ declared on 11/12/22,’Obi is the only candidate that genuinely describes subsidies as organised crimes because he does not benefit from it; he shouts the fact of oil stealing from the rooftops because he is not a part of the syndicate; he is the only candidate talking about corruption because he is the only one that is manifestly not corrupt; he is the only candidate that talks about how to create wealth, improve the economy, because he is the only one that has created wealth from the strength and astuteness of his intellect driven private businesses.

This is not the time to vote for somebody because he is ‘eminently qualified’ as my former PG student told me. When I asked him to market his preferred candidate on the bases of character, competence, physical and mental alertness and integrity, he went blank. It is not time to vote for a serial contestant, who does not find Nigeria good enough for habitation.

We have seen where the last serial contestant landed us. It is not time to vote for somebody because it is his turn. It is also not time to vote for people who will either privatise our commonwealth or share it with their boys( some of the boys are 70+).

I agree with Datti that this is time for Competence you can trust, characters you know, compassion you can feel and capacity that has been proven. This is an opportune moment and we MUST seize this lifetime opportunity within the lifetime of the opportunity.. with BOTH hands. And so help us God!

I have spoken!