For some people, being able to buy off a vice-presidential ticket of a political Party, allegedly, with funds stolen from State coffers or selling off our nation’s most valuable assets to cronies and proxies are evidences that such individuals possess the right kind of experience to be on the driving seat of Africa’s largest nation. But to those who care and who truly know what kind of experience is required to be able to tackle Nigeria’s problems effectively and make every Nigerian of good conscience proud to be Nigerians, there is no better qualified nor experienced contestant than Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
Peter Obi is a successful businessman, who over the years has grown his enterprise from been a trader in the commercial centre of Onitsha to becoming a world acclaimed corporate player and economist of note. Having sat on the board of many bluechip firms and standing out as one of Africa’s most respected yet self-contented billionaire without any known undue patronage from government.
Unlike some people who earned all they own from public coffers, Obi is the only presidential candidate whose source of wealth cannot be traced to politics or public office. We know those who used their position in Nigeria’s Excise controlling agency to enrich themselves through smuggling of contraband and indulgence in all manners of illicit dealings and the doctor who doesn’t know the colour of a prescription paper. A doctor who doesn’t know where his academic records are will definitely forget the prescription and inject his patient with a virus.
Nigeria is too sick, too distressed and too much in need of help that we cannot afford to hand her over to a man described by his boss as a “common thief” and a flippant, desperate Vice-president, whose records in public service is enmeshed in controversies, including, allegations of stealing workers salaries and pensioners entitlements to buy the vice-presidential nomination against his own Party’s choice.
Peter Obi’s records as governor of Anambra State stand out and remain his major selling point. He set a standard which international organisations, including the World Bank and other notable technocrats recommend as a model of good governance to other African political leaders.
After his eventful and yet to be matched record as governor of Anambra State, the People’s Democratic Party sought his assistance to help them navigate the economy of the nation and his recommendations during his time as an honorary Adviser to the President on the Economy are mostly to be credited for the modest success achieved by that Party in the twilight of their administration.
Peter Obi is the only one of all the presidential with a voracious thirst for knowledge and this has seen him acquire enviable trainings across some of the world’s biggest ivy leagues including Harvard University. He has as well acquired cognate experiences in managing private ventures to stupendous success as well navigating Anambra from a State that was stuck in debts, fear and underdevelopment to the only State, as at the time he left office, which was not owing a dime yet had billions of Naira in savings across different banks and verifiable investments.
Unless, one is talking about being experienced in stealing and diversion of public funds or in being so “blatant and shameless” a liar that he was described by Olusegun Obasanjo as one of the two greatest mistakes of his life, then, there is no one who has the right kind of experience and mental preparedness needed to tackle the problems of Nigeria more than Mr. Peter Obi.
BY: ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES, a political commentator and Ohaneze Indigbo chieftain.