Peter Obi’s initial presidential campaign council proves the point I’ve always made in private to his fervid fans: after all is said and done, Obi is just another Establishment Nigerian politician who has neither the willingness nor the capacity to be the different and transformational leader that his supporters think he will be.
He’s merely riding on the crest of the wave of mass discontent with the status quo.
The list isn’t just inexcusably insular (Igbo men are even state coordinators for Sokoto and Lagos!), it is also riddled with the type of embarrassing clerical errors and oversights that we’ve become accustomed to from Nigerian governments.
If I were a man that idealistic young men and women have elevated to near sainthood as Obi has been, I would look through the list carefully, ensure there are no clerical errors in it, think through the optics that the names in it will communicate, and be careful to not come across as indistinguishable from the establishment parties because it’s the first hint of what he’ll be as a president. He failed in that elementary duty–much like Buhari.
That’s why former Defence spokesperson John Enenche who said two years ago that “videos of shootings in Lekki tollgate were photoshopped” was appointed to Obi’s presidential campaign council.
The inclusion of Enenche on Obi’s campaign list is significant because the core of Obi’s youthful supporters who’re engaged because they’re enraged are drawn from #EndSARS agitators for whom the cover-up of the massacre of protesters in Lekki is a sore point.
To put a denier of the mass massacre of their comrades in the campaign council of a candidate they support and campaign for is both insensitive and disrespectful.
And why does a campaign that is fueled by a desire for difference need nearly 1,300 people to sit in a council? That’s unwieldy. How is it different from APC and PDP? In fact, APC and PDP are better. APC’s initial list was just 422 and PDP’s was 520.
If his presidential campaign council was going to be worse than APC’s and PDP’s, why did it take him so long to unveil it? This sends off uncomfortable Buhari vibes.