The youths that are making efforts to see Obi succeed Buhari grew up hearing their parents singing songs of hope.
The conversations about Obi’s candidacy especially on social media have largely been about the need for Nigerians to do away with the aging and greedy politicians who are not ready to step aside for the younger generation to take over.
Following his first national outing as a Vice Presidential candidate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 general election, Obi’s political profile and estimations have become subjects of interest.
His statements and actions generate conversations and debates among his supporters and supporters of other presidential candidates on social media.
But initially, when the former governor declared to run for presidency, many political analysts believed his declaration was a ploy to position himself as a running mate for Atiku yet again.
This sentiment was anchored on the belief that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would again present Atiku as its presidential candidate and if the former VP is allowed to choose his running mate, he might look towards Obi again due to his political value and relevance in the south.
But this permutation failed to materialise as Obi dumped the PDP some days before the party’s primaries and joined the Labour Party.
Even though he was considered one of the top contenders in the PDP, Obi explained that his defection to the Labour Party was due to unstated ‘recent developments’ in the PDP.
As a matter of fact, in the context of Nigerian politics, Obi is yet to gain a national political reputation for himself. He is at best a regional politician, who still needs to make political friends beyond the Southern region to enjoy the privilege that comes with playing politics at the national level.
For Obi to join the LP, a fringe party with no national appeal to contest for president in a country that’s majorly governed by the All Progressives Congress and the PDP, it’s clear that the 2023 contest will be a two-horse race as usual.
And while many still believe that Obi’s presidency in 2023 is an illusion, it is very noteworthy that his growing popularity is becoming a threat to the two parties that have unfettered access to the cookie jar.
Obviously, the Labour Party does not have the war chest to finance the election in a way that would give the APC and the PDP a run for their money, but the youths have taken it upon themselves to push Obi’s agenda across the country.
In the last few weeks, there have been efforts by the youths to promote Obi’s candidacy with jingles, billboards, and door-to-door campaigns.
There have also been donations and plans to create political awareness on registration and collection of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) across the country and sensitise the public on why Obi is the right man to steer the affairs of the country.
Obi’s online soldiers now known as the Obidient have also vowed to monitor the forthcoming election with drones to ensure the process is not rigged in favour of any candidate.
Interestingly, the efforts to support Obi’s candidacy and the conversations about his presidency underscore the reawakening of the youths’ political consciousness ahead of the election.
While this effort is inspired by the youth’s love for Obi, it is important to note that the Obi movement online is orchestrated by the youths fear of going through eight years of another administration that would be riddled with killings, insecurity, police brutality, and economic downturns.
The APC administration has so far been a perfect reenactment of the PDP regime. It’s been the same story since the return of democracy and the youths are tired of that.
Since 1999, the Federal Government has succeeded in frustrating the youths in all aspects of their lives.
The youths that are making efforts to see Obi succeed President Muhammadu Buhari grew up hearing their parents singing songs of hope.
They grew up to understand that whatever goes up in the Nigerian market never comes down again. For instance, in 1999, all it cost to enjoy a loaf of bread and a bottle of Coke was N25.
Nigerian youths have experienced everything that makes life difficult for them in a country that’s blessed with human and natural resources to be the best in Africa.
With the endless ASUU strike, unemployment, poor power supply, insecurity, corruption, and other age-long problems the Federal Government has failed to address, the youths seem to have come to the conclusion that the set of politicians in power have no plan for a better Nigeria.
The accumulated frustration and difficulties to which the country subjects the youths are the reasons for the widespread support a presidential candidate like Obi is enjoying among the youths.
The youths are placing their hope for a better Nigeria in Obi because the governments at all levels have failed them.
Perhaps the hope in Obi’s presidency is truly a pipe dream, but if the youths do not go back to bed after the 2023 elections, the Obi movement, if sustained, would get Nigeria the change the people desire. It’s just a matter of time.
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