Soon the people of Nigeria will be stunned by something other than the naira note crisis. The grand design between Peter Obi and Atiku will be revealed.
In fact, the naira crisis is, in part, a smoke screen to further obscure the cynical games being played behind the political curtain. While Atiku and Obi are in separate political parties now, we should not forget they were married as the PDP ticket 2019. For the 2023 election, they separated but were never formally and truly divorced.
More to the point, Obi was never an important leader in his own right. He has been merely a cog in a larger machine. He is window dressing to coax young people into backing a political tendency they naturally should oppose. As such, he is merely a lieutenant of a conservative alignment engineered by old line military leaders and other very rich, formerly uniformed anti-democratic elements, including one well known former customs officer.
These old men, expert in coup planning, have found the terrain of our nascent, imperfect not so much to their liking. They cannot control things as they with an edict or a wave of the hand.
Obi was given the assignment of galvanizing the youth and Igbo votes in order to deliver them to Atiku on a silver platter. This helps explain Obi’s sudden, meteoric appeal. Even though there is credible and numerous reports linking then governor Obi to the killing of youthful protesters in his state, the human rights community and the mostly conservative leaning Nigerian press have turned a blind eye. They have worked in unison to make his serious transgressions disappear. Obi could not have accomplished this massive blackout by himself. He was helped by powerful, wealthy interests who would rather not be known. In other nations, they are called the deep state. In Nigeria, the term ‘old generals’ will suffice with the exception that the current president is not in this group. They are his sworn enemies.
The opportunistic Obi, being human, began to feel the call of greater ambition after he launched his campaign. He started to see himself as less of a prop and more as a president. Thus, the first spanner flew into the works. The second one is related. Obi attached himself to former president Obasanjo or vice versa. Obasanjo dislikes the thought of any Yoruba leader who might outshine him. Thus, Tinubu will never be his favourite tonic. However, Obasanjo detests Atiku with the strongest of passion. He would rather kiss Tinubu than shake hands with Atiku. He cannot imagine Atiku following Buhari into the presidency.
Obasanjo clearly does not want Obi to merge into Atiku as originally planned. Thus, he is trying to derail talks between Obi and Atiku. However, he is the minority among the old generals. The other members of this small group, want Obi to bend to Atiku. This standoff has muted the normally loquacious Obasanjo from making a public statement on the naira note swindle. The octogenarian does not yet know what stance best suits his political interests.
Thus, Atiku and the other generals are pushing Obi to honour their deal and sink his followers into Atiku’s well. Obasanjo is telling the former banker to stay the course. They are in a maze of their own making. The only sad thing is that they have pulled the rest of the country into the trick box with them.
What does that mean for Nigeria?
It means that we, the people, are being deceived. The LP’s Peter Obi, who has presented himself as the clean candidate is as venal and corrupt as Atiku, his former running mate. If Obi were such a new breed, he never would have accepted being Atiku’s running mate in 2019. He certainly would not have joined Atiku and the old uniforms in the backdoor trap they have set against democracy this time around.
Peter Pandora Obi now finds himself riding a double-headed tiger. He is afraid that no matter how he turns one of the heads shall bite him. If he joins with Atiku by dropping out of the race, he fears the backlash of his supporters. This would be a rank betrayal of the young supporters, his Igbo kin and all those who back him as a southern candidate. His political career might not survive the ensuing fallout. He would indeed fall from being deemed exceptional to becoming political excrement in one swift moment.
However, if he continues his candidacy, Atiku and the old generals will smell betrayal. Obi does not want to be in the bad books of this confederacy of old war horses. They still have the power and means to trample him underfoot.
Peter Pandora’s dilemma is an acute one. Either way he turns, he will betray some important group. And that group will bite him.
In the end, those who know Obi’s mind the best, believe he will abandon his Igbo and young supporters as well as ditch Obasanjo. Atiku, Emefiele and the old generals can make him stupendously rich in a flash. The inside scoop is that he will take the money and run. Perhaps he will purchase a villa in Monaco adjacent to that of the South African financial advisor who helped Obi break Nigerian law by offshoring millions of questionable dollars. Well, at least Obi will get a villa, just not the one in the shadow of Aso Rock. In the process, the Nigerian people will be subjected to one of the biggest political tricks ever played on a people in a democratic setting.