Prof. Charles Soludo, the Anambra State Governor called them the headless mob while the literary icon, Prof. Wole Soyinka called them fascists and nattering nitwits. Of course they are a mob with no head and certainly no ability to reason. These descriptions perfectly capture the supporters of the Labour Party Presidential Candidate in the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Peter Obi who aptly chose to call themselves Obidients!
Prior to the 2023 general elections, Obidients (hereinafter called the mob or fascists) claimed to have started a movement that will take back Nigeria, dismantle structures of criminality, and make a new Nigeria POssible. The base of the Obidient movement then were mostly remnants of ENDSARS insurrectionists and Lagos arsonists, IPOB apologists and perennial anti-APC ‘cashivists’ as well as well-known online fake news merchants and highly ignorant celebrities. What a movement!
From the very onset of their movement, the mob began an attack on freedom of choice and expression of others, which is the very foundation of democracy. They simply cannot fathom why other candidates should have even a single supporter. They tried to repaint their candidate Mr. Peter Obi as a new breed, not tainted by the Nigerian system or associated with the bigger and older political parties they claimed were built on structures of criminality, not minding the fact that Obi has been part and parcel of the system or rot they want to dismantle having being in PDP since 2015 until 3 days to the PDP 2022 Presidential primary when he left for a smaller party the moment he realised he could not win the PDP primary.
The mob attacked without reason. They deployed fake propaganda after propaganda to tarnish the image of anyone the few leaders of the mob points in their direction. They created a false electoral invincibility impression and started attacking the credibility of INEC and its processes. They placed INEC on a relentless media trial and decreed that the only way INEC would be seen as credible is if they allow the WILL of the people to reflect in the Presidential Election, which is not a bad thing to decree. However, the problem is that to the mob, they have already concluded even before the election that the WILL of the Nigerian people is Mr. Peter Obi and no other person!
It was therefore not surprising that at the conclusion of the Presidential election with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerging victorious and Mr. Peter Obi coming a distant third with a geographical spread of at least 25% of the votes cast in just 16 states (9 states short of the minimum geographical spread mandated by the Constitution), the mob could not stomach the pain of defeat after all their propaganda, fake news, character assassination, online intimidation and offline intimidation in the strongholds of the Labour Party. They therefore started a new round of relentless attack, this time around on INEC Chairman and the institution he leads.
The seed of recovering a phantom ‘stolen mandate’ was planted by the head of the mob, Mr. Peter Obi in the minds of his mob as he headed to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in one of the most watery and useless election petitions in history. The mob, many of whom are participating in an election for the first time in their lives became legal analysts overnight and unilaterally placed the ‘Judiciary on Trial’. Just like before the Presidential Election, the mob decreed that the only acceptable outcome, which will make the judiciary to redeem itself is if their Mob Leader, Mr. Peter Obi was ‘given back his mandate that was stolen by President Bola Tinubu’.
The Obidient mob, spurred by the Deputy Leader of the mob, Datti Ahmed started a frontal attack on Nigeria’s democracy before the May 29 inauguration by separately calling on President Buhari, the CJN and the military to prevent the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on a flimsy, strange and childish reason of not meeting 25% of the votes cast in the FCT. They even went to Court to seek a court order stopping the May 29 inauguration. This was the biggest threat to our democracy since the days of military coups and it is not a coincidence that it came from a renegade group of unthinking mobsters led by the man, Mr. Peter Obi who can best be described as a demagogue in the light of his unpatriotic and clever-by-half antics pre-election and post-election.
As their attempted coup against Nigeria’s democracy failed with the successful inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima, their attacked shifted fully to the judiciary. The demagogue, Mr. Peter Obi watched gleefully as his mob started an unprecedented blackmail of the PEPT judges by massively sharing their private details to their members across various social media platforms with an intent to intimidate them by indirectly threatening their safety and that of their families if the judgment of the tribunal does not go their way. Mr. Obi in all these has not come out to categorically caution his mob against such fascist tendencies. He enjoys the method.
After looking back at the abysmal performance of the Obi legal team in advancing their petition at the Tribunal due to want of any tangible ground to build their case, the Obidient mob saw the handwriting of defeat once again boldly written on the wall of the Tribunal which prompted one of their chief fake news merchant to cook up a blatant falsehood alleging that one of the Court of Appeal judges, Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo had resigned because he was asked to “cripple the independence of the judiciary” by ruling in favour of a certain political candidate believed to be President Bola Tinubu. This was obviously a fiction from the imagination of the creator of the fake news.
Earlier on, another known purveyor of fake news and fake predictions who is part of the Obidient mob claimed that the President spoke with the CJN over the outcome of the Presidential election petition and that the CJN allegedly told the President to prepare for a rerun! As incredulous as these antics of the Obidient mob is, it shows a coordinated pattern of misinformation by Mr. Peter Obi through his mob supporters with an intent to pressurise and blackmail the judiciary having seen that Peter Obi failed woefully in the Presidential Election. They want to do everything possible to taint the expected verdict of the tribunal dismissing the Peter Obi frivolous petition hence the now daily fake news and propaganda targeted at the judiciary.
To show how unreasoning the Obi mob can be, their members never took out a few seconds to ask themselves some basic questions about the Justice Ugo resignation propaganda for example. They failed to realise that all the judges in an election petition tribunal must not arrive at the same judgment and are free to give a dissenting judgment from the majority. So, if indeed anyone is pressurising Justice Ugo to cripple the independence of the judiciary or knee-cap democracy (whatever that means), it is definitely coming from the headquarters of the Obidient Mob, whose stock in trade has always been threats. Secondly it is a confirmation of the mental status of the mob that they believed a notorious fake news peddler, Jackson Ude on the CJN call. Why will the President speak with the CJN over an election petition, which the Appeal Court has not delivered any judgement in. It is simply one blatant madness after another from these headless mob.
Now is the time for lovers of democracy to rise up and preserve our hard earned democracy from these relentless mob, who are worse than zombies. They do not think, they do not reason, they do not question, they do not analyse, they simply move seeking for what to destroy. Many of their members never experienced an alternative to democracy in their adult life, hence their tendency to take democracy for granted. The truth does not exist in their dictionary, neither are they capable of critical thinking. Prof. Wole Soyinka perfectly described them as rabid parochial minds of easy excitation. For the sake of Nigeria’s democracy and our judiciary, we must stop and cure this virus now.