Democracy Day: Peter Obi reawakening #EndSARS spirit in Nigeria — By Aniekan Udofia4 min read
Never in the history of Nigeria has any movement by the people threatened the ruling elites like the #EndSars protest of October 2020. The nation was shocked to his marrows to see an army of youths rise to hold the State Anti-Robbery Squad ( SARS) to account for their inhumanity to man.
For days the movement permeated the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and protest Marches from one state to the other sent the clear message to the world that there is a non violent possible take over of government by an aggrieved young population.
Commercial Lekki toll gate was occupied for days. Food, relief materials, giant television screens for viewing football matches among other things were provided for the protesters to make their stay there convenient. Day and night these youths occupied Lekki toll gate. They slept there and had their meals there.
State governors began to look for their leaders to hear their demands and negotiate. Sadly the movement lacked any face of leadership and made the task of government engagement near impossible. The faceless leadership of the ENDSARS movement meant a sellout was impossible. Anyone who volunteered to speak onbehalf of the protesters was denounced.
The nation was in a deep mess. The oligarchy was threatened. Their safety and investments within the country had come under the searchlight of this army. It was safer to leave the country or go against this army contravening all international standard for handling peaceful protest.
Attempt to outlaw the protest failed. The only option left was to say to hell with Amnesty International and the international community. Go violently against this army.
Pro SARS protesters suddenly emerged. They went violently against the ENDSARS movement. Property were wantonly destructed and the movement that had remained non violent was accused of masterminding the act. Violent clashes raged. The script seem to have fallen in the order it was targeted.
The ENDSARS movement lacked leadership, lacked religious face, lacked ethnicity, lacked boundaries, lacked gender bias, etc. The nation was at risk. The oligarchy was about to end. Something needed to be done urgently.
The final straw that broke the carmel’s back was the alleged shooting at Lekki toll gate. The ENDSARS movement came to an abrupt end but not without the bold statement that had been made.
Today there is a new movement that has already shown signs to surpass the ENDSARS movement. It is the OBI-dient movement.
Peter Obi has declared to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has chosen a “minor” party in the eyes of the oligarchy but the young population of Nigeria seeming to be saying that Labour Party the platform Peter Obi has chosen to run on is not minor in their eyes.
Peter Obi’s Presidential bid has reawakened the spirit of the ENDSARS movement. The young population believe more than ever that they can take back their country. From one to the Thirty-Six States of the federation an army is assembling for Peter Obi. They say that OBI-dience is better than sacrifice. Some hold that presenting “ancestors” as Presidential candidates to Nigerians in 2023 is synonymous to sacrificing the destiny of our nation. So for them Peter Obi represents salvation for our nation’s destiny. Thus the caption OBI-DIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE is gaining traction.
Again the new Electoral Act has given Nigerians assurance that their votes will count. Many now believe that a vote for Peter Obi will not be wasted. Electronic transmission of results mean we can also collate our votes.
There is mass mobilisation for the OBI-dient movement. Resources are pouring in, in billions of Naira and foreign currencies. Those who said that Labour Party lack the resources to challenge the major political parties are having a rethink as common Nigerians at home and in diaspora are staking their hard earned money for the course.
A major market in Lagos State Alaba International Market was shutdown for one day to drive voter registration all for the sake of the OBI-dient movement. INEC has been pressured to extend its Continuous Voter Registration CVR. The likelihood that more polling units will be created is evident with the increase in voters registered.
WhatsApp groups, Facebook messenger, Twitter and many social media platforms are gathering for OBI-dient movement. Even those who say elections are not done on social media know that this particular movement is matching social media mobilisation and on the ground mobilisation. The are shouting on social media and are also getting their Permanent Voter’s Card PVC ready for the real battle.
The oligarchy is sending campaigns that OBI-dient movement is just a social media rant, but deep down are afraid of what is coming. They still remember ENDSARS movement very fresh in their minds and know that what almost dislodged them started with just a single tweet. They also know that the social media was instrumental to an opposition party unseat a sitting President that sought reelection.
The spirit of ENDSARS is upon us but this time with tact, intelligence , human capacity and resources. Nigerians have also read how Barack Obama’s campaign was financed by the common man and how Emmanuel Macron of France came into power from the most unlikely sources and platform.
The message now is if they say a vote for Peter Obi is a wasted one, then we have decided to waste the millions of our vote on Obi and see where they would carry the votes that are not wasted to take our country. Just be OBI-dient and see how far together we can go.