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  • Writer's pictureMarvellous Ogudoro

The Case For Peter Obi In 500 Words

Marvellous Ogudoro, Renowned Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Nigerian Presidential Candidate Peter Obi
Marvellous Ogudoro (left) with Renowned Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Nigerian Presidential Candidate Peter Obi at Harvard University, 2022

There is no denying that Nigeria is a complicated place. This is what happens when you take over 200 million people from several different tribes and put them into one political unit. We also cannot deny that Nigeria is rather young. Her counterparts like the United States or Japan have many more years of nation building experience under their belts. It is a gap that we cannot ignore.

It is, however, important that Nigeria in this 2023 election, sees itself as faced with a decision. Over the past 62 years, we’ve pushed through iterations of colonialism and military dictatorship towards an imperfect democracy. We have even fought a civil war to try and uphold this idea of our pluralistic country. On paper, we seem committed to the idea of a democratic Nigeria, but this 2023 election is asking us to again renew our investment in this country.

When contenders in this election run on this basis of “it is my turn to lead”, we the Nigerian masses, must acknowledge that such a sentiment is fundamentally incompatible with democracy because it is not a system of government that deals in embellishment of legacy. Rather, the democracy that Africa’s giant is demanding, is a system that looks towards citizens and asks them what they need at the moment. In other words, are we as voters here to complete someone’s quest for their dream job, or do we need something different? There is a very clear answer.

Also, When contenders tout their previous government experience, Nigerians must remember that these tenures have often been shrouded in inefficiency and corruption.We everyday citizens must ask ourselves what said experience does for the average person? This question is especially important when we are literally wrapping up an administration that was campaigned for on similar ideas. “I’ve been at the head of affairs before so I know what’s best”. We now know, through our collective hardship over the past eight years, that this idea is deeply flawed. Besides, democracy in the progressive form that Nigeria deeply needs ought not to be an appeal to the past. It should, rather, be a declaration of hope in the future that is backed up by the will and consent of Nigerian masses.

Thus, we are left with one person who, though not the messiah that the country would so greatly benefit from, is our best bet. With Peter Obi, lies a chance for the Nigeria masses to finally choose themselves and I mean choosing themselves in the long run. With Peter Obi lies a chance for our youth, the majority shareholders of our country, to claim their stake. And finally, with Peter Obi, lies Nigeria’s future in the form that we have been imperfectly trudging towards since our independence; a nation that though brimming with cultural differences, creates a space for everyone- especially the common person.

*I write this essay because Nigeria doesn’t yet allow voting from outside the country. These words are, therefore, my way of staying engaged with the country that I love so dearly.*


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