By Damiete Braide
Spokesman of a group, The Mandate: Peter Obi’ 23, (MANPO ’23), Ben Nanaghan, in this interview spoke on why Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State, should be given the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and what Nigeria will gain from his presidency.
You are the spokesman of the group; The Mandate: Peter Obi ’23. What is it all about?
You are aware that corruption, nepotism, favouritism and all the banal indices of evil have overtaken our fatherland, Nigeria. The country is presently irretrievably unsalvageable. The falcon can no longer hear the falconer and things have gradually fallen apart, apologies to Chinua Achebe.
In order therefore to achieve the Nigeria of our dreams, we need people like Peter Obi, who with his full baggage of Spartan discipline, Victorian purity, exemplary humility and honesty can salvage and weld the broken pieces of the Nigerian psyche into one reasonable whole.
The aim of MANPO ’23 is to project the hidden qualities of Peter Obi which qualifies him for the number one seat in Nigeria. MANPO ’23 is founded by concerned Nigerians who have the interest of Nigeria’s survival at heart. It was formed by Nigerians from all over the globe who believe Nigeria should be premised on fairness, justice, equity and brotherhood by giving the Igbo a chance to govern this country through Peter Obi, who displayed a very great excellence in dynamism, innovativeness, progressive leadership while he was the governor of Anambra State for eight years. He was also, involved in the cancellation of Nigeria’s foreign debts by the Paris Club during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.
Peter Obi was also a Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan during his five years presidency. And we in MANPO ’23 desire that he succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 to replicate his achievements as an economic connoisseur, and a grand master in the art of governance, in order to bring Nigeria out of imminent disaster and ruin.
We mourn and our hearts bleed over the depth of rot, destruction and carnage presently starring Nigerians in the face. MANPO ’23 is saddened by this gloomy state of affairs in Nigeria.
Do you think Peter Obi’s aspiration to vie for the topmost job in the land is worthwhile?
Obi is a well-tested and respected administrator who leads by traceable examples. His aspiration of becoming Nigeria’s president is to pull Nigeria back from the precipice of disastrous ruin and set it back on the path of its true position as the giant of Africa.
Nigerians from all walks of life are rooting for Peter Obi to be President because he is the round peg that fits the round hole in the presidential race. Apart from returning Nigeria to its giant of Africa status, he will upgrade Nigeria’s economic indices to the level of countries like Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and other 2nd world countries. MANPO ‘23 believes that it’s a worthwhile venture for Peter Obi and with the teeming population behind him, we know he will become Nigeria’s next President in a free, fair and just election.
Anambra Monarchs have given Obi their blessing to contest for the office of the president. Is this all they should offer this their illustrious son?
You parochialise, regionalise, tribalise and even personalise when you restrict this serious presidential contest to the doorstep of Ndi Anambra. Peter Obi has a very rich and flamboyant curriculum vitae which pitches him above every other aspirant in all the parties fielding candidates for the Nigerian Presidency come 2023.
This informs the reason why MANPO ‘23 is all out and standing solidly behind Peter Obi to articulate and galvanise the entire nation and the Diasporans for the needed support to elect him as the next President of Nigeria, come 29th May, 2023.
It is worthy of note that Afenifere, the Yoruba pan social-cultural organisation has ceded the Nigerian presidency to the South East and has considered adopting Peter Obi as their candidate. The South-South will also fight for an Igbo presidency if a candidate like Peter Obi is presented by the South-East. Even the Middle Belt and other Northern Christians and liberals will support Peter Obi which will be the best option in democratic and exemplary statesmanship.
With the PDP National Consensus arrangement, is a South Eastern (Igbo) Presidency Possible, come 2023?
It is both preposterous, insensitive and fraudulent for the Northern caucus of the PDP to plot the abandonment of the zoning system which has stabilised the party since its foundation. The plan to abort the zoning formula for a consensus is a plan to allow money to prevail. Northerners like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Aminu Tambuwal are multi-billionaires and will not allow the candidacy go to a prudent not too-rich disciplinarian like Peter Obi whose only high points are his financial/economic expertise and his Victorian purity and honesty.
But MANPO’ 23 is very positive that if all the Southern states agree to support the zoning system, the Northern caucus will have no choice but to surrender to the Southern choice. Narrowing this down will bring us to the South East and Peter Obi, who has exhibited those qualities that differentiated the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo from all the politicians of his time.
Peter Obi like the late Chief Awolowo is very intellectual, erudite, academic, unusually brilliant, resolute, and unwavering in his convictions of Nigeria as a salvageable nation that can compete with the biggest economies of the world. Nigeria must forego ancient and dated attitudes and embrace modern technologies in order to move her forward. We are convinced beyond all doubt that Obi is the best presidential aspirant we have in Nigeria today. I have fought for an Igbo President for Nigeria since 2007 through various channels and I know that only Peter Obi can take us from a sixth world nation to a 1st world nation. Yes Peter Obi can.
Do you see PDP winning the presidential election in 2023?
Yes of course, I am sure that the PDP will win back the presidency. The APC believes in a bogus, antiquated born-to-rule mentality while the PDP believes in following democratic systems and channels in acquiring power. For instance, untold hardship has been heaped upon Nigerians by the APC and Nigerian life is not valued more than a sparrow’s. From the last APC consensus convention, it was realised that all the new executive officers are former PDP stalwarts, from Alhaji Adamu to the last officer of the New All Progressive Congress (APC) Executive Board. It is therefore proper to say that the new APC Executive Board has the physical body of the APC but the Soul of PDP.
Which do you prefer, a national consensus for an aspirant or for all the aspirants to contest for the ticket?
Firstly, please note that consensus candidacy is undemocratic, a vestige and relic of the old authoritarianism of the despotic monarchies of Europe’s ancient regimes. Consensus candidacy is the will of one man or a cabal imposed to submerge the general will of the masses as enshrined by Jean Jacques Rousseau. Consensus candidacy is a violent and fraudulent abrogation of the fundamental human rights of the powerless perpetrated by the powerful who wield the gavel of authority.
Of course, MANPO’ 23 favours a system of fundamental democratic precepts and principles. This includes the intra-party election or the mini elections within the parties. Via the primary election the common man is fully represented by the delegates representative system.
Bringing this closer home, we suggest the PDP sticks to the primary election system which however in Nigeria has been corrupted by big money spenders who have ripped Nigerian treasuries open and dry.
The Gov. Samuel Ortom Committee of the PDP has recommended the cancellation of zoning the presidency. This has introduced another dimension into the 2023 election for the PDP as every political pundit and observer had zoned the presidency to the South since the party chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu is from the North.
But whatever happens, Peter Obi is a very formidable contestant for the presidency. He has a gigantic profile that posts him far ahead of all other political party presidential candidates.
Yes, the MANPO 23’ is convinced that our candidate will emerge President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, come May 29, 2023.