Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia is a former presidential aspirant of Nigeria’s APC.
1. I am joining the Nigerian masses to endorse Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party as the next president of Nigeria. Though I remain a member of All Progressives Congress (APC), I must not support its presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The decision to endorse the candidate of an opposition party did not come easy. But there comes a time to say: enough is enough.
2. A puzzling preface is that neither fellow party members nor ordinary Nigerians can claim to know who Ahmed Tinubu truly is. Everything about the man is shady—from his name, state of origin, the schools attended, certificates received, his record in America to his true source of income, let alone any true intention of seeking the presidency, apart from an arrogant claim that it is his turn to rule Nigeria.
3. Besides the shady background, series of events also show that Tinubu does not have any good sense of equity, justice, fairness, and patriotism—virtues he claims to promote. The truth is that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is even more insensitive about the Nigerian state and her problems than President Muhammadu Buhari. Further, it is a common knowledge that the APC National Leader no longer possesses the physical fitness to explore the Nigerian presidency, but it has equally become very apparent that he no longer has the mental capacity.
4. Very essentially, if the truth is told, no conscious and well-meaning Nigerian would wish an extension of the current national government under APC which Tinubu roundly endorses.
5. The party had far better and younger candidates to fly its presidential ticket but chose to settle for the highest bidder in the ageless Tinubu.
6. Even as a candidate, Tinubu’s do-or-die campaign strategy is an existential threat to the Nigerian state. The APC National Leader has made it abundantly clear that he does not mind if the country burns to ashes, insofar he becomes president.
7. Rescuing Nigeria is paramount. Thus, we can no longer hide behind the bogus toga of political parties, tribes, and religions, while a visionless clique continues to dictate our future.
8. We can no longer mortgage our conscience while the masses, particularly the youth, continue to wallow in abject poverty and despair.
9. We must not continue to watch Mr. Tinubu and his shameless colleagues deploy our commonwealth to buy private jets, vacation abroad, train their children abroad, receive quality healthcare for themselves and their families abroad, while the masses at home have nowhere to go for their basic welfare.
10. I have conscience. In Peter Obi, I see a true detribalized Nigerian like myself, who is committed to real change. I see a generational visionary who is truly passionate and committed to rescue the country from total collapse and reposition her for greatness.
11. In Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, the Labour Party vice-presidential candidate, I see hope for the future.
12. In Obi/Baba-Ahmed ticket, I see intellect, character, competence, and capacity; I see integrity and humility. I see patriotism; I see dynamism. I see enviable and verifiable track-record; I see attainable visions; I see hope for the Nigeria of our founding dreams; I see a democratic revolution whose time has come.
13. This move is consistent with my politics. I never allow the mere exigencies of ethnicity, religion, or party affiliation to becloud my judgement. As a member of the National Republican Convention (NRC), I crossed party lines to campaign for MKO Abiola, the flagbearer for the Social Democratic Party (SDP). I saw Abiola as a better candidate than the candidate of my party, Bashir Tofa.
14. I was a card-carrying member of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in its thickest state of Enugu. However, after the fraudulent general elections of 2007 where the ruling PDP dictated who won or who lost, I changed course. I vowed to join any movement that could remove PDP from power. I would become a foundation member of the APC and promoted Buhari to victory.
15. I remain proud that we made history by dethroning the PDP–a virally corrupt ruling party that had planned to hold on to power for 60 unbroken years. We demonstrated consequences for bad behavior.
16. Unfortunately, today, with Asiwaju Tinubu as its National Leader, the APC does not appear to have any ideological, moral, or ethical difference with the much-discredited PDP. Today, my party has shamelessly become a safe haven for corrupt kingpins indicted while in PDP. To make matters worse, the two presidential candidates of APC and PDP, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, respectively, are two of the most perfidious poster boys for Nigeria’s corrupt oligarchy. In short, neither Atiku nor Tinubu can in good conscience campaign against corruption.
17. It is pertinent to note that no Nigerian leader, whether military or civilian, has ever assumed the governance of the country with the degree of mercenary influence cum notoriety commonly equated with Atiku and Tinubu.
18. I have a conscience. I have chosen my country over my party. I have become OBI-dient for the greater good of Nigeria!! I call on other true progressives to do so!!!
SKC, this is a good decision on your part. It pays patriotic dividends to be pragmatic and not overly dogmatic about political fellowship, if country is to be better served.