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Peter Obi is the luckiest man alive

Peter Obi is the luckiest man alive
March 11
19:41 2024

“Peter Obi is the luckiest man alive.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Imagine for a moment that he is the president governing Nigeria today.”

“What is there to imagine?”


“Imagine the kind of abuse people would have heaped on him. Obi kelele nke would have become something else.”

“Aha. Abuse! Would it be different from what they have done already?”

“In fact, they would not just abuse him; they would have cursed all Igbo people in Nigeria and beyond.”


“Saying what?”

“Pick your poison. They could have been saying that this hardship was the Igbo plan to wipe off other ethnic groups in Nigeria and take over the whole country.”

“And how would they have justified that thinking?”

“Simple. That Igbo people were not protesting and were not stopping lorries carrying food items to loot the contents.”



“So, it must mean that their brother, the president, must have been secretly giving them money and food.”

“The way Tinubu has been giving money and food to the Yoruba. Nobody would believe such nonsense.”

“Then you must not live in this country if you doubt it. These people believed that the January 15, 1966 coup was an Igbo coup when only seven out of the fourteen army officers who planned the coup were Igbo. There were four Yoruba, two Hausa, an Ijaw, a Tiv, an Urhobo, an Esan, and others. Even the man who wrote the book, “Why We Struck,” Major Adewale Ademoyega, was Yoruba.” He did not write “Why the Igbo Army Officers Struck.” But that did not stop some Nigerians from calling it an Igbo coup. And on that basis, the rest of the crises of the 1960s emanated.”


“I don’t believe it.”

“I’m telling you that people in today’s Nigeria believe that Tinubu had been giving Igbo people money so they would like him and that it was why they were not protesting the hardship like others. We saw one of them speaking on a viral video. Did you not see him?”


“That Igbo people have not started protesting does not mean they would not eventually.”

“You just watch and see. The war made them tough.”


“Nothing can make anyone withstand Tinubu’s bitter pill.”

“Do you want to bet?”


“No, thank you. What else do you have?”

“If Peter Obi were to be president, some Nigerians would have blamed all Igbo people for what Peter Obi had turned Nigerian into.”


“I dare say that Igbo businesses would have been routinely broken into across the country by people seeking reparation for what Peter Obi did to the country. If an Igbo man is unlucky to be selling food items, God help the fellow. His merchandise would have become free for the aggrieved.”

“That is a too pessimistic view of the Nigerian people.”

“I’m even being charitable to these crop of Nigerians that I see today.”

“But what if President Peter Obi did something different from what Bola Tinubu is currently doing?”

“Give me a break!”

“You mean you do not see that possibility? Do you not sincerely see any difference in substance and style? Come on.”

“Okay, I will concede this – President Peter Obi will stop his convoy at gas stations across the country, pay, and pump the petrol into each vehicle himself. What else? He would wear the same shoe for a month and the same wristwatch for a year.”

“My friend, I’m very serious. You sincerely do not see any substantive difference that would have happened?”

“Didn’t all the leading candidates pledge to remove the oil subsidy? Didn’t they vow to close the different Naira exchange rate gap that well-connected people used to defraud us all?”

“That does not mean Peter would approach these reforms similarly.”

“What other way could he use? In what way does your nurse give you an injection without pain? Please tell me.”

“What if he does other things to make everyone feel we are in this hardship together? That we are all sacrificing for a better tomorrow.”

“Is there anything that Tinubu will do now that will make you say that, you know what? It is okay if a bag of cement costs 15,000 Naira for now. It is for our good. It is okay if a bag of rice is 80,000 Naira; it is for the betterment of our grandchildren?”

“Are you saying that if Pres. Peter Obi seriously cut the size of the government, that people will not gladly make the sacrifice and work with him to fix Nigeria?”

“President Peter Obi. Did you hear how that came out of your mouth?”


“I don’t know. But it sounded nothing presidential.”

“Let me take a minute to let that sink in first.”

“Take an hour if you like.”

“Let me ask again: what about cutting the size of his government?

“How much can you save from cutting the size of the government?”

“Are you kidding me? Do we need 45 ministers for the size of our economy? Do we need all these government agencies that are doing nothing but collecting salaries?”

“Is Tinubu not doing that already? He is implementing the Orosanye report as we speak.”

“So we should clap for Tinubu for promising to implement the Orosanye report. This a man who increased the number of ministers and ministry we have in time of economic hardship.”

“Okay. Eliminate the extra ministers that the constitution did not mandate, let the lawmakers go to work on bicycles, have the First Lady go to her office in an Uber, how much will you save through all that?”

“Billions, I am sure.”

“What is billions?”

“What do you mean “what is billions?” Are you now an ally of Flavor, who asks us “What is money?” in his hit song, ‘Baller’?” My friend, despite the devaluation of the Naira, Billions are still billions. They are still money.”

“Okay. So, what is your point with the billions in dollars that we owe?”

“My point is that presidents are like parents; if you want your child to take a bitter pill, you become creative.”

“You mean creative or deceptive?”

“You got my point.”

“Successful parents are not those who pamper their children. They are those who give it straight to them.”

“Is it just me, or do you also feel that the team that Tinubu is running the country with is our second eleven? Do you feel they are not the brightest crayons in the box?”

“Why do you say so?”

“Are they not mainly made up of his loyal Lagos boys?”

“What groups are you concerned that they are missing in Tinubu’s team? Is it the IMF types or the World Bank stooges?”

“All I’m saying is that Nigerians have been through a lot, and I think they deserve a break?”

“What kind of break do you want? A temporary one or a permanent break?”

“I want a break so that they will come out alive.”

“Unfortunately, that is not how life works.”

“Meaning what?”

“Unfortunately, some of them will die. But that is a price that President Tinubu is willing to pay for our better tomorrow.”

“Here is my conclusion: Nigeria has three groups of people today. One group is very pessimistic and thinks President Bola Tinubu is overrated. The second group is so optimistic that they think Tinubu is underrated. The third group is sure that the other two groups do not know how much they need to know before they know how little they know.”

“Which group do I belong to?”

“Use your tongue to count your teeth.”

Okonkwo teaches Post-Colonial African History at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is also the host of Dr. Damages Show. His books include “This American Life Sef” and “Children of a Retired God,” among others. His upcoming book is called “Why I’m Disappointed in Jesus.”

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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