Peter Obi, So-Called Igbo Isolation, And Tinubu’s Sinking Ship



Dr. Anthony Phillips

According to Garba Adamu, who is a former presidential aspirant and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), after the supposedly low turnout at the rally by Peter Obi and the Labour Party in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former Anambra Governor should withdraw from the race and yield the Southern space to the Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu.

Make no mistake about this APC crying of “Wolf!” It is what it is: Reverse psychology! It is simply the groaning of a wounded lion. To be so agitated and make this call two months away from the election reveals that APC is in a deep mess, therefore this desperation to annex Obi’s outfit.

Either APC has completely missed the signs or it is pretending to be unaware of the handwriting on the wall. Otherwise, that call was so unnecessary and misplaced.

The real reason for Obi joining the race in the first instance was to unseat the APC government that has led Nigeria through eight years of dismal and regrettable performance in office from 2015 to date. APC must think, characteristically, that Nigerians can be subverted in its mind game. This same twisted mind game this party has played since 2015. Well, I don’t think Nigerians will fall for the same mistake twice in a row. As Bob Marley sang, “You can fool some people sometime, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

Besides, Obi, having flaunted his impeccable character as being the basis for seeking people’s trust, cannot consider APC’s proposition, talk more of giving in to such a hopeless idea. Obi is leading a cross-section of the elite and the youth, bobbling with ideas for Nigeria’s redemption. For Obi’s followers, it is not about victory or nothing. It is about giving to the Nigerian society those things that have been lacking. Even if they fall short of their expectations this time around, they are willing to return home, regroup and get better prepared for another shot at Nigerian leadership. They do not see the presidency as a birthright in the “Emilokan” mentality.

The idea of the presidency being a birthright is an APC copyright, and it is the reason they are demanding Obi’s withdrawal from the race so soon.

APC’s message to Obi, “2023: Stop isolating the South-East, step down for Tinubu,” only has Garba Adamu merely as the courier. His paymasters needed a Northerner, Adamu, to carry the message in order to distract the rest of us. But they have failed.

They are simply asking Obi to join their sinking ship. They have gone round in this vicious cycle only to come to the same spot. They intend to make this race a divisive “North versus South” affair. If Garba so much loves the South, why can’t Tinubu step down for Obi, since Obi’s South-East is one of the two regions yet to occupy the presidential position in this dispensation?

However, it is difficult for these APC strategists to come frontally with a South versus North proposition, hence, they are hinging their veiled SOS on Obi’s low rally turnout. Is Tinubu faring any better with his rallies? Tinubu appears to be running for the Nigerian Presidency in Lagos only. He has organised about five or six rallies in Lagos already. I will not be surprised if his Lagos rallies are suddenly passed off and circulated on social media as rallies held in other states in the South-East or the North. Remember they reluctantly admitted to using Donald Duke’s 12 years old picture for Tinubu on social media. Apart from owning up to the Donald Duke fakery, they are yet to admit to so many fraudulent sharp practices of the past. Duke’s picture couldn’t have been used without Tinubu’s concurrence. And he is asking Nigerians to excuse the fraud. What does that say of a man who could not recognise himself in his own photo album?

Now let us go back to my take on APC. These pseudo-Progressives do not have an “inalienable right” to the Presidency of Nigeria, as they claim with their “Emilokan” posturing. It is the choice of the people to vote and decide for whoever will occupy that post. Undoubtedly, APC’s strategy for this presidential election has failed. Their goal was to reduce this election to a Southern agenda, where they believe they will have a relative advantage. However, they lost the argument.

Their Muslim/Muslim ticket was intended as another playing card that also fell apart.

Now they are shouting from the rooftop for Obi to step down for Tinubu; what a laughable gesture. They are asking Obi to step down and wait for another 16 years to yield Igbos their space. APC must have so much disdain for the South-East, otherwise, they shouldn’t have missed Igbos out with this Greek gift to the South.

Tinubu will perpetuate himself in office if he can. His history bears out this tenure elongation dream. Not only did he support the presidential and governorship elongation agenda in 2006-2007, he was also one of the biggest donors to support the cause.

Good enough, however, Obi needs no warning about APC and Tinubu because he knows them well. Where was Tinubu when indigenes’ lands were being ravaged in Southern Nigeria? He was looking for cows as a substitute for human lives lost.

Where was Tinubu throughout the eight years maladministration of APC? Not once did he proffer a solution or object to the misadventures of the APC government.

It is a shame for Tinubu to believe now that he can change the subject by asking Nigerians to forget about the darkness into which the APC government led the nation. He now proposes to lead Southern Nigeria to take the fight to the North under the banner of APC. I know the Igbos will not fall for the scam, nor will the South-South, nor the greater number of the South-West. It is such a pity that Tinubu and the APC continue to underrate our people’s intelligence.

Dr. Anthony Phillips writes from Lagos


  1. Brilliant article. The APC is clutching at straws. I know that 2023 will be a year of surprises, they will learn a new political message.


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