Plateau State loves Peter Obi, not Labour Party yet

    By D.G.Makai

    I had an interesting phone conversation with an official of the Labour Party who happens to be a good friend.

    For the fact that I rooted and supported Obi both offline and online, he called to emphasize the importance of spreading the gospel of Labour Party to our sphere of influence in our various states for the incoming Gubernatorial elections.

    I told him I won’t. Labour Party took it for granted that Plateau will go ‘Labour’ in the forth coming elections on Saturday because of the quantum of votes we gave them in the last presidential elections and understandably so.

    Most people who gave Labour party this unprecedented traction are not members of Labour Party ( we didnt even know that it was still an active Party despite being registered for more than two decades now) but card carrying members across party affiliations and non party members who traditionally vote for their candidates under the platform of any party they deemed fit.

    Most people already have their chosen candidates contesting under other party platforms for Governorship, National Assembly and House Assembly. That is why in Plateau State, LP didn’t win a single seat in the National Assembly despite the overwhelming votes we gave LP for the presidency. If Obi was not on the ballot, LP wouldn’t have seen ‘shishi’ in terms of presidential votes from Plateau State.

    I also think in the meantime, for the purposes of the incoming election, Obi shouldn’t go into State or regional politics outside of the South East, he may easily lose his appeal in other regions that supported him. Politics is local and his supporters in other regions have local exigencies to deal with.

    In the next four years, Let him prove those that have already riden on his ‘tsunami’ effects to power. Only then can he put his weight behind candidates that reflected his political ideology.

    This is instructive because the way LP is going is as if all of a sudden, all candidates in Labour party are ‘mini Peter Obi’ overnight. As if everyone contesting under Labour party now is capable and credible. The blunt truth is that most are not.

    We must not be deceived. We will not substitute individual capital for party platform. Not for LP, PDP or APC. We follow candidates. If Obi leaves Labour party tomorrow, we dump our votes for them and follow him.

    Labour party is not yet a party ( in the ideal sense it wants us to believe it has become), it is a conglomeration of diverse interests of the regular, un-inspiring politicians leveraging on Obi’s recent electoral capital to shoot to prominence. And it is within their right to take advantage of it…in politics, any advantage must be seized with all tenacity because a day is too much for tides to change in that arena.

    Obi gave them oxygen and labour party suddenly gained national prominence. They now have representation in both chambers of the National Assembly and want to capitalise on these feats to build their party. Let them go to the trenches and properly build a cohesive party.

    We only cared about Obi because of the credentials he came with that made his projection about the future believable. Same way we went for Obi is same way we are going for other ‘Obis’ (capacity and credibility) in other parties. If you must vote for Labour party, let it be on individual basis and not bandwagon mentality.

    Obi has become a figure of speech in our checkered political history. He is both a metaphor and personification that allegorizes a new Nigeria, of good governance, credibility and intergrity.

    Let them use the next 4 years to show us how different the elected officers under their party will be; if they will be a pleasant change from the status quo; driven by values and the critical value matrix Obi brought to the table…only then can we truly say that ” …a Daniel has come to judgement ” and perhaps witness the emergence of a true, ideologically based party.

    Then and only then, will our allegiance shift to party and not strong man. Because it will be a huge mistake to anchor our future on one man, and not systems. He isn’t perfect. He is fallible. He has his obvious shortcomings. We’ve seen the hyped ‘mai gaskiya’ and those that rode to power because of him in the build-up to 2015 presidential election who has now become ‘Mai karya’ in the most critical areas that shot him to power.

    Labour Party has work carved out for those elected under her platform, and we will audit their performance after 4 years.

    Note: This writing is not in anyway precluding Labour Party pulling an offset in the forth coming election on the Plateau. Afterall, power belongs to God and He gives it to whomever He wills.

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