Across Nigeria’s political spectrum, many are already inundated with the idea that former Governor of Anambra and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi will pull a surprise victory in the 2023 presidential election. Still, it is expedient to look at how such a victory might happen. If the current tempo and moves by Obi are perfectly sustained till February 2023, Obi might be able to spring surprises at the poll if he can control the narrative and the influence he is currently wielding in the country. Until recently, many underestimated Obi’s dexterity in comparative socio-economics; his will to bring a change in governance; and the support he enjoys from young Nigerians. Many leaders have claimed to have achieved a lot while trying to fix the problem of Nigeria, but obvious metrics suggest they have sorely failed.
The Labour Party candidate stands a chance of winning the 2023 presidential election if the issues listed below are well addressed.
- Funding the #Obedient structure/support base:
It is a great thought that Obi built his structure around 100 million hungry Nigerians and 35 million unemployed persons, including unpaid pensioners, but without serious funding, the hungry-voters-structure might be demoralised to deliver victory for the Labour party in the 2023 elections. If Peter Obi wants to truly win the 2023 elections, his handlers should be putting up their thinking cap on setting up a crowdfunding plan to boost his campaign. The need for a viable political structure in winning an election can not be overstated. Obi’s existing political structure is practically scanty, he is only riding on the strength of social media populism, which may not be able to soak up the daunting political challenges, particularly in the North where his brand is yet to be felt. Besides, considering the financial wherewithal of Obi’s contenders (Abubakar Atiku of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC), it is obvious funding is a problem that must be immediately addressed by the ‘Obedient’. With good funding, the LP can begin to look at expansion strategies – accommodating aggrieved members in other parties, aligning with oppositional political parties that are putting up a good fight against the ruling government as well as robustly migrating the #Obidient ideals into the northern part of Nigeria, all these will require great costs. If Obi intensifies media appearances and campaign spending, a lot of angry voters who are already dissatisfied with the two major mainstream political parties will take him more seriously. Imperatively, if the huge online supporters all get their PVCs and translate online activism to real-time votes, Obi will be a formidable candidate come to the 2023 election. The 2023 election is coming at a time when the entire country is intensely charged. The Obi camp needs to bear in mind various issues and unforeseen circumstances that could mar his chances at the poll, considering the Nigerian peculiarities. It may not be certain yet what the 2023 situation would look like, but previous elections have witnessed issues such as rigging, vote-buying, arrest of key chieftains of some parties, and organized violence in major states, towns or areas where a candidate has a higher advantage of votes. There is a huge amount of planning and resources that will go into the entire process as the election is approaching, which Obi can not look away from.