Austin Isikhuemen writes a second letter for Soludo
My dear nwane’m Peter Obi,
In my first letter titled “History Beckons and I will not be silent (Part 1)”, I had written, inter alia, “Several well-meaning Nigerians and Ndigbo called to advise that I should just ignore them. A respected Igbo elder-statesman who called, advised that I should just ignore what he described as “Peter Obi and his social media mob”. According to him, “everyone knows that he is going nowhere, but they are looking for who to blame”. After some 20 minutes of discussion, he advised that I should personally author a response— just for the records.”
I had also sworn to write a part two. Now some unscrupulous people are insinuating that I lost my mojo on seeing how this Obi Trader that I predicted after professorial algebraic calculations appears to have proved me totally wrong. I have the courage to write the second letter, even if I have to swallow my vomit, sorry, I meant my words. I have since realized that making political predictions is not as easy as wearing akwete fabrics all over the place. Secondly, I realize now that the man who advised me to write the first letter has done irreparable damage to my brand that I carefully cultivated since my glory days of bank consolidation.
Writing this second letter after Obi has rubbished my predictions is not an easy task. Knowing that pride goes before a fall, I have to write the second letter to, again, put the record straight for posterity’s sake. I am not doing this because of anyone’s advice but after careful consideration of the possible repercussions of not doing so now. After all, I have second term ambitions even though the original proposition that I will be the first Ndigbo to savour the opulent splendor of Aso Rock appears to have evaporated due to the backlash from the first letter.
In that misguided first letter, I had written that someone said Obi was going nowhere and he knows it. As a good and contrite Christian who has promised to tell the truth always, I confess now that it was myself and no one else who made that claim. That claim has been turned on its head as Obi is clearly now going somewhere. Firstly, he has gone to the Presidential Elections Tribunal and appears to give the jitters to the ‘winner’. Is it a coincidence that the defendants do not give a hoot to Atiku’s challenge but all over the place about Obi and the planks of his case? It is instructive that a man who came ‘third’ in the race is the one that gives the supposed winners sleepless nights.
With the way things stand today, I take back my words. Obi is headed somewhere. How can he not be, when he that we wrongly assumed has zero structure and will not get votes has be given the same 12 states like those who have solid structures! Even then, iRev and BVAS seem to be on one with this my trader brother we all underrated… I only wish now he had contested on our APuGA platform. There are rumours that he actually won! I would have been a king maker today and position seekers would have been flooding Awka seeking my intervention on their behalf. That regrettably is the path not taken.
In my first letter I had written about those I wrongly classified as the ‘social media mob’ that “Translating anger and social media agitation into political outcomes requires humongous work.” At some point I also wrote, “Someone reminded me that a mob has no head and hence cannot reason”. Little did I know that the angry Nigerian youth long dispossessed (clearly not a mob) who feel my generation has eaten their future was fully self-motivated even though penniless and capable of doing the humongous work. They proved me wrong in thinking that they were not ready especially as the acclaimed “aka gum” was not giving them ‘shishi’. This election has proven that a peaceful ballot box revolution is possible and, indeed took place, in spite of the roadblocks mounted by revisionists, arsonists, disenfranchisers and status-quo gatekeepers.
Those investments I mischaracterized and worthless were not entirely so. That was political speak. Ndi-Anambra are the beneficiaries of such well thought-out savings and investment. Today, the brewery at Onitsha gives employment to thousands of citizens and provides business opportunities to thousands more – distributors, transporters, warehouse owners, drivers, caterers, motor boys, etc. Their flagship beer brand has the highest market share in the Southeast and, I must confess, gives me enormous satisfaction when well chilled and dispensed with isi-ewu accompaniment. It lubricates gubernatorial post hours engagements.
In my first letter I also wrote, “And some people have the temerity to suggest that APGA’s candidate should “step down” for Peter Obi”. This was because I considered APuGA to be the third largest party in Nigeria and Labour Party a nonstarter. Again the February 24th has proven me wrong. I sincerely apologize to LP and call on them to forgive this faux pas and to not use it to short-circuit my re-election bid in a couple of years. Even my reference to my fellow Ndi-Igbo voters in unflattering terms should be overlooked. I had said “Igbos, in their frenzied Nzogbu nzogbu politics, have sadly found themselves in a political cul-de-sac. Tragic indeed! When will my people smell the morning coffee?” That was my infantile gubernatorial exuberance. To forgive is divine.
Let me plead with Peter Obi that whenever he receives my invitation to government functions, he need not bother to come. I do it for mere curtesy protocol and also to ensure I get invited in the future when this my term, or the second if Obidients allow it, comes to an end. I did not find it funny that last time you came into my first anniversary in Awka. I was grinning from ear to ear only to realize it was not my speech they were applauding. It was your entry that caused the tumultuous crescendo! Talk of taking the shine off a whole governor….
I even mistakenly wrote as if I was in the Presidential race when I penned as follows: “I know when/how it is appropriate to “save” as I built Nigeria’s foreign reserves from $10 billion I inherited to all time $63 billion, and even after paying $12 billion to pay-off Nigeria’s external debt and going through unprecedented global financial crisis, I still left behind about $45 billion— Go and verify!)”. Obi was the one in the race and my election is not due till three years, so this was not necessary at all. I was also not the chief executive, OBJ was. But you can also see that I gave credit to Peter Obi by using his signature phrase ‘go and verify!’. You can regard that as my allocutus…
I plead with everyone, especially the Obidients, to delete the following annoying paragraph from that my first letter wherever they come across it. They should know how to do that, being a very tech-savvy group that I mistakenly called mob. “Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know. The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama!”
Yes, it is serious drama and Obi and Datti seem to be enjoying it. So are the Obidients! This letter, written pro bono, by one that Soludo mistakenly called when he was running before this his win contest, must be taken with a pinch of salt and a dose of vodka. Soludo did not type it. Else it would have been as long as the second Niger Bridge! I peeped into his grey matter and extracted this letter therein. He apparently has lacked the courage to write. Or, perhaps, gubernatorial exertions to try and beat Obi’s unbeaten record in Anambra State could be so enervating that he falls asleep on the sofa, leaving the TV to watch him in a not so funny reversal of roles.