The primacy of politics is the provision of leadership – and true leadership is but a call to serve not to be served. The servant-leader should be tolerant and long suffering in his quest for reformation with liberation and unity; liberating and uniting the people at all cost for the good of mankind.
Anyone desirous of this calling must make sure that his private life is a public document. To be called a true leader, one must be tested and trusted, standing the test of time every time and everywhere with no stain of secrecy else he would be distracted by the whirlwind of blackmail and propaganda. This type of mission is rare and does not come cheap. Thus, there is the need for adequate preparation, especially where the people’s psyche has been battered and bastardized over the years by bad governance, like in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s march to the 2023 presidential election is a good case study – and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party is the reference point. He represents the best, and remains the best.
Peter’s venture into the presidential race, and his emergence as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate altered the current political equation and changed the narrative for the better. His style of politics has redefined the act of politicking, making him the symbol of hope and the face of a new Nigeria. Being simple but sophisticated, he is loaded without baggage. Peter Obi does not just walk the talk; he is absolutely prepared, in all ramifications, for the task of being an efficient and effective president running a responsible and responsive government to uplift the people and build the nation.
Nation building is neither a day’s job nor a one man’s task but it needs a functional mindset at the helm of affairs. It is a joint effort that requires tact, wit and wisdom. It needs a pragmatic, agile and healthy person with a sound mind to steer. This is where Mr. Obi stands out from other presidential candidates. His presence enlivens, and his speech inspires. He exudes confidence and instills hope with absolute possibility to turn things around.
A new Nigeria built on equity and fair play with equal right and justice for the sanctity of life is possible; a new Nigeria of hope and love with security of life and property guaranteed is possible; a new Nigeria of tolerance and mutual cooperation where every Nigerian can live at peace in any part of the country regardless of tribe and religion without being profiled and targeted for segregation or elimination is possible – and every Nigerian of good conscience should team up and make this happen with Peter Obi as the president.
Definition of nation building
Nation-building is constructing or structuring a national identity using the power of the state. Nation-building aims at the unification of the people within the state so that it remains politically stable and viable in the long run. According to Harris Mylonas, “Legitimate authority in modern national states is connected to popular rule, to majorities. Nation-building is the process through which these majorities are constructed, and according to Columbia University sociologist Andreas Wimmer, three factors tend to determine the success of nation-building over the long-run: “the early development of civil-society organisations, the rise of a state capable of providing public goods evenly across a territory, and the emergence of a shared medium of communication.” Of all the presidential candidates, Mr. Peter Obi is the only one that has what it takes to build and reform a complex country like Nigeria at this time in our national history.
The process of nation building
Nation-building is the process whereby a society of people with diverse origins, histories, languages, cultures and religions come together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation, a national public education system, an integrated national economy, shared symbols and values, as equals, to work towards eradicating the divisions and injustices of the past; to foster unity; and promote a countrywide conscious sense of being (in this case, Nigeria), committed to the country and open to the continent and the world. To do this, the first citizen – the president – should be above board and led by example. Mr. Peter Obi has no skeleton in his cupboard and as such cannot be weighed down by any baggage of the past in carrying out the required work of building a new Nigeria.
Who builds the nation?
The first and most important components in nation building are knowledge, literacy and access to education. Education being the spine of every nation is also the key to empowerment. Interestingly the best possible way to empower the nation is to empower the students of the nation. To do this, there must be an enabling environment for healthy competition with clearly defined compensation mechanisms. Again, no candidate can do this better than Mr. Peter Obi whose unblemished credentials speak volume.
Nation-building is usually identified with the achievements or failures of individual leaders. Of all the presidential candidates, Peter Obi looks more prepared and physically fit to champion the cause of building a new Nigeria. With an adequate and functional merit culture, which Mr. Peter Obi will put in place the two other building blocks of a successful nation state—the commitment of its citizens as well as the quality of its institutions will take their right places in Nigeria.
Nation Builders exhibit characteristics, skills and values that are important to the Nation to which they belong. “A Nation Builder demonstrates an eagerness and willingness to help others. Shows a curiosity for learning, especially about his own first nation, first nation’s culture and language; expresses and demonstrates a desire to continue learning with a healthy lifestyle while sharing his love of learning with others.” Mr. Peter Obi stands shoulder high here.
The cost of building a nation
The prime objective of any nation-building operation is not to make an authoritarian government democratic or a poor nation rich, but to make a violent society peaceful. If basic needs for safety, food and shelter are not being met, money spent on political or economic development is likely to be wasted on misplaced priorities. This is the genesis of thugs in politics, and should be curtailed or stopped by true nation builders.
Thuggery does not build a nation but rather it produces cult personalities with idiotic followership that often end up taking the society back to Stone Age. This must stop.
The demand for a new nation
The members of any nation would prefer to be sovereign rather than to be ruled by non‐nationals because this maximizes the chance that the government will provide them with an optimal mix of public goods. This general preference is affected by the net benefit of continued affiliation with the central authority. To the degree that the centre provides minority nationals with protection, and economic and social welfare, the demand for sovereignty will be attenuated. Hence, nationalist secession is most likely to occur in multinational states whose centres are subject to military and economic setbacks. However, the demand for sovereignty also depends on the nation’s capacity to engage in collective action, which is affected by state institutions. (The Demand for Sovereignty and the Emergence of Nationalism | Containing Nationalism | Oxford Academic)
Symbols of a New Nation
There is more to nation building than one can ordinarily think of and talk about without a thorough study of things and events. For some countries their identities and cultures have continuously evolved, while the ideals connected to their patriotic symbols have remained firm. Nigeria being a work in progress, we can join hands to build the country of our collective aspiration if we can get it right now by voting in the right candidates into positions of authority.
With the full implementation of Mr. Peter Obi’s “from consumption to production” mantra, the Nigeria flag, the Coat of Arms, the International passport, the Naira among others will regain their place of pride in the comity of nations. Our patriotism and defined identity will improve and rank best among equals. The symbols that give form and substance to our nation’s founding ideals would become priceless, making Nigeria great again.
Mr. Peter Obi’s prudent life built on transparency and accountability will not only make corruption a thing of the past, but it will go a long way to re-ignite hope and rekindle trust among countries of the world to do business with Nigeria.
Emergence of a reformer
The emergence of Mr. Peter Obi now in the history of Nigeria is one of the best things that have happened to Nigeria in the recent past so we must close ranks and utilize the opportunity very well. Being a country of many nationalities, most of us must have realized but painfully that the things that unite us are more than the ones that separate us – and on the grounds of humanity, no tribe or religion, sex or age, is immune from the current hardship in Nigeria. Hunger does not know tribe or region; inflation does not segregate. Anyone, and everyone, can become a victim of insecurity. Therefore, we must team up to salvage Nigeria – and the easiest way to do this now is by voting for Mr. Peter Obi and Alhaji Datti Yusuf Ahmed of the Labour Party as president and vice president of Nigeria. They are not only competent but they have the character and charisma to build a New Nigeria of our dreams. They have the capacity, intellectual acumen, mental prowess and physical abilities required to rebuild Nigeria. Let us support and vote for them.
If you love Nigeria, vote for Mr. Peter Obi. Apart from voting, defend your vote and make sure it counts. Your one vote will make the difference. Use it very well. Make maximum use of this lifetime opportunity. Vote for the Labour Party – LP.
Livy-Elcon Emereonye writes from Lagos, Nigeria.