The Peter Obi I know, By Chief Joseph Chukwuma Ikunna

Posted by News Express | 19 October 2018 | 3,152 times

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•Joseph Ikunna

I have known Peter Obi since 1989 when he lived in Church Street in Willesden and I lived in Harlsden and worked in Cricklewoon before working in Shepherds Bush, and eventually Nottingham.

By 1997, we were both trading independently at the famous OKE ARIN market, in imported branded food and beverages, where we competed over a few brands, and many times shared suppliers. I'm sure Mike Parnell can remember. Peter was always ahead of me, because he had been in the business before me, and had much more capital. Sometimes I would take over one of his brands that he had lost interest in, as he moved higher and higher. I earned his respect in business, as I was able to make monies out of some products Peter thought were no longer worth it (my overheads were lower). He earned my respect to and till this date, we both have mutual respect for one another. Whenever we meet at occasions it's hugs and kisses.

In 2002, he decided to go into Politics, promising to bring change to Anambra State and he did. When he was rigged out in the 2003 election, we thought it was all over, but Peter did not think so. He took the matter to court at a time when most of us had lost confidence in the Nigerian courts. As God would have it, Ngige reneged on a promise he had made to Chris Ubah, and lost OBJ's protection, hence the courts were told to do the right thing and judge the case on its merits. The case took almost three years and some of us would snigger behind Peter's back, each time he told us he would win the case, but I remember sitting with him Peter in his Apapa office one Thursday afternoon in March 2006, when I went to see him in his capacity as Chairman of Fidelity bank where Peter told me that by tomorrow being a Friday he would get judgment and move on to become the governor of Anambra State. I did not believe it, but he was correct. He got judgment the next day, and by afternoon moved into government house Awka, just as Ngige was forced to leave. Through Peter’s almost eight years as governor of Anambra State, I never bothered him, because I knew it would be a waste of time. He does not believe in cronyism. No one around Peter made much money, because he ran an efficient government in which the people of Anambra State were the sole beneficiaries.

Politics did not change Peter Obi one bit, instead he changed politics. He kept to his values of honesty, efficiency and humility, along with his understanding that everything in life is vanity. He understands from our days of trading that one must stick strictly to agreements, and the more you pay back your credit, the more credit you will get from suppliers, hence his 100% honesty to life and all that he does, just like myself. He is fearless and cannot be bought over.

Atiku therefore chose the best Nigerian possible to guide him in rescuing Nigeria. Peter is the best Nigerian for the job of Vice President by miles. By not consulting with Igbo leaders he made it clear that he was not appointing an Igbo man, but a Nigerian man for the job. He was perfectly within his rights to so, as he has the presidential ticket and not the Igbo leaders. Peter Obi is de-tribalised, does not take bribes and is a non-conformist. It is no wonder those Igbo leaders would not be happy with Atiku’s choice.

By choosing Peter Obi, it is 100% Clear that Atiku wants to rescue Nigeria. The fact that Peter Obi is of Igbo extraction has no bearing on Atiku’s choice. In fact those Igbos that are against it should all go and bury their heads in the sand. Those Igbos rejoicing about his appointment will soon find out that he is a full Nigerian and will in no way advance any Igbo or Igbo cause that is not in line with the total service and security of this country. That's the man Atiku has chosen.

It would appear that at last Nigeria is doing away with tribal politics and doing the right thing. All credit for this appointment should go to Atiku, and is a sign of things to come. It is a sign that Atiku is bent on changing this country for the good of all. Peter is youthful in mind and thinks deeply about the prospects for our teeming youth. I hope that by next year I will be able to justify my faith in Nigeria when Peter becomes the Vice President.

Source: News Express

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