Following the conclusion of all political parties’ primary elections for the upcoming presidential election in Nigeria, various movements have emerged in support of the candidates confirmed by the Independent National Electoral Commission. These movements could be said to have emerged based on various schools of thought and natural law within the context of many Nigerians’ socio-political orientation. Prior to its independence in 1960, Nigeria faced a variety of ethnic and religious challenges. One of these difficulties was ethnic rivalry, as well as perceived socioeconomic and political marginalization, which culminated in the country’s first civil war, known as the Biafra war.
The remnants of the war and other challenges have been factors driving constant agitation for self-independence by sociocultural and political groups in the south-south region, either directly or indirectly. It has also resulted in the exclusion of Igbos from positions perceived to be lucrative or highly connected with understanding the country’s strategic directions as a means of completely eliminating the ethnic group from political culture and public administration. Prior to the war, Igbo territory was the country’s main source of revenue (crude oil). Before the war, many leaders believed that the group was being marginalized in government. Several years after the war, the same belief persists, and it can be seen as real when one looks closely at some key national political appointments between 1999 and 2022.
Reviewing the self-independence efforts over the previous five years reveals that the agitators’ strategies and tactics have only served to destabilize the region’s socioeconomic situation. Though some effective strategies for promoting intellectual debate in public settings have been implemented, the violent tactics used by some youth-led groups continue to be more of a curse than a blessing for the area.
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According to our analyst, the violent approach has also resurrected the identity crisis that existed prior to the civil war. Because of the aforementioned issues, some Igbos have seen themselves as foreigners in Nigeria over the years, from the physical to the virtual sphere. From 2015 to 2020, the agitation for Biafra independence was intense, particularly through the use of violence. Nigeria was metaphorically described as a zoo by some groups in the region (south). It is a zoo because political leaders are not acting in the best interests of the people. Nigeria was sometimes used as a zoo to demonstrate the Igbo ethnic group’s superiority over others.
This metaphor, along with others used to describe the president and various political institutions, does not bode well for many Nigerians of other ethnic groups. However, despite the various metaphors used to silence members of other ethnic groups, it is clear that the Biafra nation remains elusive on a daily basis. As the 2023 presidential election approaches, re-entering the Nigeria project is essential. Of course, many members of smaller and dominant ethnic groups believe that the Igbo presidency should not be elusive because the Hausa and Yoruba presidencies have never been.
Members of this school of thought have actually opened Igbo for the needed presidential position. Thus, the Peter Obi movement began across the country when it became clear to many that the group could no longer remain on the sidelines of political administration.
While some Hausa and Yoruba ethnic group members’ actions suggest that the Igbo presidency is being supported both in person and online, our analyst points out that obidients (obedients) don’t need to look for disobidents (disobedients). Only evidence that would persuade disobidents to accept Peter Obi needs to be presented by obidients.
According to one of Nigeria’s eminent professors, the 2023 presidential election is the most open in the country’s history because three dominant candidates have a good chance of entering Aso Rock, the presidential palace. Being open, however, does not imply that supporters and members of a specific ethnic group and candidate will now see hunting disobidents as the primary task of establishing Peter Obi’s candidacy. When discussing political parties and candidates, decorum and civility are required.
Our analyst found a case of obidients shooting themselves in the legs after analyzing thousands of messages on various social media platforms. While they intend to promote Mr. Peter Obi as the best alternative, using derogatory language to disparage and harm another person’s personality is nothing less than being disobedient. Our analysis demonstrates that when discussing issues and needs of national significance, obedients are uncooperative and challenging to manage.
Many prominent and non-prominent people have had their personality traits and image shattered by words. This and other strategies employed by the Obi Movement Group are clearly aimed at demarketing Mr Peter Obi ahead of the election. Constant negative messages and personal attacks are part of election campaign strategy, but they must be used with extreme caution. This is necessary because the need for an Igbo presidency is being pursued aggressively.