By Charles Novia
In the first place, Tinubu has a formidable propaganda machinery. He used this effectively in 2015 and 2019, concocting half-truths and outright lies, planted stories and paid social media agents on the opposition. With Lai Mohammed as his Goebbels, their machinery permeated the minds of gullible Nigerians who did half the work they wanted at the polls back then. And that machinery was powered by the youths.
Don’t be surprised to see an abrupt volte-face by many youths on social media, who have been shouting ‘Obi-dient’ for weeks now, as soon as Tinubu is declared the candidate of the APC. You will see them springing up all sorts of excuses why Tinubu should be in Aso Rock rather than check himself in to an Old Peoples Home. You will also see a number of young people advocating for an Atiku as being healthier and more suitable for the job.
But the social media momentum and the youth swing momentum will be with Peter Obi. It will not diminish as the elections draw nearer but will grow. Already, the youth majority in enlightened numbers and the hitherto undecided voters in the millennials category, have impressively latched on to Peter Obi as their candidate for the Nigeria they wish to see and live in. Obi has won the hearts of a majority of the Gen Z voters eligible to vote too. His online support is organic and without monetary coercion. He has generated the followership for a new Nigerian movement and while there is much work to be done for him to win the 2023 elections, his opponents will certainly lose sleep whenever they check on his progress in the next few months.
In all of this, the 2023 election will be a turning point in Nigeria’s political history. The End SARS movement from 2020 has galvanized the young people in Nigeria and abroad to an understanding of their power and that feeling hasn’t left them since. They have been waiting and watching and they will control the direction of the votes in 2023. I believe they will be a tsunami which will be difficult to stop.
A few months ago, I wrote that I will not vote for any candidate above 65 years old in the next election, no matter the party or my erstwhile political ideologies with them. I also wrote a few days ago that I firmly believe in Equity, Justice and FairPlay and wholeheartedly called on the two major political parties to zone their Presidential positions to the South. I also supported calls for a South Eastern candidate to be a flag bearer of the major parties. I am not Igbo. I am Edo; a proud Bini Man but my worldview hinges on Equity and Justice, especially in a fractured country like Nigeria. I did write too that I am voting South in the next election.
I will vote South.
But it will never be Bola Tinubu.
I will go with the new revolution I see. I will put my vote where the youths and millennials put theirs. My vote will be a protest vote but will be recorded as one which stood on the principles I cherish. My vote will be one of conscience.
I will not register with Labour Party because I won’t be doing parties in the next election but personalities.
But I will vote Peter Obi in 2023.
Whether he wins or not will not matter to me. I want my vote to be part of a New Nigerian principle, away from an old and selfish way of doing things.
Obi has my vote.
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