Peter Obi a former governor of Anambra State, former Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 and the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in 2023 came third in the just concluded Presidential election behind All Progressive Party (APC)and PDP. This is quite a strong showing despite his weakness in not having a formidable political structure like his competitors.
Given he had momentum he has decided to go court to challenge the result of the election.
I asked myself what would I have done if I were in Peter Obi’s shoes. Do what is predictable or do something else. Everyone knows he will reject the result of the election given the momentum he has with the youth who wants change at all cost. He has also demonstrated the capability to win elections via the Judiciary given his antecedents prior to becoming the Governor of Anambra state for eight years (Two terms). Unfortunately that was at the state level. This is nothing compared to Nigeria’s national elections with its multicultural and ethno-religious differences; 250 million people strong. Can he swing it? I don’t know.
But what if he did something different that will immortalize his name forever in the annals of political history in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. What if he transcends Nigerian national politics to a global one. And make himself a statesman in the real sense of it….. with the aim of ultimately claiming victory in the next four to eight years.
What can he do you will ask. He can strategically douse the tension and rewrite the script by simply calling the winner Bola Ahmed Tinubu, congratulate him and concede defeat. He would have just like former president Jonathan showed that he is of a rare caliber. Nigeria and the world would revere him and see him as a worthy leader, he can then strategically follow some of the suggestions below for the next 4 years with the aim of claiming the real leadership that could now be readily given to him.
He should basically turn his acceptance of defeat in the last election into a great pivot to victory in the next election.
One of the first steps that Peter Obi can take is to use his acceptance of defeat to build goodwill and demonstrate his commitment to democracy. He should emphasize the importance of accepting election results and working towards building a stronger democracy in Nigeria. This will help to build his credibility as a politician and demonstrate his commitment to serving the interests of Nigerians.
Peter Obi can also use his acceptance of defeat to reframe his image as a statesman and a leader who puts the interests of the country ahead of his personal ambitions. This will help to build his appeal among voters outside his core domain who are looking for a candidate who is committed to building a better future for Nigeria.
Another strategy that Peter Obi can use is to leverage the lessons learned from the last election to build a stronger and more effective campaign in the next election. This includes conducting a thorough post-mortem analysis of his campaign, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of his candidacy, and developing a comprehensive strategy to overcome his weaknesses and build on his strengths.
Peter Obi can also use his acceptance of defeat to build a broader coalition of political parties and interest groups that share his vision for the country. This will help to build his appeal among voters who are looking for a candidate who can unite the country and address the key issues that are important to Nigerians.
In addition, he can use his acceptance to build a stronger grassroots campaign. This means reaching out to voters at the local level, listening to their concerns, and addressing their needs. He can work with local leaders and community organizations to build a groundswell of support for his candidacy.
Finally, Peter Obi can use this to start his campaign early. This means starting to build a team and raise funds well in advance of the election. He can also focus on building a strong presence in key states and regions of the country, such as the North-West, North-East, South-West, and South-South.
In summary, a combination of building goodwill, reframing his image as a statesman and leader, leveraging the lessons learned from the last election, building a broader coalition, focusing on grassroots campaigning, and starting his campaign early will guarantee him immense success. It will position him as a strong contender for the presidency in the next election.
My thoughts Yomi Benson.
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