HeadlinePerson Of The Year 2022: Obi & ’OBidient Movement’

Person Of The Year 2022: Obi & ’OBidient Movement’


Classical historians agree that there comes a time in the history of a people when the man meets the hour or a movement symbolises the communal aspirations for inclusive change.

Nigeria appears to be on the cusp of that accepted dictum with the recent emergence of the ‘OBidient Movement’ and former Anambra governor, Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the upcoming presidential election on February 25, 2023.

With a broken political system that promotes mediocrity and self-interested politicians every election cycle, Nigeria’s fortunes hangs in the balance on the eve of a general election this year: With 133 million out of its 200 million population multidimensionally poor, haunted by insecurity of life and property on a daily basis, torn by mutual ethnic mistrust and worn out by anomie, Nigerians are yearning for a viable political alternative that may provide a rope of hope which they can cling to and find a way to reclaim the light in their lives shattered by the failed promises of deceptive politicians.

It is in this context of a darkened country that the coming of the ‘OBidient Movement’ and Obi finds a place. In traditional Nigerian political parlance, Peter Obi is an Igbo but the ‘OBidient Movement’ is not an Igbo business. Since May 2022 when he became the presidential candidate of the LP, he has grown in stature and many Nigerians now see him as a different politician from the prevailing status quo.

For promoting a new vision for real change, THEWILL Editors unanimously chose Obi and ‘OBidient Movement’, as our Person of the Year 2022.

Peter Obi
Person of the Year 2022.


Still bristling from the aborted pro-police reform #EndSARs protest in 2020, many Nigerian youths who blamed what they perceived as an irredeemably corrupt, brutal police force on the abnormal system in the country, found a comfortable platform with the ‘Obidient Movement’, to push their viewpoint change on a wider political canvass.

‘Obidient’, of course is a figurative language of the youths chosen to express their peculiarity as dedicated followers of Obi and also a poetic label that has found resonance in millions of Nigeria voters yearning for progressive change through this year’s ballot.

With members drawn from hundreds of support groups scattered across the country with no sympathy for the ethnicity, religious and cultural fault lines and barriers that have always split Nigerians at decisive moments in the search, plan and doing of crucial matters of nationhood, the ‘Obidient Movement,’ has raised the hope for a better and brighter Nigerian future driven by generation next.

The young men and women of the movement are ‘considered very strong-willed, independent-minded and contemptuous of older politicians who they say have done nothing for them.”

According to Comrade March Oyinki, President of one of the most formidable support group in the movement with base in North Central and South South zones, “the ‘OBidients’ are fighting against principalities and powers that are doggedly, fighting and unwilling to relinquish power to a popular incoming government championed by Peter Obi. This is the reality of the challenges before us.”

He added: “It is the responsibility of the ‘OBidient’ movement, as the real change agent that must deliver the new Nigeria of our dream against all odds, to double her efforts to rescue the nation from the claws of our oppressors.”


As a measure of the impact he is making towards a new Nigeria through the 2023 polls, opinion polls and some movers and shakers of Nigerian politics have thrown their weight behind his ambition. Successive opinion polls conducted by NOI Polls established by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, with support of Atedo N.A. Peterside, ANAP, Foundation, have put Obi ahead of three other front runners, namely Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, besides other 14 other presidential candidates.

In early September 2022, the NOI polls scored Obi 13 per cent over 10 per cent each for Atiku and Tinubu and Kwankwaso at 6 per cent. In a recent one released a fortnight ago, the margin increased to 23 per cent, 13 per cent, 18 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

As an indication of the nationwide support coming the way of LP due to Obi’s phenomenal growth with less than 60 days to the general poll, here is the reason stated by former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, when his faction of the Northern Christian leaders declared their support for the Obi/Datti presidential ticket:

“As one of the foremost critics of APC’s single-faith presidential ticket, and also in defference to those who have patiently waited for our guidance as to where to pitch our tent, after a painstaking review and analysis of the alternative presidential tickets, we now wish to recommend the Obi/Datti presidential ticket.”

This same view has prompted leaders of the Middle Belt Forum to support the Obi/Datti ticket, alongside Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Pan-Igbo cultural organisation.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his kinsman, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, who have become fanatical supporters of Obi candidacy, jointly expressed the dame viewpoint recently at the burial of the late Minister of Aviation in the first republic, Mbazulike Amechi.

Pa Adebanjo, leader of Southwest socio-political group, Afenifere which has declared support for Obi, told reporters that Obasanjo and himself have set aside their differences to unite in supporting Obi’s ambition because the candidate symbolises the equity, justice and fairness that Nigerians dearly need to rebuild their country.

Speaking rhetorically about the matter, Obasanjo said at the Amechi burial on November 1, 2023; “What I believe and what Chief Ayo Adebanjo believes is not ethnic, sectional and religious. It is Nigeria and Nigerians.

“When I go out and people thank me, I say, ” What are you thanking me for?. I believe in equity, justice and one Nigeria. I have shed blood for this country. I have gone to prison for this country, so what are you going to frighten or threaten me with? The only thing my senior brother, Adebanjo, has not done is that he has not shed his blood, but he has gone to prison. Let us leave it at that.”

Obi, the man of the hour, sums it all up, succinctly: “Let me tell you what Ayo Adebanjo and Afenifere are standing for today and what will make the future of Nigeria. They are standing for equity, they are standing for justice, they are standing for fairness and only equity, justice and fairness will be the foundation of which we will build a united Nigeria.”

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