Tue, 03 Jan 2023 Feature Article

The Psychology Of Obasanjo's Endorsement Of Obi

The Psychology Of Obasanjo's Endorsement Of Obi

Obasanjo's Support For Obi Inadvertently Reveals The True Feelings Of Those Who Do Not Want A New Nigeria

As the presidential election draws near, the average Nigerian keeps learning more and more about the political stupidity in Nigeria.

Let us make it clear: a political endorsement is a public declaration of one's own or personal support of a candidate for elected office.

An endorsement is an act of saying or showing that you agree with or support something or someone; that is what former military leader and President Olusegun Obasanjo did when he openly showed support for Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, over other presidential counterparts.

Now some ‘leaders’, past and present, who belong to the old Nigeria are asserting that because the former president is part of the cause of the troubles, he should stay away from the current politics.

No, he should not stay away from current politics.

Obasanjo sees Obi as a new symbol of an idea and the person the people want, recognizing that those who oppose his person or choices have failed to change our broken democracy.

Endorsements are a form of publicity that uses notable personalities or celebrities who command a high degree of recognition, respect, or awareness amongst the people.

In fact, those who have participated in the old ways, including dictators, ministers, academics, religious heads, and corporate heads, whose collective work and service have remained part of the root cause of Nigeria's leadership problems, should not sit by and say, ‘I have served before; let me remain quiet; remain at my home; let other persons talk.’

In fact, psychologically, Obasanjo appears to be admitting that the old ways of leading showed the biggest weaknesses in terms of sustained, stable, and progressive governance and democracy.

Obasanjo's current approach, whether one agrees with it or not, is welcomed, not by traditionalists or old ways minds but by forward-thinking Nigerians, especially at a time when the country is in desperate need of genuine leadership.

Psychologically, could it be that Obasanjo is confronting some of his own wrongs, personal and leadership failings and wants to 99% or 100% not continue to put his own interests ahead of the Nigerian people?

Others who are very old or in his age group should reflect on their own old ways that have directly or indirectly resulted in the unpleasant Nigerian experience and, like Obasanjo, join in this new mode of engagement around the youth and new generations as it relates to the calling and hope around Obi.

Those of the old ways, whether they want to focus on the message from Obasanjo or on Obasanjo as the messenger, should know that if this man with some reported bad track record is now saying please, our old ways have not worked, then his endorsement of Obi, means we all must now try a new way: Obi.

As a matter of fact, even if some see Obasanjo as a malevolent leader who once tried to extend his tenure by attempting to change the constitution, he is now saying, ‘I was part of extreme self-interest leadership; learn from me and other twisted ones, and my role now is to try to persuade Nigerians to move away from us.’ Be part of Obi.

In fact, one does not have to rely on just his current words, but realistically, it will be difficult to disagree with him when he says there may be nothing fully to look backward at in terms of what he and others have done democratically, but there is something to look forward to with hope: Obi.

Obasanjo, who has the right to pick a presidential choice and preference and wants most Nigerians, especially the youths, to move past the old to the new, can even try to play god, as some of the old ways are accusing him. Guess what? At a time like this in Nigeria, we need someone to play 'God'. We don Tiya.

Those who are angry at Obasanjo for endorsing Obi for the upcoming election should copy his new godly message in his New Year message for the nation's presidency to go to Obi.

Like Obasanjo, they should be expressing their inner anger over their old ways, and as age and time take their toll on them, they should give their public endorsement to a man the people want.

They recognize that their old ways, including those of Obi's rivals, have not served Nigeria well, and as such, they should express some inner regret, as Obasanjo has done.

They should be identifying cognitive or emotional states within themselves that involves blaming themselves, expressing feelings of sorrow for what they have done to Nigeria, and know that they cannot undo their previous democratically unproductive ways.

As we near the elections, let these old-fashioned Nigerians do more than just engage in endorsements, which include official statements, appearances at Obi’s campaign rallies, but should directly participate in campaign ads and materials for Obi.

Obasanjo’s endorsement may be at least symbolic or real, but one thing is clear: many Nigerians can say Obasanjo is joining them in not backing the wrong horses in this unusual presidential contest, so Nigerian leaders past and present better do the same to stay in the good graces of the people.

It should be a part of their legacy, just like Obasanjo has chosen to do. Yes, Obasanjo may be so controversial or toxic that a candidate like Obi may not want his endorsement as it could hurt or help them, but if he has not complained, it is a simple form of political stupidity for others to do.

Nigerians are about to witness a contentious presidential election, but with Obasanjo's words coming out, the people will see his support as a positive.

On psychological grounds, the aging, reflective president may want to play the role of unifier. It just made sense for Obasanjo to try to bring people back together quickly around Obi, not around the old spoilers.

Let all of us see his positive message as needed now and move past the political stupidity of those who are failing to see what could be coming in Obi’s optimistic time. Nigerians let's break from the old ways and hold each other together, and say God bless Obi and a new Nigeria.