There seems to be no imminent break to former Governor Peter Obi’s steady fall. Since leaving office in March last year, Obi has carried on like a man desperate for relevance; retaining his large tribe of media aides, courtiers and jesters and performing functions like the commissioning of projects and flying off to South Africa to see
victims of xenophobia as though he still occupied his former office.
His media aides and jesters (Mazi Odera) have also carried on as if
they are in a war with themselves.
Obi’s desperation seemed to know no limits. Not for him the option of
dignified silence. He failed to read the script left by others before
him. People like former governor Donald Duke of Cross River State,
Orji Uzo Kalu of Abia, Achike Udenwa of Imo and Peter Odili of Rivers State who left political office and jettisoned the limelight that goes with it.
Peter Obi’s could barely wait to hand over power before hankering for the vacant post of Aviation Minister. When he failed in that bid, he blamed it on his not being a member of the ruling party and quickly dumped APGA for PDP. But his hope of becoming a minister went with President Jonathan’s loss of his second term bid. With that loss, Obi has been locked in another desperate effort to define himself.
It was this desperation that made him accept what is obviously a serious demotion. And this why his appointment as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a demotion
1. Obi’s aspiration has been to become a minister. As the
Chairman of SEC, Obi reports to the Minister of Finance. What this means is that Obi is actually going to be supervised by the Federal Minister of Finance (whoever is finally appointed to that post.) For someone who has been a powerful governor of a great state like Anambra, SEC Chairmanship is not only a demotion but extremely demeaning. And working under a Minister under the APC regime will not bode well for Obi in view of his prominent role in the last
2. Obi is the first governor ever to accept such a demeaning
position in the history of Nigerian democracy. It is rather surprising
that he accepted the position considering his enormous wealth and well known business acumen. The question his friends are beginning to ask is must Obi hold an appointment? Haba!
3. If current permutations pan out right, erudite Professor and
gifted economist, Chukwuma Soludo might become the Minister of Finance. Soludo is eminently qualified to lead Nigeria out of its
resent economic woes and stands a great chance of succeeding
Okonjo-Iwela at the Finance Ministry with enormous supervisory powers over Obi. Wow! Is it nemesis or just a cruel turn of events? Soludo supervising Obi? I can’t wait to see how that will work.
4. Peter Obi’s rapid slide into irrelevance one year out of
office is a touching story of what desperation can do to an otherwise
focused man. What it simply tells us is that Obi had no exit plan when
he handed over power. He failed woefully to carve out a future for
himself. And now, he is paying the price.