Kperogi reveals two burdens Obi will face if he becomes president in 2023

Media Scholar, Professor Farooq Kperogi, on Saturday said Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, will be confronted with “the crisis of rising expectations” and the executive/legislative conflicts.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Obi, a former governor of Anambra State and one-time vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is one of the frontline candidates in respect of the 2023 election.

Writing recently in his weekly column, Kperogi, a US-based don, said Obi’s “problem” lies in him portraying himself as “another prospective driver to move a motionless car with a knocked-out engine”.

“Obi will be stymied by two lumbering burdens should he become president. The first is what sociologists call the crisis of rising expectations. Like Muhammadu Buhari before 2015, Obi has presented himself—and has been touted by his supporters—as “different,” as the “savior” that Nigeria needs to take it to the Promised Land. That’s a dangerous expectation to create for a politician, any politician.

“Obi is just like every Nigerian politician who, like Buhari, is being estimated beyond his paygrade. The overly optimistic expectations built around him will ensure that he is closely marked. Being overrated is always a disadvantage because it makes the bar to impress almost impossible to attain. Underrated people have an easier opportunity to impress because the bar isn’t raised high for them in the first place.

“Nonetheless, the wildly farcical religious fervor among Obi supporters in the belief that Obi is Nigeria’s last opportunity for redemption is in such sharp contrast with Obi’s own earlier position about the impossibility of changing Nigeria through changes to who becomes president.

“In one of his most watched videos, he described Nigeria as a motionless car with a dead engine. Instead of fitting the immobile car with a new engine, he said, we keep changing the drivers in a forlorn effort to get the car to move. In a March 25, 2022, article titled “Peter Obi: Applying to Be Driver of a Knocked-Out Car,” I described his characterization of Nigeria as “the profoundest metaphor anyone has ever conjured up to explain Nigeria’s problems.”

“It’s interesting that Obi is now putting himself up as another prospective driver to move a motionless car with a knocked-out engine. Perhaps, he wants to be the driver who’ll tell us that we need to change the engine, And that’s where his second problem lies,” he wrote.

Kperogi also pointed out the imminent muscle-flexing with the National Assembly which will be dominated by the two major political parties may affect Obi’s administration negatively.

He added: “If Obi becomes president, it’s almost certain that the National Assembly will be dominated by the APC and the PDP both because the Labor Party hasn’t fielded candidates in all National Assembly positions across the nation and because most of the people it has fielded are weak candidates with weak chances of victory.

“Although he himself was a PDP member, which makes him a political kindred of the APC/PDP political family, his upset victory might cause him to be treated as a pariah, which would frustrate his legislative agenda. He could, in fact, be impeached and removed from office. Although he survived a similar fate when he was governor of Anambra, Nigeria isn’t Anambra State. So, as a driver, he won’t be able to change the engine of our motionless car.”

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