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Many alert Nigerian television viewers, millions of other Nigerians who lived in various countries of the world and other foreigners were last Friday, 14th December, 2018 glued to their television sets on different Nigerian Television channels, entertained by almost three hours of television debate by five Vice Presidential candidates. They represented five Political Parties carefully selected by the Nigerian Election Debate Group.

Many alert Nigerian television viewers, millions of other Nigerians who lived in various countries of the world and other foreigners were last Friday, 14th December, 2018 glued to their television sets on different Nigerian Television channels, entertained by almost three hours of television debate by five Vice Presidential candidates. They represented five Political Parties carefully selected by the Nigerian Election Debate Group.


Those who did not watch the television verbal exchange of intellectual and professional contest have indeed missed one of the most entertaining events of the 2019 General Elections. Represented by the following three Gentlemen: Prof. Yemi Osibanjo-APC, Dr. Peter Obi-PDP, Daniyu Galadima-ACPN and two ladies; Khadija Abdullahi-ANN and Umar Getso-YPP, for very close to three hours, they were standing up taking questions from the moderator, answered those questions and sometimes injecting their own rebuttals at the bidding of the moderator.
Although the objectives of the exercise among other things were to give these Vice Presidential candidates the opportunities to articulate the principal vision, programmes and direction of their individual political parties, it turned out to be another surprising lecture room where Dr. Peter Obi the Vice Presidential candidate of PDP took Professor Osibanjo, the current Vice President and the Vice Presidential candidate of APC. Indeed, it was an unexpected lecture room. A political paradox of a kind!
Many of us who did their primary schooling in this country could remember the very common phrase of a kind, “Obi is a boy” which was an introductory short sentence which was used to introduce primary school pupils to the beginning of sentence reading and making. The other was “Ada is a girl” which was the opposite sex equivalent to Obi is a boy.
Perhaps, when the Vice President learnt of this debate, he probably remembered this sentence and another familiar one, “Eze goes to school.” Perhaps, he thought that he was going to debate with the boy, Obi.” Little did he realize or at least remember another sentence, “Obi is no more a boy.” Indeed, in the Nigerian political scene, wonders would never end. This indeed was the first wonder of this coming election. Certainly, a lot of wonders would unfold.
Admittedly, Prof. Osibanjo began well to show that he is a professor of Law but soon, he exposed the incompetence in him and poor preparation by his handlers. Therefore, ten minutes into the debate, he began to observe the stuff in Dr. Peter Obi who honestly displayed in-depth knowledge of the issues to be raised yet remained unruffled and firm, doing a lot of smiling which is an essential element in a television debate.
After what seemed to be about second or third round in boxing parlance, the eminent professor began to show some both psychological and mental cracks in his responses as they gradually became shallow and watery. Although Prof. Osibanjo is a highly rated and respected Professor of Law, he began to realize that the scene was not a classroom where he would lecture doctorate students or even a Conference setting where he would just be dishing out information to his audience or colleagues. No, it was not.
Definitely, he came to the realization that the scene was more intellectually challenging and energy sapping. As Peter Obi remained unruffled, calm and with facts and statistical figure, the erudite professor could wish it was over soon. In a way, he suddenly found out that as every crab had found out that indeed there is difference between waters in the River and water in the housewife's soup pot. He managed to soldier on no matter the heat from the audience, moderator and of course from the television.
At that point, the highly rated and respected Professor of Law began to wobble in ideas, facts and less-coherent in his speeches to a point when he could not know the difference between “where, were and wear.” Politics indeed! His composure was made worse when in spite of several warnings from the moderator, the audience seemed to be defiant by cheering and clapping for Dr. Peter Obi who showed the versatility of his education, knowledge, experience and professionalism with heavy dosage of past finest education from some finest and highly rated citadels of learning in the world, a man of invincible intellectualism and professionalism while the other three participants looked bewildered as students in Peter Obi's lecture and not that of Osibanjo.
It may be over estimated to begin to analyze the performance of Obi and Osibanjo. The best is to reproduce some comments from randomly selected comments from the internet space.
“Aminu Tambuwal- last light, I was delighted with the debate performance of Peter Obi. He clearly demonstrated that he knows the real issues in the country and how to solve them.”
“Alozie Chimaobim- Peter Obi is the only Vice President we know, the rest are Vice Principals.”
“Collins- Peter Obi holds a lot of degrees and made education a priority during his tenure as Governor in Anambra State. Education is the key to development. Let's embrace this team that values education.”
“Olushola- one can't manage what one cannot create! Buhari and Osibanjo are not wealth creators. They have both lived and flourished on Government patronage all their lives. No way they can grow Nigeria economy. Vote Atiku/Peter Obi.”
“Bamikole- I honestly think Osibanjo is a brilliant person but on this debate, Peter Obi really lectured him.”
“Angela Uwandu- after the Vice Presidential debate, I could not help wishing Peter Obi is running for Presidency and Atiku Vice President. He was very sound and articulate.”
“Oluyemi- you can't shut your shop and be chasing criminals. Peter Obi practically took Osibanjo back to school. Sense no be by Professorship, no be by SAN.”
In conclusion, from the above randomly selected comments which were over ten thousand, it was evident that without doubt, Dr. Peter Obi, the Vice Presidential candidate of PDP was the star of the night. Indeed, he displayed comprehensive knowledge of the issues beckoning for solutions in Nigeria by Nigerians.
Of course, these issues include economy, security, unemployment, infrastructural development, equity, rule of law, properly balancing the equation of true federalism. Unfortunately, we have been blind-folded for so long and this will not be forever. I am sure, absolutely sure that it has been the failure of previous innate governments that have promoted and encouraged emergence of restive ethnic nationalities. Our brothers from the North know this truth but since it has always favoured them, they would like the status quo to remain. But they must understand that anyday a slave realizes that he is in chain, the slave owner must begin to prepare for his revenge. All we can do now is to wait. And since majority of us believe in one Nigeria, no matter how tenuous, we must endure until one day, when an honest and detribalized leader emerges as the President of this country. May be, Dr. Peter Obi or another person of his extraction could be in the waiting but not for a long time.

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