By Robinson T. Sibe
I find Atiku’s choice of Peter Obi as running mate, quite promising and Interesting. For those who’ve been following my post over the years, you would have noticed that I’m a fan of Peter Obi. I have attempted to summarize, with three points, what this ticket portends:
(1) This ticket is suggestive of a pair that means business. Both are astute businessmen, pragmatic and ready! Both have a solid knowledge of the Nigerian economy, and how things work here. When I first saw the breaking news, what came to my mind was: they mean business! The business community and investors like such bold statement; they like this kind of seriousness.
(2) Both have a respectable track record in governance. Atiku as VP and Chairman of the National Economic Council supervised key reforms that ensured arguably the most prosperous period in the 4th republic. From a GDP Growth rate of 1.2% in 1999, we hit 2-digit figures in three years of that administration. I’m told he was responsible for putting together that crack economic team.
(3) Peter Obi did brilliantly as Governor. He was practical and hands-on. His achievements as Governor are clear and measurable; no long grammar. From education to trade, commerce and industry, he did brilliantly. He managed the most fiscally responsible state in Nigeria, and left behind key savings and investments. From what I gathered, as at when he left, total domestic investments (in brewery, IPP, Hospitality, etc) of Anambra state stood at N27 Billion. Investments in foreign bonds stood at N26.5 Billion. Cash balances (with MDGs) as at handover date stood at N28.165 Billion. Total balance (cash and investments) stood at N86.665 Billion. At the time his colleagues were on a borrowing spree, he never borrowed, but invested for the state. Compare this with the handover notes of the oil rich Niger Delta States. Why won’t I admire such a man?
(4) Both have compensating personalities and ideologies that could work together for good. I call this complimentary efficiency. Atiku comes across as liberal, expansive and perhaps with a tinge of flamboyance, while Peter Obi is the frugal and conservative one; one will complement the other. Even as Governor, he was flying economy; and I’m told his been doing that for a long time. I actually flew with him, once, and his humility was humbling. His simplicity is commendable. Such balance and mix, is needed. He will make a fantastic Vice President, and importantly, Chairman of the National Economic Council, and at time we need sweeping economic reforms. If we want to cut the cost and size of government, there is no one in the political class, that I can recommend ahead of Peter Obi.
Finally, we’re at a point where the economy is my main consideration for choice of candidate. It’s an election, and you’ve got to make one choice, among the options, despite the imperfections. This combination looks promising and exciting. They mean business; I mean business!
Robinson T. Sibe is a prolific writer, software engineer, geospatial expert and strategic communications expert.