Peter Obi

Peter Obi: A capitalist mind with a revolutionary cap

Capital is wealth—that is, money and goods—that’s used to produce more wealth. Capitalism is practiced enthusiastically by capitalists, people who use capital to increase production and make more goods and money. Capitalism works by encouraging competition in a fair and open market. Its opposite is often said to be socialism. Where a capitalist economy encourages private actions and ownership, socialism prefers public or government ownership and control of parts of the economy. In a pure capitalist system, there would be no public schools or public parks, no government programs such as Social Security and Medicare, and maybe not even any public highways or police.

The terms capitalism and socialism are both used to describe economic and political systems. On a theoretical level, both of these terms also describe specific schools of economic thought. One of the most fundamental differences between the systems of capitalism and socialism lies in the scope of government intervention within an economy. In a pure socialist system, there wouldn’t be any private corporations. In other words, there’s just about no such thing as pure capitalism or pure socialism in the modern world – according to its proponents, various historical theorists have espoused philosophies similar to capitalism. Therefore, this article seeks to interrogate the possibility of a fullblown capitalist leading a revolution.

On the other hand, revolutionary mindset thinks beyond the normal or beyond what is acceptable. A revolutionary mindset does not seek what is comfortable or possible, rather, it seeks what is tough and seemingly impossible. A revolutionary mindset houses dreams that scare the dreamer. If challenges terrify others, they excite the man with a revolutionary mindset. The revolutionary mindset we are talking about is not an ego-driven one, whereby the younger generation seek to root out the older generation through skirmishes and stratagems in a bid to replace the existing powers with a youthful prototype. The revolution we are talking about is one that aims to create an alternative that outclasses the extant practices or models of operation. It is an attitude-specific drive.

I am not unmindful of the level of discontentment in the land, nevertheless the current unpleasant situations calls for deeper introspection and honest appraisal. I have painstakingly searched through history where a capitalist has ever led a revolution I couldn’t find one except the packaging of a “Messiah” Peter Obi. Unsurprising, a number of our citizens are falling over each other believing in a messiah carefully packaged. Sadly, this is not the first time that such a packaging for deceitful purposes will happen like the ever resurfacing Ponzi schemes, a fraudulent investment operations that pay out returns to investors from money paid in by subsequent investors – thereby deceitfully and willfully taking advantage of the unwise majority.

Regrettably, it is a matter of serious concerns, that majority of our people are gullible, many had been through so many things in the past and yet unable to differentiate between facts and fallacies. They have been deceived serially, hoodwinked and bamboozled. Otherwise, how do you explain a man who has benefited tremendously from a faulty system parading himself as a “Messiah” far from it. It is safe to say that Peter has never identified with the revolutionaries and can never be given the honour of a revolutionist, he is more or less a beneficiary of a rotten system. Although I have had the privilege of travelling together with him many years back – I was fascinated by his simplicity. Nevertheless, that is not suggestive of a socialist or revolutionist, far from it. To my mind that is just his personality.

Flowing from the above, l like to continue this article that seeks to interrogate the prospect of a capitalist leading a revolution with the words of John F. Kennedy the 35th President of the United States (1961-1963). He had famously said: “All Americans must be responsible citizens, but some must be more responsible than others, by virtue of their public or their private position, their role in the family or community, their prospects for the future, or their legacy from the past. Increased responsibility goes with increased ability, for “of those to whom much is given, much is required.” For the same reasons, therefore, I like to emphatically state that we owe it a duty to continually increase the level of information and educate our citizens, particularly the restive youths.

Conclusively, l like to make it abundantly clear, that mob mentality and gangsterism masquerading under youths restiveness and exuberance without corresponding wisdom cannot get us the desired results. It requires profound articulation, dexterity, and ability to reach out to others, as well as a time tested structured platform. When they say that Barack Obama won his election through popular mandate, they forget to mention the structured platform (Democratic Party), when they try to confuse the unsuspecting gullible followers, they mentioned that Vice-president Ruga won election in Kenya – they are unmindful of the capacity of incumbency. Comparing apple to orange is deceitful and it is capable of undermining our fragile peaceful coexistence, the same way it happened in the mid sixties leading to the civil war.

Finally, permit my indulgence to share with us the popular philosophy of Chuba Wilberforce Okadigbo, a Nigerian philosopher, academic, writer and political scientist, wordsmith. He was the former Senate president of Nigeria. Okadigbo was sometimes referred to as Oyi of Oyi in reference to his local government council area (Oyi); he posited: “If you are emotionally attached to your tribe, religion or political leaning to the point that truth and justice become secondary considerations, your education is useless. Your exposure is useless. If you cannot reason beyond petty sentiments, you are a liability to mankind.” It therefore means that what we need is a TRANSFORMATIONAL leader who is not afraid to carry out fundamental reforms and stick to a defined social contract with the people.



Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI

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