On the side of party structure, there is history, time, constant funding, plus illiteracy and poverty, and the cognitive bias by which human beings are naturally resistant to change or change. adopting new things out of the blue. The Obi Phenomenon can get a good try, but I think this kind of shot requires the investment of time to show how serious you are.
It has some real downsides that can reduce how far its wildfire can go on the first try. One is the naivety of most of his supporters whose novelty in political excitement they have interpreted as the right to bully others who may not have seen the ‘light’. .
I have seen people recently who have repented of their brief period of obism after careful consideration away from gaslighting. Some have decided to stay away completely, having found no one they like. Another downside is that Obi only borrowed one political party, which comes with baggage. That means he’s likely to jump if he doesn’t win, while fame may only come after another four years of investment of time, intellect, heart, perseverance and dedication. silver.
I know he gives “shishi”, contrary to what his wild young followers think. He must be ready to give a lot more ‘shishis’ that might land him in the realm of the same old politicians we love to blame for Nigeria’s ills. For it takes billions of shishis to attract the attention of the hungry and destitute across Nigeria.
Democracy is indeed expensive everywhere in the world. I read a disgruntled union leader saying that the existing union leaders in Nigeria are members of the APC and I did a double take. This must indeed be true. How to gain access to union leadership without being locked into the ruling party? You will even join willingly. The government must have you on its side. These guys are unlikely to go out of their way to rally for our man.
We tried to build a partisan structure in the party that I led and co-formed (ANRP – Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party), from December 2016. But I realized early on the limits of power for young people like us we had considered it. We couldn’t dig below the state level, and only in a few states did we manage to create LG structures. We could not show much presence at the level of the parishes. A lot of the guys who took federal, state, and LG positions, who we counted on for sacrifice and mobilization, just didn’t show up for work.
Raising funds for staff was a long process. We sometimes received financial support from guys from the diaspora and a handful of locals. The vast majority were either silent, unsupportive at this level, or actually in need, so we had to support them. I did an article years ago about the amount of money needed to support party meetings at all levels for a considerable period of time in order to really bring about a revolution. See here https://opinion.premiumtimesng.com/2019/06/21/how-much-money-do-we-need-for-a-political-revolution-by-tope-fasua/.
Because you can’t tell a village carpenter or a merchant to go away for a whole day to come and listen to a messiah for free when their survival is daily. Thus, silver is important in building structures. You have to give the shishi. At best, you get some very nice people together but have to feed them and buy them drinks or pay for their transportation. It costs a lot of money (and you will usually be fooled by the same Nigerians shouting “The messiah has come!”). Still, it has to be sustainable over at least four years to get their attention.
Everyone is looking for a better life. So they want to put in power a party that will come back to them and favor them, give them positions and make their lives better.
You must be able to fund party offices at these levels. Ten thousand neighborhoods, 774 local governments, 36 states and the FCT. You can receive donations, but that cannot cover everything. Conflicts must arise over who contributes the most and who receives the most benefits, conflicts that urgently need to be resolved.
For a small party like ours, some of these problems were almost insurmountable. A presidential candidate cannot ignore the state of his party – except you want to be a Buhari, a concealer. Before election day, your electoral representatives (hundreds of thousands of them) must undergo paid training.
On election day, at least two people are needed in 178,000 voting booths. The going rates in 2019 for effective parties were N5,000. This amounts to nearly N900 million in a single day for the presidential election alone. We had an experience during the 2018 Ekiti guber elections in the ANRP where our election workers, who should man the polling booths, gave up their jobs and went to collect more money from those who paid more. Indeed, on that day, many Nigerian votes multiplied for different parties. They have to go home rich that night.
The atmosphere on election day is different. Outside of the main cities, anyone stilted and proper goes out like a thumb and has to rush home to encounter mayhem or worse. Even the security services are involved. So, it starts to look like an alien as Obi deludes himself. In the South East, however, if the elections are not disrupted, another Nigerian reality will work for Obi. The Southeast will rally to their son, certainly. He can make a statement there.
In the final analysis, the same problems that Obi tried to avoid by leaving the PDP will still confront him. He must invest at least another four years. See how long Buhari had to try (and he has no money). Obi must retain his Nigerian identity and encourage his supporters to stay Nigerian, nothing else if they lose the election.
He basically has to take ownership of his political party and show that he is an administrator, working with its president. The presidency is not a 100 meter sprint. Where is it? He has to engage more and more with the grassroots knowing these 10,000 neighborhoods and his message cannot be about China, Bangladesh, Egypt and the rest.
He must understand that no elite in Nigeria can be exonerated from the historical fact of the perennial, generational and multi-dimensional poverty and illiteracy of our people – let alone himself, an importer/banker/billionaire. And he will have to give more than a shishi.