2023 Presidency: Challenges ahead of Peter Obi Wins, if Labour Party wins

The Country’s political sector has experienced a different atmosphere with the aspiration of the  Labour party’s candidate, Peter Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed. We have witnessed Nigerians, majorly youths come out in their hundreds, on social media and the streets to express their desire for the former Anambra state governor to emerge come Feb 2023. 

The Youths are a major player in the 2023 poll according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Out of a total of 9,518,756 valid newly registered voters between June 28, 2021, and July 31, 2022, those aged between 18 and 34 years old were 7,286,871 representing 76.56 percent. With this, there is no gainsaying that the Youths have the capacity to determine the outcome of this election.

Despite the support Obi has gathered from the youths through his sermon of change and restructuring, Peter Obi is in for some challenges that might hinder his desire to effectively actualise his manifestoes. 

The labour party rose from being one of the lowest political parties in Nigeria to a party you can regard as a 3rd force. In 2019, the Labour Party presidential candidate, Ezekiel Akpan garnered 5,074 and lost the 2019 poll. This is however likely to change in Feb as we’ve seen the party’s membership and support increase drastically.

Obi’s campaign is anchored on seven thematic areas of security, production, institutional reforms, industrial revolution, infrastructural development, human capital development as well as a robust foreign policy.

Specifically, Obi and his vice presidential candidate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, pledged to “secure and unite our dear nation, and manage our diversity such that no one is left behind in Nigeria.

There have been speculations that the G5 Governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), might throw their weight behind peter Obi. and with the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, saying that about 18 state governors across party lines are currently working behind the scene for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, other candidates are in for a difficult ride in the coming poll. This is however likely to be a bluff and a political tool to build the confidence of their presidential aspirant.

Concerns are however raised on how Peter Obi will manage to successfully implement laws that will not get frustrated by the house of assembly. Currently, the Labour party has just two seats in the house of representatives with 360 members and also one seat in the senate, which has a number of 109 senators, this is even below one percent, with no governor currently in all 36 states. 

The Federal Government is not complete without the National Assembly. The National Assembly is constitutionally vested with several functions.  Prominent among them are lawmaking, representation, oversight and a host of others.  Most activities of the National Assembly are done through the Committees.  The Committees are populated by Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members of both Chambers based on professionalism and vast experiences in life.  These experiences prepare them to be able to scrutinize Bills, Motions, and other Legislative proposals.  The Legislators also intervene in the conduct of public institutions and officials.

Will Peter Obi who has challenged the system, be accepted by the red and green chambers? 

On the issue of legislation, Peter Obi’s labour party has not been active in the national assembly and bills and proposals might get frustrated. Restructuring the country will lead to several amendments, several bills and proposals introduced.  We’ve seen how the National Assembly has been loyal to the APC government because of the percentage of the APC population in the house. Since the national assembly members are not members of his party, it would be hard for them to pass and assent to bills. The laws that would make the country efficient might not see the light of day. 

Just like Bukola Saraki, former president of the senate opined in the Arise Morning show, the lack of national spread of the labour party might be a major challenge for peter Obi should he emerge.

He noted that for proper restructuring of the country, it would require a constitution review and also the majority of labour party in the House of Assembly. 

“Investors are no longer satisfied with executive orders, they want to see legislations to support investments. A small party that does not have the spread across the country, even if they have the present and does not have parliaments from day one, we are not going to have what Nigerians want to see, the laws that will change the constitution, the laws that will make the country more efficient.” he said.