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Noviekuwrites Blog of Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Source: Novieku Babatunde Adeola

Why Obidients, Peter Obi should be hopeful after William Ruto's victory in Kenya

The victory of Kenya's President, William Ruto in the elections and his subsequent swearing-in after narrowly winning against all the odds can be translated as a strong signal of what many Nigerians expect could happen in the general elections in 2023.

Coming from a bitter split that left him at loggerheads with his former boss and President Uhuru Kenyatta which left the two not speaking for months at a time, on Tuesday, September 13, the audience cheered as the two shook hands, and again as Kenyatta handed over the instruments of power.

His ascension to the highest office in the land was far from easy. From a humble beginning to wrestling power from the Kenyatta and Odinga family, two of the most prestigious and prominent families in the country, supporters of Peter Obi who are popularly called Obidients will hope and believe the same story is told in May 2023 at the inauguration of Nigeria's next president.

In this article, MyNigeria takes a look at why supporters of Peter Obi should be hopeful after William Ruto's victory in Kenya.


Kenya's President William Ruto had a childhood like every typical Kenyan that grew up in obscure poverty. According to a BBC report, Ruto went to primary school barefooted and could only afford his first pair of shoes at the age of 15.

The reports further noted that he sold chickens and groundnuts by the roadside in rural areas of the Rift Valley.

Little is known about the early life of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, however, what we gather is that he was born into a family of traders in Eastern Nigeria. He also started his life as a trader before he ventured into the corporate world and into politics.

Grassroot campaign

It is no news that Peter Obi has been able to build a formidable army of some of Nigeria's active citizens. Popularly called the Obidients, his support base has gotten international recognition as they have moved from only being social media supporters to organizing mass rallies in several cities in the country to galvanize support for their candidate.

On his part, Peter Obi has always said he intends to turn Nigeria into a manufacturing hub with exportation as its primary module.

Obi also said in a report sighted on Reuters that he is finalizing specifics on how he would handle the tightly controlled naira currency or deal crippling fuel subsidies. He also said he would renegotiate debt, extricate the government from the economy and enable the private sector to thrive.

Dressed in his tailored-but-casual blue "senator style" suit and sandals, young social media-savvy supporters have elevated Mr Obi to sainthood and are backing his largely unknown Labour Party against two septuagenarian political heavyweights.

Ruto's message throughout his campaign was one of breaking the jinx and the attempt by two of Kenya's dynasties - the Kenyatta's and Odinga's - to hang on to power.

He portrayed himself as a "hustler", fighting for the rights of the ordinary Kenyan.

Like Peter Obi, he coined the phrase "Hustler nation" to refer to the young people struggling to make ends meet.

Mr Ruto has promised a bottom-up approach to the economy, saying it will benefit the poor who are bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis that has hit the world following the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, BBC reports.

First timers

While Peter Obi will attempt to shock the political landscape by contesting the polls for the first time as a presidential candidate, Ruto did the unthinkable with the odds stacked against him.

Despite his critics hounding him and the odds stacked against him, Ruto defiled the political paymasters and was declared the winner with 50.5% of the vote.

Peter Obi will hope the gods smile on him as he attempts to wrestle power from two of Nigeria's political stalwarts, former vice president Atiku Abubakar and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

From a region that has produced one president

Ruto comes from the third biggest ethnic group, the Kalenjin, which has produced only one other president, the late Mr Moi, who was Kenya's longest-serving ruler.

Ruto with his ascension to the presidency is now, without a doubt, the political kingpin of the community.

Peter Obi, on the other hand, will hope to be the second person of Igbo extraction that will successfully rule Nigeria. Like Ruto, he comes from of the biggest ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Nnamdi Azikwe was the first and only indigenous Governor–General of Nigeria from (1960–1963), and the first President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1963–1966).

He died on 11 May 1996.

Age bracket

Both men fall within the same age bracket. President William Ruto 55-years-old while Peter Obi is 61 years old.