Peter Goes To School
One of the popular recommended texts of the elementary school days in the seventies is Eze Goes to School by Onuora Nzekwu and Micheal Crowther. Eze Goes to School is a juvenile literature on the School-life of Eze. It chronicles the young chap’s determination to go to school in spite of the difficulties on his way, whether he is able to overcome that is another matter.
But as would be noticed, this is not about Eze, but Chief Peter Obi, ex-governor of Anambra whose agent provocateur, one Val Obienyem has revealed, is on his way to a sponsored programme at Oxford University. Like the waif Eze, Val inferred that Peter may also need sandals, cabin, beverages etc to help stay healthy and focused at school.
Peter as he is fondly called is a wealthy man by all standards but one thing about the man Peter, is that he does not take responsibility, especially when it concerns spending money. He would rather attribute it to a third party than be seen to have done it himself. The man Peter wishes to be known and likes to be seen in the neighborhood as a nice guy whose escapades remain permanently at the realm of the imagination. Many who know the man closely will confide that he likes using proxies in all his undertakings. Peter is a closet Capone who likes to keep distance from the hit for others to take the fall. Peter Obi by nature likes to be the last man standing.
Such is the man's penchant for subterfuge that when he pays money for anything good and expensive, he distances himself. The story is told about how Peter would deny ownership of a good cloth in order not to be seen to have money to spare. Even as governor, whenever Mr. Obi flies a private jet, he attributes it to a favour from a rich friend. He prefers to be seen as the governor who queues for his ticket and flies economy, even though he could be offered the business class. Now that he is proceeding to school, he would rather that someone is sponsoring, and his aide calling for donation of sandals and school bag. How ridiculous?
Lately Mr. Peter Obi caught the bug of emergency philanthropist, he has been going round schools in Anambra State telling the management what he did for them and demanding photo Ops with the students. The drill according to insiders is that his aides convinced him that he has to remain relevant through public philanthropy hence the birth of the N1-2 Million Cheque presentation to select schools. Good gesture, but as always with Mr. Peter Obi’s selfish intentions.
Peter suddenly realized that having tasted power, he could not afford a minute away from the lime-light. As a late convert to media offerings, he enjoys the power and exposure it provides and he doesn't want to fade out after his tenure. He remembers his gubernatorial exploits with a tinge of nostalgia and it leaves him with a sense as ennui. Hence he goes round schools in Anambra like an emergency philanthropist, to inspect projects and take pictures, under the watch of a substantive governor. Many would recall that Mr. Peter Obi cried and shouted over the same shenanigans allegedly carried out by Senator Chris Ngige who was said to have inspected roads in the early days of Peter’s tenure.
Lest some think Peter is being hounded, I have not heard a whimper from the current governor's camp. I just know that there are many philanthropists in Anambra who support the course of education and other things in a quiet but dignified way rather the obvious display of false philanthropy Mr. Obi suddenly discovered in search of public relevance.
Apart from the School tours, Mr. Obi has also tried to distract governor Obiano with his story of a phantom 'N75bn cash' he allegedly left in the coffers of Anambra. Tried as he did, I understand governor Obiano, his friend, felt there was no need to engage Peter in public spat. As an auditor, banker of repute and manager of men and resources he is better placed to decipher the differentials in figures produced by a trader and that of a forensic auditor. More so, Peter never talked about liabilities, the multiple projects he awarded till last day, six thousand teachers recruited without posting and the Local government election he remembered after eight years, all few day to handover. That's the proxy warrior in Peter.
Now that Peter Obi is going to school following his harrowing misadventure in PDP, most people I have engaged on this think it is probably the best option left. Let's see how he will juggle the balls. I guess he can superintend over the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Board meetings whenever notice is passed. But I am not sure he can sustain his new found love for school tours and false philanthropy.
Suffice to say that Peter has been bitten by the political bug, but he failed to maximize the opportunity to build a pan Igbo platform and galvanize people in his home state, rather he chose the part of the minimalist. Now that he has seen another person excelling where he once played court, he appears uncomfortable. However it is late in the day because he can’t be governor again. That is the burden of Mr. Peter Obi.
Therefore like Eze, it is in Peter’s interest, to go back to school.