Stears and the selective amnesia of Obidients, By Kingsley Okafor

Before the February 25, 2023 presidential election in Nigeria, supporters of Mr. Peter Obi, one-third of what had become a three-horse race, took to social media to validate, hail, and celebrate the Stears Predictive Poll, one that presented Mr. Obi as possible winner.

Obi’s supporters – self styled Obidients – described the poll as “robust”, “the best”, among other glowing adjectives. To the ever emotional, mob lynching, and band wagonist bunch, science and data is only objective when viewed subjectively.

How else could anyone have explained their obsession with only one part of that report – a possible Obi victory – and their total disregard for the more important parts of it; the ones that stated the scenarios in which the result of the poll could potentially throw up a different result?

For perspective, the second part of the Stears report was clearly stated in the headlines: “..LOW VOTER TURNOUT FAVOURS TINUBU”

A very enthusiastic movement driven more by exuberance than strategy, Obidients took a lot for granted and went to sleep, forgetting the most important points raised by Stears, the same Stears that they declared to be the most objective polling system. Let me remind you very quickly:

  1. “Look closely, and you will see those silent voters are still larger than any single candidate’s votes, so the poll is inconclusive without the Stears prediction model. Still, it is useful to see the voting pattern across geopolitical zones, so let’s explore some more.”

Stears literally asked them to “Look closely” because the organization knows that the support base of the former governor lacks the wherewithal to see issues for what they are, choosing instead to bask in the euphoria of their social media numbers which, as admirable as they are, is still steeped in political inexperience and pragmatism.

It is common knowledge that when there is too much of an adrenaline rush, people tend to lose sight of what lies between the lines. They become blind to both logic and science. The failure to look closely was later to cost them dearly at the polls, leading to a defeat so major, they have remained stuck in the very first stage of grief since February 25.

  1. “Put simply, the Stears prediction model believes that Tinubu has the most silent voters i.e. people who intend to vote for Tinubu but choose not to disclose this during an interview across the three main candidates.”

This, without a doubt, exposed the biggest strength of eventual winner, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the one hand, and the toxicity of the Obidients on the other.

Stears, a platform endorsed by Obidients as being thorough and incorruptible, made it known that the largest number of silent voters were Tinubu supporters who, for fear of being lynched by the vile horde that Obi had left leaderless and untrained, were afraid to openly acknowledge their support for Asiwaju. The report was so precise as to state that the number of silent voters was even more than those who had taken the poll.

It stood to reason that Mr. Obi kept winning those polls because his supporters were vociferous and dominated the social media space, loud in enthusiam, uncouthness and inexperience, while Tinubu’s support base silently strategized, winning over the grassroots, and getting their game right.

You see, from day one, the strategy of the APC was not to engage in counter-madness and toxicity because that would have heated up the polity. Nobody can win a social media war against a group that believes only in violence, rascality and toxicity. The peace and stability of Nigeria was obviously more important to Tinubu than it mattered to Mr. Obi.

That accounted for the endless calls from well-meaning Nigerians to the Labour Party candidate to call his supporters to order.

To his credit, Obi did apologise to Nigerians a couple of times, but his supporters were so unruly, they charged at him, fangs glistening with poison. He was forced to back down and do their bidding, even though he knew that their toxicity was capable of burning the country.

That was the first sign of weakness on his part, evidence that he is not capable of leading a dynamic country like Nigeria. He failed to teach his people the importance of order. Without order, there can only be anarchy. No sane society operates and develops without order. How Obidients see order as a weakness is still baffling.

In a 21st century world where Gen-Z are changing the world positively, and Nigeria has a slew of them, Mr. Obi’s mannerless horde has become the very monster they dishonestly claim to be fighting against. Their love language is anarchy.

This was why their own monstrosity blinded them, they failed to read between the lines.

Tinubu won the election and those silent supporters, the vast majority that Obidients had acknowledged before the election, delivered their votes and returned to being silent because nobody wants to be attacked for exercising that basic human right; the freedom of choice.

To further buttress the violent nature of the Obidient group, you may wish to refresh your knowledge of the terrorist-backed Twitter handles that used to promote, albeit with the same measure and style of violence, the message of Independent Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.

They were all conscripted into the Obidient group and they succeeded in permeating their entire support base with their brand of toxic political illiteracy.

Play your minds back to the number of individuals, VIP or commoner, who were attacked because of their support for any candidate other than Peter Obi. So powerful were they that every sane person was cowed into silence. So, those who mattered decided to keel their thoughts close to their chests and show their strength via the ballot box. Obidients never saw it coming.

Breakfast was served in bed.

  1. “Despite this, Nigerians are adamant that religion does not dictate their vote: just 4% of respondents selected religion as one of the three main factors determining their candidate choice.”

While Tinubu ran his campaign on the belief that it was his turn to prove his capacity to change Nigeria for Nigerians since certain factors had affected the pace of development that Nigerians yearned for, a belief borne from decades of training, raising and empowering leaders across regions and religions, Mr. Peter Obi saw this Stears report and kicked into a level of religious manipulation never before seen in Nigerian politics.

Knowing that his candidature did not have the national spread required to win, but afraid of backlash from his unruly Obidients, Obi unfortunately turned the election, in his own words according to Peoples Gazzette, a “religious war.”

This much was exposed in the now viral telephone conversation between him and a Bishop of one of the world’s largest churches.

How come Obidients agreed with Stears’ prediction of an Obi victory, but wanted to go against the warning that religion should not play a role in its outcome? What did @Ben_Bisa see when he tweeted that religion would be a factor? Why did Obi see the election as a religious war? Imagine for a moment that it was Asiwaju who made that comment. Imagine how it would have become such a tool for their lies-based propaganda.

To these ones, Peter Obi is allowed to commit crimes. His sins are washed away by their powerless influence while the perceived sins of others is magnified and ‘canceled’.

Watch them closely. Whenever their principal gets caught in a lie, their counter is usually, “This is not as bad as what the other candidate did in 1776.”

They built large portions of their campaign on the #EndSARS protests of 2020 where they insist that there was a massacre at Lekki toll gate. Every discerning voice has posited that, although there was violence and shooting on the night, there was no such thing as a massacre. “Massacre” was a lie being sold to the world by unscrupulous persons who were targeting financial aides from abroad. These monies were later embezzled by a select few individuals among those who claim to be change-makers.

Anybody who dared to say that there was no massacre in the true sense of the word, got canceled. They would attack your source of income by writing your less-informed employers abroad, attack your children and relatives online, and put lives at risk by illegally posting private phone numbers of everyone they decided to cancel.

Fast forward to presidential campaign season in 2022, and Datti Ahmed, the Vice-Presidential candidate to Mr. Obi, and darling of the ‘We-sabi-insult-anybody’ department of the Obidients, denied the existence of a massacre at Lekki toll gate.

He affirmed what everybody else had said before; there was an altercation between soldiers and protesters. Warning shots were fired and it was possible that stray bullets may have injured some people, but there was no massacre.

Do you know what happened? The same marauding group of Social Media Cancelers Association members found themselves making excuses for Datti. The sheer dishonesty and hypocrisy of Obidients is something to be taught in history in the very near future.

To them, a sin is only a sin if it is not connected to Peter Obi. Just join their cause and your sins are forgiven. Is this the principle that will change Nigeria?

There is undoubtable proof that Obidients do not seek power for genuine change, but to become the oppressor. Check the timeline. They accuse government of intolerance yet, none of them was arrested despite their regular defamatory posts and their attacks on the freedoms of others. Till date, they still tweet their toxicity freely.

But they would impugne the rights of others so much that the larger majority of citizens were cowed into silence during the polls. Imagine what they would do with the enormous power and responsibility that comes with leadership. Nigeria will become a state viciously handled by an unprecedentedly dictatorial, select few.

Obi ran a campaign of religious bias but, as Stears had predicted, Nigerians rejected that doctrine. Nigerians who want their country to be better. Those who mean well for the nation.

  1. “Unsurprisingly, voters in the South East (64%) and South South (48%) heavily back Peter Obi. More impressively, Peter Obi is also the most popular candidate in the North Central (26% of voters), ahead of Tinubu (19%) and Abubakar (11%).”

This particular point brings me to laughter. I laugh whenever Obidients, Labour Party, and Mr. Obi claim that the election was rigged. But, going by their validation of the Stears report which asserted that Obi would score 64% of the South East votes, why was it not considered rigging when, suddenly, Obi scored between 90%-95% in most of the SE states?

Why was it considered rigging only in the states where he lost? Why are Obidients the only sanctimonious Nigerians? I will never not laugh at this.

Let’s face it. The Obidient organization beat everybody’s expectations. Within a few months, they relegated Atiku Abubakar of the PDP to the dustbin of political history. It is noteworthy that, in all of the polls validated by Obi fans, PDP was never in the running for success at the polls.

But you cannot, for the sake of a new imagination and desire, no matter how well-intentioned, disregard traditional voting patterns and voters, as of those ones don’t matter.

Obi was never going to penetrate traditional APC and Asiwaju supporters. APC is not PDP, and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not Atiku Abubakar.

It is a total shame for character-deficient Obidients to imagine that other Nigerians don’t mean well for Nigeria. Even more shameful, is their pretentious sainthood. The silent majority that Stears talked about was watching, waiting, and ready. They won.

In the end, silence became louder than the noise making horde. This is their confusion. The fact that they are searching for that silent majority to curse and abuse, but those ones, ever wise and strategic, are saying nothing, is eating Obidients up.

Let them keep abusing. The silent ones who voted for Tinubu will continue to contribute their quota to national development in silence and they will be rewarded with a better nation.

Let the embezzlers of foreign donations keep leading others astray.

-Okafor, a Public Affairs Analyst writes from Owerri

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