Much Ado About Chidoka’s Alleged Demonisation of Obi

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David-Chyddy Eleke in this piece writes about allegation of former minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka’s demonisation of his kinsman, Peter Obi, to help Atiku Abubakar win 2023 presidency.

Last week, news of allegations of sabotage by former aviation minister, Osita Chidoka against former Anambra State governor and Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi surfaced.

Chidoka had joined the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the United States of America, alongside other members of their team, but during the period, Chidoka was said to have engaged in massive demarketing of Peter Obi before Atiku.

According to a write up that was hugely circulated on social media, in almost all the meetings held by the Atiku group in United States, Chidoka remained consistent in trying to demarket Obi.

The write up stated: “As far as we are concerned, Mr. Osita Chidoka is free to support any person. However, what should be condemned is taking every available opportunity to de-market Mr. Peter Obi. In all the meetings they held with some diplomatic communities, his only mission was attacking Mr. Peter Obi through some unprintable words.

“In their present trip to the USA, his one purpose is demonisation of Obi. It became so notorious that some people on the entourage made jest among themselves on how Igbos hate one another foolishly. At the home front,  he has reached out to  Nigerians close to him preaching against Obi. His usual tale is how Obi would not support the rich, how he has started preaching against subsidy and how he will replicate what he did in Anambra by not allowing others to benefit from government as if it were his personal property. “I am young and not ready to retire and will not allow Obi to retire me”, the unsigned piece quoted Chidoka as saying.

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For those who know how far Obi and Chidoka have come, they will be surprised at such alleged attacks on Obi by Chidoka, who had many times over referred to him (Obi) as a elder brother and a mentor. But many others will feel this is politics, and everyone is at liberty to support whoever they like, as no ethnic group will totally support candidates from their zones.

Meanwhile, Chidoka has discountenanced the allegations. In a reaction signed on his behalf by the leader of his media Team, Mr Ikechukwu Okafor, Chidoka said there was no truth in the allegation.

Part of the press release read: “The attention of the Media Team of Chief Osita Chidoka, has been drawn to an unsigned write-up with the above caption. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t glorify an unsigned write-up with a reply but, the reply has to be done considering we are in the period of electioneering campaign for 2023 presidential election.

“We don’t know what the author of the piece hopes to achieve but we suspect that he used the good name of Osita Chidoka to give momentum to his nefarious goal of tarnishing Peter Obi’s name. His crude tactics of sharing unprintable and libellous allegations against Peter Obi using the attention-grabbing name of Osita Chidoka should be clear to any discerning reader. The writer’s aim is clear and our response is to expose his carefully disguised evil intention.

“Chidoka, former Corps Marshall of FRSC, is a politician known for his outspokenness and regular commentary on national issues. At no time, has he been known for negative rhetoric or mud-slinging. His campaign for the governorship of Anambra State in 2017 stood out for its positive and issues-based messaging. His digital grassroots mobilisation is now a reference point as Nigerians embrace digital campaigning.”

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The disclaimer by Chidoka continued: “Sadly, the faceless personality behind this ingenious and flagrant denigration of the Labour Presidential candidate through this unsigned enemy action has garnered public attention by using Chidoka’s name as a clickbait. We appreciate the concern of friends and well-wishers of Chief Chidoka who have been reaching out to us in his Media Team.

“Please be rest assured that Chidoka will never descend to such levels in his politics. His engagements are public and guided by his convictions which he publicly espouses. We use this opportunity to remind the general public that we are in election season where all manner of political propaganda is deployed to ridicule and discredit perceived opponents. Be discerning and watchful,” the release had said.

Some reactions have trailed the accusation, with many actually stating that Chidoka did nothing wrong is supporting his party, but there have been no concrete proof that he did  demarket Obi as the write-up had claimed.

A public affairs analyst, Stephen Eze, who spoke to our correspondent said: “I’m not aware if Chidoka committed any sin by standing with someone he feels is better. Even the denial by him was unnecessary. Many people still believe that all is fair in politics, and if what Chidoka thinks can help pull Obi down for his own candidate is the demarketing of Obi, why will he not do it.”

Eze however added that the denial by Chidoka may be a way of saving himself from the lashes that many other prominent politicians have previously received, over their attacks on Obi.

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Another respondent, Mrs Florence Ikeh, said: “Let Chidoka go and campaign for his candidate, instead of spending time looking for who to demarket. He is already aware of the fate that have befallen other politicians who criticized  Obi, so he should retrace his steps. Obi is a man who’s time has come, and not even Chidoka can stop him. We know that Chidoka is more or less jobless, and he may be looking for how to warm his way into the pocket of Atiku, but let him know that Obi right now is beyond just being an Anambra man. He represents the hope of common people, and elites like Chidoka can continue to look for where their bread will be buttered, but Obi remains the best bet for the people”.

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