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Peter Obi’s Appointment as SEC Chairman is his Final Demotion – By Kinsley Udemezue

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There seems to be no imminent break to former Governor Peter Obi’s
steady fall. Since leaving office in March last year, Obi has carried
on like a man desperate for relevance; retaining his large tribe of
media aides, courtiers and jesters and performing functions like the
commissioning of projects and flying off to South Africa to see
victims of xenophobia as though he still occupied his former office.
His media aides and jesters (Mazi Odera) have also carried on as if
they are in a war with themselves.

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Obi’s desperation seemed to know no limits. Not for him the option of
dignified silence. He failed to read the script left by others before
him. People like former governor Donald Duke of Cross River State,
Orji Uzo Kalu of Abia, Achike Udenwa of Imo and Peter Odili of Rivers
State who left political office and jettisoned the limelight that goes
with it. Peter Obi’s could barely wait to hand over power before
hankering for the vacant post of Aviation Minister. When he failed in
that bid, he blamed it on his not being a member of the ruling party
and quickly dumped APGA for PDP. But his hope of becoming a minister
went with President Jonathan’s loss of his second term bid. With that
loss, Obi has been locked in another desperate effort to define
himself. It was this desperation that made him accept what is
obviously a serious demotion. And this why his appointment as the
Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a demotion

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1.      Obi’s aspiration has been to become a minister. As the
Chairman of SEC, Obi reports to the Minister of Finance. What this
means is that Obi is actually going to be supervised by the Federal
Minister of Finance (whoever is finally appointed to that post.)  For
someone who has been a powerful governor of a great state like
Anambra, SEC Chairmanship is not only a demotion but extremely
demeaning. And working under a Minister under the APC regime will not
bode well for Obi in view of his prominent role in the last
administration.

2.      Obi is the first governor ever to accept such a demeaning
position in the history of Nigerian democracy. It is rather surprising
that he accepted the position considering his enormous wealth and well
known business acumen. The question his friends are beginning to ask
is must Obi hold an appointment? Haba!

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3.      If current permutations pan out right, erudite Professor and
gifted economist, Chukwuma Soludo might become the Minister of
Finance. Soludo is eminently qualified to lead Nigeria out of its
resent economic woes and stands a great chance of succeeding
Okonjo-Iwela at the Finance Ministry with enormous supervisory powers
over Obi. Wow! Is it nemesis or just a cruel turn of events? Soludo
supervising Obi? I can’t wait to see how that will work.

4.      Peter Obi’s rapid slide into irrelevance one year out of
office is a touching story of what desperation can do to an otherwise
focused man. What it simply tells us is that Obi had no exit plan when
he handed over power. He failed woefully to carve out a future for
himself. And now, he is paying the price.

Kinsley Udemezue
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