MY “ACCIDENTAL” ONE-ON-ONE WITH DR. PETER OBI (PDP Vice Presidential Candidate)
I had heard/read so much about him. But I was disappointed. This man is NOT what they said he was neither is he what he pretends he is.
Our meeting ended on a sad note.
Please read further:
I was on the plane to Lagos today in company of my dad, Samson, and my fathers in the ministry- Revds. John Amah and Abiodun Obe amidst others.
We were busy chatting about the success of the national church meeting we had just finished when Dr. Peter Obi sauntered into the plane dragging a lone bag behind him.
He was without airs.
It was just him.
I picked him out immediately.
I turned to my fathers, telling them I needed to engage him. I was going to dare him to turn me away in the manner of arrogance known with politicians.
My regret would be not trying.
My dad froze! He must have wondered what guts I had to walk up to a former Governor of a state and the Vice Presidential candidate of the major opposition party like that.
As he settled into his seat in the Economy Class of the plane just behind me, I pulled my Press Staff ID card out of my wallet and approached him.
Smiling broadly, I hailed him and introduced myself as a banker who does radio journalism as his side interest. I told him I run a radio political talk show in the city of Ibadan.
After he had told me some personal stuff about his relationship with some top bankers, I told him I was interested in interrogating his political ambition for 2019. I asked for just FIVE minutes of his time and assured him my questions would be as simple and easy as they could come 😁
The voice of a member of the cabin crew interrupted us as the plane was about taking off. I sought his concurrence to allow me interview him after we had disembarked the plane.
He readily agreed.
Off we went.
As out plane taxied to a stop, I dragged my knapsack, bade my dad and his friends goodbye and waited for Dr. Obi to descend the plane stairs.
The moment he sighted me waiting for him like a tiger on watch, he laughed pointing at me and speaking in his feminine voice: “You mean you are really stalking me?”
I made to help with his luggage as a trained Yoruba boy to an elder. He declined. He said he loved to carry his luggage himself.
As we walked towards the arrival lounge, I asked if I could put him on record for the questions I intended to ask.
Again, he readily agreed.
I asked a few questions to which he gave some responses. Then he stopped.
He said to me: “Hezekiah, I see you really intend to know quite a few things but the time we have now won’t do us any good. I am interested in having this chat with you because I think you really want to know. Would you be happy if I gave you an appointment for a proper interview where we can really dig deep into every issue of your choice?”
I was gobsmacked. This was really what I wanted.
I answered in the affirmative assuring him I could come look for him in Abuja, PH, Kano, Onitsha, Awka, Enugu, Lagos or wherever he wants. All I required was an appointment.
He gave me his phone number and told me he’d call. I should send him my personal details for record keeping and he would call this week.
I was quick to remind him that politicians made such false promises just to get inquisitive journalists out of the way. But he said:
“I am not a politician. I am Peter Obi. If I give out my phone number with a promise to call, I call. I will call you.”
I turned off my phone recorder. We smiled. Shook hands.
And took this picture.
Now you want to know my sadness and disappointment?
My interaction with Dr. Peter Obi was more down to earth than I assumed.
His simplicity was more than I thought it was. His unassuming nature was enthralling.
Peter Obi, sadly, is more conservative and warm than he is reputed to be.
I look forward to my interview with Dr. Peter Obi as 2019 beckons.
PS- Do not take this as a political post. Don’t hurt yourself for nothing. If I meet your candidate and his conduct makes sense, I will write. Don’t weep for nothing!
© Hekeziah Oluwaseun Akinrinde