Peter Obi: Billionaire Using Ruto's Tactics in Nigeria Presidential Race

  • Peter Obi, a wealthy businessman, is one of the leading candidate in the Nigerian Presidential Election. 

    The businessman, vying on Labour Party ticket, employed similar tactics which President William Ruto used to win the August 8, 2022 Presidential Election,  trouncing Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga. 

    According to pundits, Obi’s presidential ambition was elevated by young social media supporters to take on political heavyweights in the polls scheduled for Saturday, February 25.

    Social Media Trends

    File photo of Nigerian political leader Peter Obi

    File photo of Nigerian political leader Peter Obi during a past interview.

    Arise News

    The wealthy businessman capitalised on an army of social media users to popularise his presidential bid, which worked for Ruto.

    Reports indicated that Ruto adopted a social media strategy backed by influencers to counter his opponents. This was evident through his manifesto launch, where he trended for almost a full day.

    Digital strategist, Dennis Itumbi, also crafted communication plans and mock debates where Ruto and his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, were prepped to handle the media and the public. 

    A similar strategy was employed by Obi, who thrived on social media, sparking conversations via hashtags. 

    Riding on Young Voters Support

    Obi’s campaign strategy resonated with young voters from urban areas referred to as Coconut head generation. These youthful voters argued they were strong-willed and independent, creating a different path from old political strategies. 

    Ruto used Hustler and Kazi Kazi tags to win support from the young voters battling unemployment. He also used the tags to promise them jobs and business opportunities, including launching the Hustler Fund.

    Populism Tag

    ‘Let’s Get Our Country Back’ was used by both leaders to appeal to the electorates. During campaigns, Ruto established his niche by claiming that Raila was part of the dynasty and power brokers labelled ‘The System’.

    Dennis Itumbi (centre)sharing a light moment with President William Ruto (right) and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua (left) during a thanksgiving prayer service held in Kirinyaga on January 22, 2022.

    Dennis Itumbi (centre)sharing a light moment with President William Ruto (right) and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua (left) during a thanksgiving prayer service held in Kirinyaga on January 22, 2022.


    The self-proclaimed resucer, called himself the Chief Hustler, a tag that resonated well with the masses. 

    Obi used a similar strategy to appeal to young electorates. He was also involved in protests and mobilising students across Nigeria.

    Changing Parties

    Both leaders changed parties before polls. Ruto ditched Jubilee and adopted the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) under the Kenya Kwanza coalition, which propelled him to win Presidency after ditching Jubilee.

    Obi dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) few days before its presidential primary in May 2022. The party chose the 75-year-old former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as its presidential flagbearer.

    Mobilising Church Leaders

    A devout Catholic from eastern Nigeria and his running-mate Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed had strong winds in sections of Nigeria dominated by religious leaders.

    Obi became a constant face at large auditoriums of Nigeria’s Pentecostal churches, winning their support. Although he was accused of hypocrisy, the wealthy businessman stuck by his strategy to take on his opponents.

    Ruto also used various church leaders to popularise his presidential bid.

    His tenure as Anambra state governor also fuelled his bid. His supporters pointed out that he had invested in education and better working conditions.

    In 2021, he was named in the Pandora Papers, which also roped in Kenya’s Kenyatta’s family. He, however refused to reveal his networth, after the Pandora Papers accused those mentioned of stashing wealth abroad. 

    “I am a very successful businessman. I have been a trader, and I was successful. I have served in corporations, several boards, and I can name them.

    “I have also been a governor. In all these, I have operated as transparent and as efficiently as possible, and I can explain and answer for whatever I am mentioned in,” he stated in a previous interview.

    File photo of Nigerian political leader Peter Obi

    File photo of Nigerian political leader Peter Obi during a past political gathering.

    Nigerian Guardian

Beryl Onyango

Beryl Onyango is a CPA and economics degree holder who has dedicated her career to helping others navigate the complex world of finance. Beryl has spent the past 3 years working as a finance specialist in a fintech company and has 6 years of experience in finance, working with a diverse range of clients and industries. Beryl's expertise lies in budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning, but she also has a deep understanding of various other areas of finance. She is interested in financial technology and how it changes how we manage our finances. As a finance writer, Beryl has been sharing her insights and knowledge through her writing, covering various finance and personal finance topics. Her goal is to educate and empower individuals to take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals. In addition to her professional experience, Beryl is a lifelong learner, always seeking to expand her knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in finance. She is also a strong communicator, able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Beryl believes that financial literacy is the key to achieving financial success, and she is dedicated to helping others achieve their financial goals.

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