It is not by chance that The Nigerian Presidential Election Is Marred By Thuggery. Obi Should Stop Acting like a gentleman now and join them.
Three presidential candidates, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, are in the fight to lead Nigeria.
It is a known reality that the psychology of Nigerian elections has long institutionalized electoral thuggery with its three main extensions: surprises, fraud, and violence.
For Obi, peaceful elections are the mark of democracy, as they serve the purpose of a peaceful change in government and confer political legitimacy on the winner. But Nigeria is different.
For Obi, he is illustrating the pain and weaknesses of our broken system and economy by citing statistics and figures to support his assertions. But Tinubu appeared to be using a form of subtle anger in the form of mocking regarding his use of statistics and figures. Tinubu is having fun with that, and Nigerians at large, known for yeye, mocking laughter, or belly laughs, are enjoying it all. Obi, as Nigerians like jokes, you too should learn to laugh at your rivals’ ignorance.
Tinubu, continues to publicly ridicule the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Obi saying, “That one is always quoting statistics.” We’re going to chop the statistics. Wrong arithmetic. Wrong statistics.”
Yes, Obi is doing the right thing on the surface by being a noble man, but in practice, in a society like Nigeria that has traditionally dealt with feelings, the jaguda, or street type of speech marked by hot political rhetoric and charged words is more appealing to people’s emotions and biases.
Obi, you’ve almost certainly heard of the Nigerian Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti. One of his all-time greatest lyrics is “I nor be gentleman at all.”
Unlike Obi, Atiku and Tinubu understand how tough and non-European (Oyibo) elections are conducted in a strongman and chaotic society like Nigeria. Obi should too.
So, what has appeal currently is not Obi’s public grammars and pronouncements but the mindset of “I nor be gentleman at all.” I believe Obi understands the message behind this distinct pidgin language.
Some of Atiku and Tinubu’s public statements show they will not follow the social rules of a gentleman, and as do-or-die politicians in their desperate determination to win elections at all costs, they will take the “no gentleman” roles.
They may not directly or indirectly introduce violence, killings or assassinations, kidnappings, ballot snatching, tribal clashes, or conspire with bad electoral officials, the tricky media, crooked uniformed officers, or even irregular citizens to buy votes, but they are already illustrating words and behaviors like “I nor be gentleman at all” to influence and infiltrate the minds of the people.
There are already reports that some politicians are engaging thugs and violent individuals to attack their opponents, spreading terror and fear everywhere.
To remind Nigerians of what an evil leader or a stereotypically painted regional man look like, Tinubu portrayed Obi before the people as “a wicked parent that holds money in his hand yet allows his children to starve… a heartless governor who held back money when people went hungry, schools, roads, and clinics went into disrepair.” Now that is biting!
When asked about the bullion vans seen at his residence apparently carrying money not long ago, Tinubu admitted that they belonged to him and dismissed complaints about such undemocratic behavior of the person of a formal public government official. In a jaguda or street-like manner he declared: “Excuse me, is it my money or government money? “I don’t work for the government. So, even if I have money to spend on my premises, what is your headache?”
This is the same Tinubu who mocks Obi for being stingy with government funds while in office; Obi should tell Tinubu, in a jaguda way, “You need to be arrested and jailed for apparent abuse of the nation’s money to benefit the people and the development of the country.”
Tinubu knows he is apparently deceiving the gullible public through distorted truths, mostly for personal gain, and sometimes these street tactics succeed, so Obi must shoot back at him in a belittling manner. People like it because it plays into the psychology of Fela’s tactics.
To persuade Northern Fulani and Hausas not to vote for Yoruba and Igbo, Atiku said they should vote for “someone from the North.” Atiku used tribal politics to persuade Northern Fulani and Hausas not to vote for Yoruba and Igbo.
Obi does not need to use divisive, ethnocentric, and inflammatory language like this; instead, he should encourage Nigerians to examine Atiku and Tinubu and their respective histories in public and personal contexts and make informed decisions. Tell Nigerians that it is a choice between good and evil.
Tinubu has not done the right thing by evoking tribal and religious sentiments in the people.
Tinubu specifically said, “Yoruba lo kan; Emi lo kan,” which means, “It is the turn of the Yoruba… “And it is my turn as a Yoruba man.”
Obi do not allow them to fully instill doubt in Nigerians; instead, begin to yab or talk back at them, find something about each of them to mock, and give them unkind nicknames; doing so will persuade the people that you are not a politically undermined person.
Most Nigerians understand that one of your goals is to unite Nigerians, but Obi must keep in mind that his political opponents are currently targeting wicked and dishonest officers in uniformed forces who will work for them and misuse tear gas, stun guns, paintball guns, and pepper spray to help put fear of injury or death in political party supporters, particularly youths, urban dwellers, and women, so get your set of loyal officers who will ensure that rogued officers are not targeting your voters and supporters. Remember that Nigerian elections have been characterized by violence, fraud, and cheating.
Obi, be careful how you talk about any ethnic group, because your opponents can freely say it with no consequences, but you as an Ibo man can’t, especially when many of your supporters, including almost all Easterners, see the person of Obi as the embodiment of the Igbo people’s ambition in the southeast, a region that has been almost intentionally rejected and stripped of presidential power since it attempted to secede decades ago.
Obi, if you win as a southern Christian, there may be riots in Muslim northern states; if you lose, there may be riots in urban areas; whatever happens, place your trust in God and see yourself as the people’s chosen one. Good luck, sir. Remember the noted sounds and words of Fela from now on to February 25, 2023 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snIV_-IECsM ). Tell your rivals we all can play the games!