With the 2023 general elections barely months away, Nigerian politics has well entered into its season of mudslinging and as is always the case, political mud artists and practitioners are bringing to bear all the sticky,dirty tools of their trade.
In recent times, Mr. Kashim Shettima, who amidst uproar even from within his own party has emerged as the running mate to Mr. Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, has shown himself particularly adept at mudslinging.
His nomination as vice presidential candidate was in part guerdon for the excellent job he did when he went on national TV to label Nigeria`s Vice President and Senate President ice cream and tomato sellers. His belated apology came only when the deed has been done.
A stench of skunks
Democracy is about the dice of choices, but it would appear that there is something inherently repulsive about every choice the ruling All Progressives Congress has made till date.
It is not just the hypocrisy that came to its highest point when the party whitewashed itself as a solution party before brainwashing Nigerians into believing it was different from the disgraced Peoples Democratic Party.
It is not just the absolutely shocking incompetence that has seen failure follow failure as a party that promised change has instead shortchanged Nigerians.
It is not just the shamelessness that carries on as if nothing has gone wrong, or the efforts at justifying failure, it is the audacity to take on Nigerians, rinse and repeat lies and think that the very people that make the Giant of Africa tick now have their hands tied.
If Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu brought a baggage to the ruling party`s ticket that was backbreaking, Mr. Shettima, his running mate, appears to be the final nail in its coffin.
Before the conversation even turns on the fact that both men are Muslims at a time when Islamist extremists are increasingly targeting Christians in Nigeria, while everything about Mr. Tinubu, including his age, educational qualifications and source of wealth, is clouded in controversy, Mr. Shettima is dogged by questions about his alleged links to Boko Haram. In a country riven apart by corruption-driven poverty and insecurity, both men should ordinarily be no-go areas.
Putting on airs on air
So, on Friday, July 15, 2022, Mr. Shettima returned to the same platform from where his blistering attacks on two principal figures of the APC whose only offence was contesting for the ticket with Mr Tinubu, had sent shockwaves rippling through his party.Again,on Channels TV
sPolitics Today,’ he was in his elements.
In what turned out to be an embarrassing misplacement of priority, instead of devoting sufficient time to address why the APC has disgracefully and disingenuously gone for two Muslims in betrayal of a country crying out for balance and equality, or his alleged links to Boko Haram, Mr. Shettima chose to attack the trail-blazing Mr. Peter Obi, who is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
Said Mr. Shettima,“The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has no political base and structure to win the next coming election in 2023. As far as I am concerned, he is politically structureless with little or no experience to lead this country.
“ Presidential position is not for the unprepared, neither is it an all comers affairs. Peter Obi can only become President in Igbo land but definitely not in Nigeria. Nigeria is too big for him to handle.
“He has no leadership ideology nor experience like President Muhammadu and our incoming President in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
A laughable irony
It is not by chance that the Peter Obi hurricane is sweeping through Nigeria with force and fury. Many Nigerians who have come to the end of their tethers, frustrated appear to recognize that with everything happening in the country, the country has hopped into the last chance saloon.
Tellingly, in people like Messrs. Buhari, Tinubu and Shettima who pride themselves as master politicians and champion political strategists with structures, Nigerians see only those responsible for the intractable problems plaguing the country.
It is even comical that with all the baggage Mr. Shettima and his principal Mr. Tinubu come with, he thinks they have the requisite ideology and experience. In a country where the corridors of power have been converted into the playgrounds of thieves and truants, it is not surprising that it is those who should be in jail that now own the stage and even take potshots at others.
A structureless nightmare.
As the Nigeria
s train hurtles non-stop towards 2023, Mr. Peter Obi has apparently emerged as the worst nightmare of Nigerias business-as-usual politicians.
With his exceptional performance when he was governor in Anambra State and his matchless grasp of Nigeria
s predicament and what must be done, he has continued to confound many of Nigerias do-nothing politicians, including Mr. Shettima, who for years have gleefully hastened the country to its demise.
In a country of corrupt politicians many of who cannot properly account for their educational qualifications, Mr. Peter Obi`s and public service credentials, and prudence, poses an unimaginable threat to the established order.
As they have watched many young Nigerians who want a better country militantly queue behind him, their favourite refrain is that he has not structure.
He may have no structure, but it speaks volumes that it is the man who has no structure that has dished the insomnia now haunting those who have held Nigeria to ransom for so many years. What a man!
Mr. Shettima `s battles would seem to lie elsewhere. He would be better served if his pugnacious energy which seems to find ample expression in name-calling and wild allegations is channeled into explaining the fact that allegations linking him to Boko Haram continue to surface with chilling regularity and credibility.
Mr. Shettima may be part of Nigeria
s problems. But Mr. Peter Obi is not his problem. Mr. Obi is nobodys problem. If anything, he appears to be just what the doctor ordered for a gravely ill country.