The 2023 presidential poll in Nigeria is bound definitely to produce a ‘revolutionary’ outcome that would make or mar our beloved fatherland’s chances at self-redemption. The months-long electioneering campaign is getting more and more interesting as parties and their candidates battle it out for electoral momentum. Thus far, out of the eighteen officially-approved candidates only three (BAT, Atiku, Obi) are visible online and offline.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has a formidable media team that includes Dino Melaye, Daniel Bwala, Phrank Shaibu and the Ovation magazine Chief Executive, Dele Momodu. Momodu has since joined ‘them’, having failed to realise his tepid presidential ambition. He got zero vote during the Convention!
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) boasts of experienced propagandists and attack dogs including Bayo Onanuga, Femi Fani-Kayode and Minister Festus Keyamo. Asiwaju is a media mogul, (he is the proprietor of TVC and The Nation newspaper) so he knows what propaganda is all about.
Comrade Omoyele Sowore’s African Action Congress has Onyinye-Gandhi Chukwunyere as its Presidential Campaign spokesperson while Peter Obi’s Labour Party have Clement Ojukwu and Yunusa Tanko as campaign spokesmen. Thus far Comrade Sowore’s campaign spokesperson and Obi’s spokesmen have maintained a decorous behaviour going forward.
As Yuletide approaches we are bound to witness more and more attacks and counter-attacks from different opposing camps. Politics and politicking involves strategic delivery of low-blows and assassination of characters especially in our clime where politics as a profession is more lucrative than any other endeavour!
Until the election proper happens in February next year it is going to be a no-holds-barred electorally-mortal slugfest, nay mortal combat, for power acquisition at the very apex. Swaying the voters’ opinion and presenting one’s principal as the ‘best’ among the lot represents an enticing opportunity for any serious spokesman to exploit for his advantage.
Now, the PDP and APC are desperate to be voted into office yet their presidential antecedents are nothing to write home about. The PDP wasted 16 years in Aso Villa and under their ‘Baba-ric’ President, Olusegun Obasanjo, squandered 16 billion Dollars on power with no corresponding electricity anywhere! Yet power generation and distribution has remained a mirage in Nigeria.
Again, another of their elected President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, died in office hiding his incurable ailment.
The ruling APC has fared no better in the last seven years it has captured power at the zenith. President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated his gross incompetence and leadership lethargy. He has effortlessly ‘killed’ our hopes and dreams as insecurity, poverty, unemployment and economic decline assail a majority of our people.
As the 4-month-long campaign period heats up, gathering momentum and generating controversies we are being treated to occasional gaffe and goofs, ethnic politics and sundry intimidation. Social media serves as a communication tool very significant in the delivery of messages and rethorics — positive and negative.
What the APC have in FFK, Onanuga and Keyamo the PDP can boast of in Momodu, Melaye, Bwala and Shaibu. Ordinarily, these are professionals in their different fields of human endeavour except Fani-Kayode who is the exact opposite, an unprofessional bootlicker.
Lately, Momodu and Minister Keyamo have been locked in an exchange of verbose intellectual fireworks. Momodu had fired the first salvo by taking Asiwaju Tinubu down. In a blistering vitriolic essay he wrote the Ovation Publisher took down ‘Jagaban’ lambasting him for his vindictive dictatorial politics. He dismissed his chances at the presidential poll arguing strongly that BAT had alienated himself from his friends, naming those that have had issues with him.
And in another critical article he had lampooned Minister Keyamo dropping him and labelling him a failure in both the legal profession and politics! Keyamo, blessed with sharp intellect, hit back almost immediately, throwing mud on Momodu. He derogatorily called him names saying that Bob Dee was not an achiever but a glorified executive praise-singer who used his Ovation magazine to curry favour from the rich and powerful.
Listening to both men one came out with the impression that the duo have been given special duties to ‘damage’ the reputation of their opposing pay-masters. Before now the APC gutter pig-fights had been assured ‘professionally’ by FFK but lately Minister Keyamo seemed to have woken up from his slumber to pick up the gauntlet. Onanuga is not in the fray for obvious reasons: he is above such shameless battles.
The Bourdillon Lion, Asiwaju Tinubu, is an excellent master of gaffe and he is very good at talking trash and down on his opponents. Yet, he has more damaging reputational baggage than any of them! While it is arguably true that we have no paragons or angels in our politics, Atiku and Asiwaju, the frontline contenders for the Aso Rock top job, have demonstrated their capacity for fraudulent activities.
Their patriotism may not be in serious doubt but their public service records are fraught with scandals and graft.
Nigeria post-Buharism under an Atiku or Asiwaju presidency may witness certain departure from the presidential pestilence Buharian we are presently living with but a genuine desire to break away from the ugly past may make their candidacy appear to be tantamount to political suicide!
For us, therefore, the Momodu/Keyamo public altercation is nothing but a glorified ‘rofo-rofo’ fight of yes-men! Men incapable of reaching their destined greatness because of their lack of belief in themselves. Men content with playing the second fiddle and providing infantile servile services to those they are better and greater than intellectually.
And therein lies the problem! Problem of serving the interest of the motherland patriotically or serving mammon or money! Momodu and Keyamo have chosen the latter and we begrudge them not for their choice.
Both Dele and Festus, the boys, must give us a break. Nigerians know them and what they represent. The Nigeria of our dream does not need them or their services. We see them as mere distractions! Come 2023 by God’s grace we shall take our country back from political leeches, vultures and rogues!
We, the people, deserve better than the naked dance they are engaged in in a market-place. The ‘war’ of the yes-men must stop!