2015 Election And The Battle For The Soul Of Nigeria

By Efezino Akpoterabor

With the election just over a week away, I am forced to weigh in on the recent developments that have surrounded the 2015 general polls. It is my contribution, one for which I hope history will one day judge me fairly and one for which my children will be able to hold me accountable in the years to come.

The systematic and deliberate attempt to misrepresent the issues about the upcoming general election is indeed alarming. It is a manipulation of the minds and sentiments of Nigerians and a devious scheme by those who have lost their hold on power at the centre of governance in Nigeria.

I have watched with interest the political ramblings by the so called opposition and I wonder why this eternal phrase “he who pays the piper dictates the tune that should be played” keeps playing out over and over again.

The Fourth Estate of the Realm, that is the mass media, has been raped and abused because many media houses are owned by selfish interests who hope to use them to achieve their chief aim of wresting power from President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

A strategy that Governor Babatunde Fashola proudly and unashamedly alluded to during the lecture which he delivered at the reception for Timipre Silva’s birthday titled The Challenge of Democratic Governance. For the purposes of specificity, I will quote him.

He said: “Truth be told, opposition politics is tough and only the committed and true believers see it through. Opposition politics carries its own pain everywhere and has been the subject of a book called ‘How to be in Opposition. Life in the Political Shadows’, Nigel Fletcher provides useful insight into the challenges of being in opposition and also professes useful tips.

“The one I will share with you is sub-titled ‘choose your weapons wisely’, and this is what he says: “An opposition cannot compete with the Government on resources, so you must be inventive. In what is a David and Goliath contest, you can use the advantages of greater agility to aim your slingshot where it can do the most damage. Parliamentary ambushes, media attacks and effective research will wear down Ministers and help expose their mistakes”

“As you may have also heard in this part of the world, the party in power will accuse you of trying to bring down the government. This is not the same thing as bringing down the country because the government can be removed by legitimate and constitutional means at the ballot box. “…bringing down the Government was a peculiar day job and it is. But that is really only the negative side of the job description. With equally lofty ambition, the positive side of opposition could be summed up as ‘trying to change the World’. This is surely something worth doing…” Perhaps when all these issues have been put in proper place, can we then begin to talk of the people of the party and what defines it.”

From the above excerpt my suppositions are as follows:

  1. The foundation on which APC was built was to remove PDP from power after 16 years of rule whether it has performed well or not.
  2. To facilitate (1) above the movers and shakers of the PDP have to be won over by careful manipulation and political strong arming.
  3. By winning over these movers and shakers, the political structure in Nigeria will seem on the outside to have changed but apparently, it the same old dirty dozen, wolves in sheep clothing.
  4. With the media firmly in the hands of the Afenifere and South West political bloc, Nigel Fletcher’s counsel to use media attack is a ready tool which is handy and available.
  5. The influence of the news media on mass psychology opens the door for the manipulation of the psyche of Nigerians.
  6. With its well-oiled propaganda machinery, the APC has used the media to expose and focus only on the failures of the President Jonathan, the PDP and their supporters.
  7. By taking cognizance of the psychological profile of Nigerians, permutation and calculations have indicated to the APC political and propaganda machinery that bad news which sells faster will be successful at turning the political support in their favour and to the disfavour of PDP.
  8. The truth is not the objective of the APC. Their main objective is the extensive and negative projection of the failures of the PDP and the President should be brought to the attention of the people daily. By doing this they hope to generate a fever pitch hatred for PDP and President Jonathan and their supporters.
  9. Cheap shots and personality attacks must be stepped up in the weeks and months leading to the elections as this will ensure that the impression of failure is maintained in the hearts and minds of Nigerians.
  10. By using the legerdemain ‘of trying to change the world’ Nigerians will continually be bombarded with images, quotes and statements that attest to the failure of the PDP and the President Jonathan’s administration.

I can, therefore, confidently state that the APC has no legitimate, worthwhile and tenable premise to demand for change because all it is interested in is to bring down this present administration.

The battle of the soul of Nigeria is being fought on three fronts – the battle of the media, the battle of the mind and the battle of the ballot.

These first two battles are happening concurrently, while final one will be fought on election day.

Worthy of note also is the fact that every attack on Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect has been amplified in the media and the synchronicity of the timings of these attacks with important national and political events is very suspect

(The Nyanya bombings in Abuja and the kidnap of the Chibok schoolgirls before the World Economic Forum and Centennial Celebration and even the attack on the school in Yobe on the day before President Jonathan declared his intention to run). The truth will soon be revealed.

However let me send a note of caution to the APC, their stooges, backers and supporters. Time is the best judge of every intention of a man’s heart. As you plan to bring down this government, rest assured that history is difficult to manipulate these days with the presence of the Internet.

Video and audio and transcripts of your statements and action will be available for generations to come. Obasanjo may lie through his books and need to be countered by Yinka Odumakin to expose his skewed sense of reality but history will judge us all.

A call to remembrance for those asking for change! Remember the lives that were lost because our leaders before independence did not have a common goal for unity, peace and progress. Remember the political crisis that rocked western Nigeria in the early 1960’s. Remember the events that led up to the 1966 coup. Remember the Nigerian civil war when close to 3.5 million people died because of the lack of sincerity of those whom we referred to as leaders.






     

     

    Remember our young and vibrant youth corpers, non-Muslims, Muslims from south-western Nigeria and people from southern Nigeria that lost their lives because the man who now stands for change incited his people to violence by his war chants of making the country ungovernable, a statement which he repeated as recently as last year.

    Remember that it took “General Change” four years to apologise for the killings that took place around the election in 2011. Remember that it also took him four years to condemn the attacks of Boko Haram when the Chibok girls kidnapping was condemned by the international community.

    Nigeria will not be harassed, terrorised or manipulated for change. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    Efezino Akpoterabor, a security engineer and writer, is based in Abuja

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