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The consequence of the struggle for fake-news trophy by APC, PDP
By Fredrick Nwabufo
The APC and the PDP are at a fake-news race. It appears both parties are set on a single strategy of winning the February presidential election – through the audacious cross firing of falsehood and lies. It will be prejudicial to say who is getting ahead of the other in this punitive race of fibbing. But the two parties are outdoing each other in the use of the fake-news artillery, and in the deployment of fact-twisting ballistic missiles. Vintage Nigerian politics.
Today, APC campaign minions are posting fake pictures of completed infrastructural projects and crowds at campaign venues; the next day, PDP campaign “surrogates” are attributing false quotes to the president or any member of the government.
At different times, they switch the subjects in this ignominious task. And most times, both camps syndicate malicious and fabricated stories – like the Jibrin Aminu Al Sudani fiction – across different platforms. But is this healthy for our politics? I do not think so. We got to where we are today – where fake-news and hate speeches have become rife – owing to the “scorched-earth campaign strategy” deployed by the APC in the 2015 election.
Soon after the party came to power, the monster it unleashed grew seven heads. It struggles to tame it, but it is constantly reminded of its hypocrisy – who let the beast out in the first place? It is ironical that the individual, who led the fake-news blitzkrieg in 2015, is the same person sermonising about “change begins with me” today.
The point is, whatever is traded in this election today will dictate the political atmosphere of the country in the next four years. To put it like a dummy, “we will reap whatever seed we sow”. The APC and the PDP must realise that none of them can govern comfortably a country in the throes of anxiety, fear, division, and anarchy effectuated by fake news and hate speeches. Nigeria must come first.
And if their intention is to really serve, they must save Nigeria first by calling all their marshals to order. Fake-news should not be deployed as a campaign weapon because it will only result in MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction.
And by the way, I understand Amina Zakari is not in charge of the collation of results as being reported. Her job, being the head of health and welfare unit at INEC, demands that she provide these services at the national collation centre. She was formerly at the operations department of INEC, a key area, but owing to protests, she was moved to the health and welfare unit. It is easy to get sucked into the whole emotional vortex without reason, and it is difficult to stand away from a public inquisition. But who knows?
Fredrick Nwabufo is a media professional.