IN the days before the Osun gubernatorial elections, the indigenes of the State and other Nigerians were daily greeted by propaganda of the bizarre nature, some bordering on the desire to create fear in voters and prevent them either from turning out or, even if they did, to vote in a particular direction. And if the truth be told, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is roundly guilty of this.
There can be only one reason for the resort to this form of propaganda: the party has no concrete structures on ground to show that it will win, and has therefore chosen the ignoble part of forcing a victory through.
But the APC scored a measure of victory when it succeeded in convincing former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to join and back the party. It cannot be denied Bola Tinubu and his ground forces, including Governor Rauf Aregbesola, that they won this battle while the war remains on. And for those who have been griping over comments about Tinubu made in the past by Oyinlola, they have to admit that though the Nigerian Army teaches you to be an officer and a gentleman, it did not say you could not eat your words.
The country’s history is replete with military men at the highest, middle, and lower rungs who were less than officers and gentlemen in their speech and conduct like Oyinlola. It was Oyinlola who could not see the future that awaited him because he is a mere mortal who once declared that: “Everything about Bola Tinubu is fake.”
Perhaps, Oyinlola has made a fake decision to join APC, or having now joined the fake political kingdom where the Asiwaju is king, we will see some wonders in the coming elections. Talking about the fake nature that has become the lot of the APC, Olisa Metuh, the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was merciless in his choice of words over a statement credited to the APC over the deployment of security operatives in Osun.
Lai Mohammed, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, had wondered why the Federal Government would send DSS (Department of State Security) operatives “masked and clad in black” to harass innocent citizens of the state. “As widely reported, DSS agents, armed to the teeth and riding in over 50 trucks, drove around Osogbo and other parts of Osun State on Wednesday blaring siren and shooting sporadically in the air, thus disrupting the normally peaceful life in the state,” he said.
But courtesy of the PDP, apparently privy to the letter written by APC’s Osun governor, Rauf Aregbesola, to the Department of State Security, DSS, it was the APC-led Osun government that asked for the security men. What the misinformation by Lai has showed is that there is either a disconnect, or it was mischief-intended.
“Residents,” Lai Mohammed claimed in his tissue of lies, “who were visibly traumatised by the shameful display of state power ran helter-skelter and wondered why their government has sent masked men, or ninjas, to terrorise them. They now understand that the masked thugs who have been following the PDP candidate around on his campaign trail were actually government sanctioned. This is a power show taken too far, even with the well-known impunity tendencies of the Jonathan administration.”
In stark display of ignorance, the APC asked a stupid question: “When did masks become part of the uniform of the State Security Service agents?” For the APC not to know that in some situations, all over the world, operatives wore masks shows the uninformed and ill-informed manner statements are put together by the APC.
But PDP’s Olisa Metuh aptly dug in his finger nails into the APC’s jugular for its mistakes. “We find in this statement (by APC) the height of hypocrisy, especially as it is incontrovertible that it was the Osun APC governor who, in a letter dated July 4, 2014 and addressed to the Director General of the DSS, requested for the deployment ‘for the purpose of security and general protection ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State’ and ‘to help secure peace and make the election hitch free, as security is beefed up for the election.’
“It is therefore shocking and utterly despicable for the APC to turn round to point accusing fingers at the PDP and the Presidency when the DSS officials arrived and commenced their duties in line with the request of the Governor. While Nigerians have continued to express shock over this act of deception, we in the PDP ask: Is it a question of APC dishing out statements without cross-checking internally? Or is it a question of the party adopting lies, deceit and propaganda as ideology?
“These questions have become necessary given that the APC has become infamous for fabrications as means to curry the support of unsuspecting Nigerians. We recall a similar statement by APC in June wherein it alleged that a plane carrying Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso to attend an APC rally in Ekiti to support Governor Kayode Fayemi’s re-election bid was denied landing permission in Akure, only for Kwankwaso’s Director of Press Affairs, Baba Dantiye, to announce that his boss was at another event in Kano and had no plans to travel to Ekiti State.
“APC has since proved to be a party with little regard for integrity. This is a party that threw all sense of honour to the winds and condescended so low to lie over an issue as ordinary as the age of its 52 years old Youth Leader. We ask, when will these APC lies stop? We have in our hands a political party whose words and statements have suddenly become meaningless to most Nigerians. We want a credible opposition. We do not want a lying, deceitful and propaganda-infested opposition. This APC ‘one-chance-bus’ filled with liars cannot lead Nigeria,” the party said.
If all Nigerians are going to get are lies as campaign materials, then it is no wonder the APC lost the Ekiti elections, because while the party busies itself with lies and noise, the PDP is busy on ground doing the needful and sensitising voters to its agenda.
Matthew Adejoh, a political analyst, wrote from Abuja.