Why propaganda, vote-buying won’t save Jonathan, By Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú
Taking liberties with facts is in the province of political office holders, political parties and agency bureaucrats. It is what they do when they want to frame their case and sell their policies and programmes. What is lost on this President is that we are all wiser now. We understand, that this drawn out elections is designed to cajole us into accepting that which is more of the same, that which is against our pocket books, that which is inimical to progress and that which is not in our self interest. We can’t be fooled anymore.
We thank God that the President finally gets the memo that he is set to lose the next elections in the most humiliating way. The indiscriminate sharing of Nigeria’s money to buy the elections shows us that Mr. Jonathan gets it – there is no stopping the change we have embraced and that is a good thing in itself. One more thing he needs to learn is that; whatever he does, the Nigerian people will always win in the end. He should take it a step further; conduct the elections and go back to enjoying his loot in Otuoke or face the International Criminal Court (ICC) – whatever fate bestows on him.
The world is united behind the ordinary Nigerian who wants a free and fair elections. We are tired of games. The President had six years to fix a fractured nation. He exaggerated the divides. He had six years to curb insurgency. He exploited it. He had six years to improve the economy. He appointed supervisors to coordinate the looting. He had six years to build world-class infrastructure given high oil prices. He chose profligacy instead. He had six years to improve power and energy. He opted to enrich and reward the subsidy cabal and monopolists for their support to his government.
Under Jonathan, corruption gained currency like never before. Religion was derisively used to further political motives and ethnic divisions has never been mined this deep. How did we get here? What did we do to deserve our present situation? I don’t know. It is only under Jonathan that a serving governor will brag that a Presidential candidate will never be President even if he wins the election and no one will call him out or rein him in. Presidential rabid dogs are out barking and bitting our elders, handing out death wishes as our wages. Bullies are funded on our dime, they insult us and threaten us with chaos and terror at will.
Unfortunately, in an election season in Nigeria, do or die is standard but there is something so distasteful about being Nigerian this time around. There is something bad about a governor threatening an army general for not cooperating enough at rigging an election. There is something diabolical when the national security apparatuses connived with the Presidency to push an election forward hiding behind insecurity that they nurtured to political advantage until it backfired. There is something untoward when state resources are shared like party favours to anyone in exchange for votes. There is something foreboding when you get to know your driver is deaf, dumb and uncaring on a long winding journey. There is something ominous when no one in government has the decency to do the right thing.
It is a shame when we can only wait Jonathan out as he embarks on total destruction of our institutions because of his ambitions. Suddenly, the military gets more competent after heavy inducement of the fat cats using the Ekiti formula. Immediately he sensed his impending loss, fighting terror became an agenda shaping, pressure guiding sophisticated instrument that is manipulative in technique and Sub rosa in intent. Someone should tell the President and his aggregate of clowns that his attempt at propaganda and thought reform is a huge flop. I will like to advise him that Nigerians are past caring. The systematic application of psychological and social influence techniques prescribed him by his consultants will not work here. We are too traumatized to notice. A traumatized people do not respond to programmatic constructs. There can be no attitudinal and behavioral adaptations for a man who shafted us royally and insists on enslaving us because we made the mistake of fetching him from nowhere and making him king.
We have technology to thank for the Social and New Media where we can get scoops from citizen reporters who are in the thick of the stench with our national desecrators. Because they do not like what is going on, they became citizen reporters. Because they hate the direction we are heading, they report themselves. Because they fear for this nation, these men and women lets us into the plots as they are hatched. Because we know, we can counter them. The 24-hour news cycle has made information freely available to anyone with a mobile phone. Citizen reporters are the heroes of the press that remained free of government patronage in Nigeria. Given the easier flow of pertinent information, our democracy is richer because we have access more than before. Even though our youths were robbed of civic education and history, the social and new media have kept us engaged, informed and socially invested in our political future.
It is in the light of this that the mainstream media especially the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has been reduced to an amusement channel where people go to for comic relief. The NTA and some other private television channels have grown increasingly tolerant of gross misrepresentations of fact and history by political actors within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The compromised media have grown used to their own voices, they delight in airing paid documentaries with enormous amount of misinformation laced with lies and innuendoes that can be taken for truth by audiences. To drive their points home, the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode will maintain the veracity of these compositions with incredible zeal. Why have they lost respect for the truth? Must everything be denominated in Naira and Kobo?
Recently, the President announced Shekau will be captured before the elections. Oh yeah? Which Shekau? The one that has died several times or the one that will be constructed and presented to us? The Shekau that will be told what to say and how to set this nation aflame?
Okay, bring Shekau on! Buhari is the face of change, Buhari is the change we want. Buhari is Teflon, nothing thrown at him will stick. We love him warts and all and we are determined to vote him in. So the President knows where Shekau is all along? Wow! That is why he is so sure Shekau will be caught before elections. Where was he when Shekau was slitting people’s throats in Damboa? Where was he when Emirs were killed for being Emirs? Where was he when over 200 girls were taken into slavery in an operation spanning five hours? Is this what he planned with Ali Modu Sherif all along?
The President and his army can catch Shekau, Ayman al-Zawahiri and all the top 22 terror suspects on the FBI most wanted list. He will still lose this election. We don’t want last minute Presidency. The President is a day late and a dollar short! We the people will win in the end, no matter how long it takes.
Bamidele maintains a weekly column on Politics and Socioeconomic issues every Tuesday. She is a member of Premium Times Editorial Board.