Given the kaleidoscope of the good, the bad and the ugly political activities that are negatively influencing the on-going 2015 political campaign across Nigeria, it is never an exaggeration to say that it has become extremely difficult to describe the series of campaigns that are being carried out by the 26 registered political parties in the country from the perspective of any ideal political concept or rather in one political term.
For instance, while some campaigns can be said to be good as the politicians behind them are openly exhibiting issues-based campaign, others can be said to be bad as they are mischievously engaged in the campaign of calumny and to a large extent embarking on an elaborately planned smear campaign against their political opponents. While those that are campaigning on the pedestal of issues-based campaigns can in clear terms state what they can deliver on each and every issue that are confronting the electorates, those that are wont to engage in smear campaigns can hardly state in clear terms what they actually want to achieve for the people and the country as politicians. Some of them are just rabble-rousers that know next to nothing about what politics is all about.
However, contrary to the foregoing observation, some aspirants have resorted the dirty game of McCarthyism, name-calling and mudslinging all in an effort to lower the electoral chances of their opponents.
It is that bad that smear campaign, albeit in a subtle manner, unbelievably goes on at the intra party level. It is that bad that one can easily interpret the body languages of some politicians who now selfishly see donation to political campaign fund in the same light they would see projected dividends that may accrue from blue chip share purchases from the stock market.
As the politicians have literally continued to exhibit the wrong dance steps in response to the drumbeat to the 2015 general election, one is completely flabbergasted that the issue of political campaign has reached an ignominious stage where any political observer or pundit would unequivocally say that the political campaigns that are preceding the 2015 general election in Nigeria can be said to be collectively ugly, as it were.
There are enough reasons to buttress the point that the political campaigns that are variously preceding the 2015 general election are collectively ugly. For instance, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo recently and in a laughable manner redefined “literacy” when he described the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flag bearer, General Muhammadu Buhari as “Semi-literate jackboot” to the consternation of many who never thought that a Professor who ought to be plying his academic trade within the four walls of a citadel of learning could descend so low all in the name of partisan politics. Literarily speaking, the picture Professor Oladipo’s faux pas evoked in my mind still leaves me confused as to whether he actually understands who a literate is or he just wanted to obsequiously please his pay master. At this juncture, it is expedient to say that despite the military orientation that most military schools and colleges are known for that they are also engaged in intellectual exercise like other conventional schools and colleges. It therefore follows that General Buhari , no doubt, participated in this intellectual or academic exercise throughout his military training.
General Buhari who went to Primary School in Daura and Mai’adua from 1948 – 1952, before proceeding to Katsina middle School in 1953, and later attended the Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 – 1961, and also went to Nigerian Military Training School, Kaduna in 1963 before proceeding to officers’ Cadet School in Aldershot in the United Kingdom cannot be said to be semi-literate, except Professor Oladipo didn’t know what to say at the time he made his now condemnable and controversial statement.
But alas! Rather than issue a sincere apology to the APC presidential flag bearer on the one hand and to the APC as a party on the other hand, a reaction from the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief. Olisah Metuh still leaves a sour taste in the mouth as his reaction was unapologetic and a sheer complication of the issue. Seen from the understanding of this writer who is willing to be corrected, Chief Metuh actually made his “defensive statement” by insinuating that the statement is retaliatory or “complimentary” as he explained.
At this juncture, it is expedient to admonish the spokesmen of both parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) to eschew the politics of smear campaign and focus on issues-based politics. As bad and ugly as smear campaign is, an unknown author was quoted to have ridiculously admonished, “Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.” This saying fittingly finds expression in the political ambition of Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, the APC Lagos state gubernatorial flag bearer when he was exposed by his opponents who traced his state of origin to Ondo state contrary to his claim by tracking the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) forms he filled many years ago.
The reason for the call on politician to eschew smear campaign is hinged on the fact that 2015 general election is all about repositioning Nigeria to be on a global pedestal once again where it would be seen and duly recognized more than ever before as a country to be reckoned with in the comity of nations. It is about time we stopped making politics look like a personal thing.
Finally, to my view, any contestant that is deemed capable in the eyes of the public and the electorate to have the capacity of delivering Nigeria from her ugly economic state should be supported by all eligible voters irrespective of his or her educational qualifications or spurious aspersion cast upon him by his opponent.
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