Politics

Buhari, Jonathan campaigns get dirtier -As fanatics blackmail presidential candidates

THE race to Aso Rock is hotting up with fanatical supporters of the two main political parties, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, rubbishing the presidential candidates General Muhammadu Buhari (APC) and Presidential Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling PDP.

ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Associate Editor, UCHE OLEHI takes another critical look at the dirty campaigns of the two major presidential candidates.  And the darts they are throwing at each other will shock you.

THE REAL BUHARI DOCUMENTARY

In what observers say amounts to gross violation of standard codes of political broadcast, the documentary, The Real Buhari is still raising dust.

In the dirty piece aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT), loads of allegations portraying General Buhari as a questionable character that cannot be trusted by Nigerians now dominate public discourse.

The APC has, however, responded appropriately to the propaganda, faulting the so-called ugly past of the former military Head of State.  The party has also threatened to sue AIT for the malicious hate documentary.

More of these dirty documentaries would be hopefully circulated before the Saturday, February 14 presidential election.

MORE DIRTY ADVERTORIALS POLLUTE MEDIA SPACE

The print media has been literarily polluted by offensive advertorials by the two leading political parties.  Since the despicable ‘death wish’ advert of Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose targeted at General Buhari, and the counter attack by the opposition, legion of hate adverts are churned out in the media on daily basis.  As personal as many go with appalling visuals and caricature, they all show that this political dispensation has witnessed more offensive adverts than ever.

SOCIAL MEDIA DOTTED WITH HATE PUBLICATIONS AND VISUALS

Using social media tools, campaign managers and fanatic supporters of both Buhari and Jonathan have gone haywire.  In fact, there is no limit to insults heaped on the candidates via various media on the internet.

The APC, for instance, litter the social media with cartoons mocking Jonathan’s poor performance as president.  General Buhari has also been the butt of ‘expensive’ jokes that attack his person and career as a military officer and tenure as Head of State.

From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and other social network, it has really been a harvest of cheap blackmail.

FANATIC SUPPORTERS RAIN ABUSES ON OPPONENTS

Similarly, the rate of verbal abuse of the two leading presidential candidates is really alarming with no sense of decorum by either of the parties.

Using swear words, fanatics rain unprintable insults on Buhari and Jonathan as the electoral umpires watch helplessly.

The Human Rights Commission has, however, warned politicians to be more cautious as it is compiling all foul words by their candidates with a view to sanctioning them at the appropriate time.  But political analysts said this might just be mere rhetorics, since the ruling PDP is also guilty in this respect.

MANIPULATION OF OPINION POLLS

In advanced democracies, opinion polls reflect the disposition of the electorate towards candidates.  And when done objectively, they reflect candidates electoral value and popularity.  That is not the case here, where polls are criminally manipulated when the desired result will backfire.  That was what happened with the AIT opinion poll that reportedly favoured APC’s Buhari.  The broadcast organization would later claim their system was hacked by pro-Buhari supporters.

In another controversial poll sponsored by Atedo Peterside Foundation, the group refused to be committed to its result that probably gave the APC presidential candidate a marginal lead, insisting that the verdict is statistically insignificant.

It is doubtful if even the APC would accept any poll that puts Buhari behind Jonathan.

NIGER-DELTA MILITANTS THREATEN WAR IF JONATHAN LOSES

Another sad aspect of the campaigns of the two main political parties is the unguided utterances of their supporters.  Beating drums of war, Jonathan’s supporters especially the militants from the Niger-Delta are threatening mayhem if Jonathan is not re-elected.

Those fingered in this instigation of violence are Asari Dokubo of Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteer Force and Tompolo, another militant leader.

There are also disturbing war sentiments from the north.  Extremists, who are behind Buhari, as well as insurgents, are equally echoing similar war cry should their preferred candidate lose to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

VIOLENCE AT RALLIES

There are also unpleasant reports of violent attacks on convoys of both presidential candidates.  The supporters of the opposition, APC are far guiltier than Jonathan’s fans in this equally dirty and primitive conduct.  Especially in the North, President Jonathan has been stoned in Jos, Plateau, Taraba, Bauchi, etc.

Buhari was also allegedly harassed by Jonathan’s supporters when he campaigned in Lagos on Friday, January 30, 2015.

The APC leadership has, however, denied this report promoted by former Minister of Defence and PDP chieftain, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.

There are fears that post election violence might erupt this election year.

-UCHE OLEHI

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