THE political parties are still waging war of words and graphics against their opponents. Deploying propaganda laced in hate campaigns in various media, concerned Nigerians wonder if there are no laws regulating the conduct of the parties and their fanatical supporters.
ENCOMIUM Weekly has been following the malicious campaigns of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their fanatical supporters.
ON BUHARI’S HEALTH STATUS
This is obviously the most talked about issue in the campaigns of the political parties. And the ruling PDP have gone out of their way to portray the presidential candidate of the APC as a terribly sick man, who is unfit to govern Nigeria.
This malicious allegation is alluded to in some of the party’s advertorials across the media. Recall that this issue stirred serious controversy when Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose warned Nigerians to choose life instead of death in a conspicuously placed cover advert in some major Nigerian dailies. In the controversial ad, Fayose expressed fear that retired General Buhari might die in office like other former presidents from the region.
Charging Nigerians to be weary of ‘state burial’, Fayose’s sponsored advert glaringly crossed the boundary of dirty campaigns. He would later withdraw the ad after it was widely condemned and massively rejected.
But this has not stopped supporters of the PDP from constantly reminding the electorate that Buhari is sick!
BUHARI HAS CANCER, ASTHMA, DEMENTIA
Relatedly, the spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode has not relented in his spirited effort to inform the public of the worrisome state of health of Gen. Buhari. First to brandish a questionable medical report from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, the former Minister of Aviation and one-time APC chieftain sponsored a publication on Saturday, February 28, 2015, ‘diagnosing’ the APC presidential candidate’s nature of ailment as ‘cancer, asthma, dementia,’ among others.
He regretted that the opposition, APC was fostering a dying man on Nigerians for their own interest. Before this ‘revelation’, FFK had used every forum to take on the former military head of state on the issue of his failing health.
This, again dominate the campaigns of the PDP in print, electronic and social media.
JONATHAN, DOLLARS AND LAGOSIANS
When President Goodluck Jonathan visited Lagos days back, he never realized that his consultation with eminent Lagosians would be misinterpreted by the opposition, APC.
First to tackle GEJ was the Governor of Lagos State, Babatudne Raji Fashola, SAN, who openly accused him of bribing his people with dollars. A serious allegation that really dented the image of the President, the PDP believes it is yet another dirty campaign targeted at them.
The Lagos State APC also sent out a press release chiding Jonathan for promoting corruption instead of arresting the scourge.
An advertorial to further bash GEJ on the alleged bribery may well be on the way.
JONATHAN TO FREEZE RIVERS’ AMAECHI, TINUBU’S ACCOUNTS
Also from the APC propaganda mill is the unsubstantiated allegation that the Federal Government would soon cut off the sources of funds to the party.
The dirty campaign aimed at discrediting the Jonathan administration has it that plans have been concluded to freeze the accounts of major sponsors of the APC.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director Media and Publicity of the APC presidential campaign organization, Mr. Garba Shehu in Abuja.
He alleged that the PDP-led Federal Government is plotting to ground aircraft and freeze bank accounts of APC stakeholders.
“There is a plot to block or freeze the bank accounts of APC chieftains like Senator Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Rotimi Amaechi (Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation) and other prominent leaders believed to be funding the General’s campaign and availing him their aircraft for electioneering purposes,” Shehu explained.
Although it has been dismissed as an unlikely scenario, the rumour has already spread like harmattan fire.
IT’S FFK VERSUS LAI MUHAMMED
The propaganda machine of the PDP is manned by the spokesperson of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, while the APC National Publicity Secretary (Alhaji Lai Mohammed) handles APC propaganda.
When FFK churns out any offensive or mischievous information, he sees a match in Lai Mohammed who has been around for a while.
Interestingly, the media man running things at Buhari’s campaign organization, Shehu Garba is usually shut out at this level.
The two communication ‘experts’ (FFK and Lai Mohammed) sure know when and how to throw stones, while minding their glass houses.
GOODLUCK LAGOS TAKES ON JEGA
A pro-Jonathan political group, Goodluck Lagos Grassroots Project, has also sponsored series of dirty campaigns against APC’s General Buhari. The campaign shifted to the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega after the postponement of the February 14 general elections. In the last two weeks, Goodluck Lagos has raised scandalous allegations against Jega whom it accused of working against Jonathan and the ruling PDP.
The group in some of its controversial ads, questioned the perceived imbalance in the distribution of PVCs, which it noted is in favour of the North, Jega’s geo-political zone.
Here are the curious questions it raised: How did states in the northern part of Nigeria attain 90 per cent average PVCs collection and some states in the South are as low as 40 per cent?
Did INEC deliberately neglect South of Nigeria on PVCs allocation?
Are PVCs meant for states like Ogun, Lagos, Bayelsa, FCT and others still being made in China?
How come PVCs meant for Ogun State were found in Akwa Ibom and how many more are scattered all over the country, sir?
Goodluck Lagos Grassroots Project pleaded with Jega “to come clean and do the needful,” while reminding him that “Nigeria must get a free and fair election come March 28, 2015.”
The group usually ends its advertorial with “Vote Goodluck Jonathan.”
IN LAGOS, ITS BOLD IDEAS, BOLD INEXPERIENCE
The APC has been critical of the manifesto of the governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr. Jimi Agbaje. A thoroughbred professional who runs Jaykay Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company Limited, he founded in 1982, the APC says the man’s Big Ideas slogan is better appreciated in terms of his ‘Bold Inexperience.’ What the ruling APC is insinuating is that Agbaje lacks the requisite experience to govern Lagos despite his so-called Big Ideas.
The party in countless attacks has claimed that Jimi has not been able to grow his private business ‘beyond two shops.’
But Agbaje’s supporters have fired back, hailing the pharmacist as a successful businessman who has what it takes to manage the resource-rich state.
FAYOSE FIRING FROM ALL CYLINDERS
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose is giving the APC and its presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari sleepless nights.
Constantly standing in for the party’s spokespersons, the controversial politician regularly takes on the opposition. From hate advertorials to downright propaganda, the APC can no longer afford to be complacent when it comes to spewing out facts and fiction to improve their electoral fortunes in the 2015 general elections.
Fayose had taken matters so personal that Gen. Buhari (retd) had to alert the public he was following him about.
THE CHATHAM HOUSE DRAMA
Events that unfolded at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, have further exposed the extent politicians can go in outdoing one another.
The APC and PDP actually exported their brand of malicious campaigns to Queen’s land, leaving the world confused as regards who is saying the truth.
Before General Buhari’s lecture at Chatham House, the PDP insisted there was no such event going on in the United Kingdom. Their conclusion was that Buhari was there for a medical check-up.
When it dawned on them that Buhari was booked for the talk, the plot to humiliate him with a protest was hatched and executed on Thursday, February 26, 2015.
But that was the part one of a drama that would expose how Jonathan’s foot soldiers reportedly rented protesters who were not properly schooled on their mission.
The second part of the drama would reveal the true identity of the lady behind the unmasking of the anti-Buhari protesters.
We now know that the citizen journalist, Rose Peters Graham has sympathy for the APC. The scandal gets messier when President Jonathan supporters claimed she was paid for the ‘dirty job.’
ON JONATHAN’S N7 BN BRIBERY ALLEGATION
The unverified allegation of N7 billion bribe for Christian clerics from President Goodluck Jonathan clearly falls into the category of dirty campaigns.
Though the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has strongly denied the bribery scandal, the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (who started it all) is yet to withdraw his statement.
DID PROF. OSINBAJO ABANDON POOR PARENTS?
Did the Vice Presidential candidate of the APC, Professor Yemi Osinbajo abandon his aged parents as his political opponents have portrayed in a malicious cartoon in the social media?
Your answer wouldn’t change the fact that this is indeed a season of lies, misinformation and malice.
The cartoon thrives on a likely photo-shopped picture of two poverty-stricken elderly people said to be Professor Osinbajo’s parents.
And you don’t expect the Professor of Law, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General and the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s son-in-law to react to this ‘shocking scoop.’
PLOT TO KILL BUHARI EXPOSED!
The social media was awash on Sunday, March 1, 2015, with a wicked rumour of plot to eliminate Buhari before the March 28 presidential poll.
One Seggy Ojo reports in Facebook: “GEJ and his handlers are planning something sinister for this country. I just spoke with a friend who works with DSS now and he told me that the presidency is planning something very big on or before March 16, 2015, a ‘bombshell’ that was his exact words. He said he wouldn’t know what it is about or what form it would take because his clearance level does not give him access to know. He said most of the officers are being spied on. He said some of his colleagues lost their job because of their bias for GMB which they expressed on their Facebook walls.
The leadership of the APC should be really proactive and security around GMB should be tightened.”
Expect more of these wicked rumours as elections fever grips Nigerians.
AGBAJE AND APC TAX FRAUD ALERT
The APC has not backed out from its allegation that the PDP Lagos guber candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje hurried paid his tax for the purpose of the 2015 elections.
Hard as he had tried to extricate himself from the tax evasion mess, the APC still sees him in that bad ligh. And with this notion integrated into the campaign theme of the party in its bid to return to power, it would take Agbaje a more powerful campaign to turn the tides to his favour.
– UCHE OLEHI