This is arguably the most toxic presidential campaign in the country’s history, and the reasons are not far-fetched. Some see the election as the last chance for some of the presidential candidates, while others attribute the toxicity to the fact that all three main tribes are represented in the elections, forcing people back into their ethnic and regional cocoons.
In previous elections, campaigns usually last only two or three months, but in this election, the campaign period is more than six months.
It is a good and bad thing. Good in the sense that presidential candidates have plenty of time to sell their candidacy and policies to the electorate. We also saw myths about some candidates unravel. It’s a bad thing in the sense that the presidential candidates have spent more money due to long campaigns.
Apart from the rallies, some of the candidates were organizing town hall meetings and meeting with different groups such as the business community, the religious community and farmers. Unless we want to form “Holier Than Thou” as we say in the local parlance, we know how politics works in Nigeria. As a presidential candidate, you are expected to put down money for transportation or snacks after meeting with many of these groups. This is how we walk in this country.
Unfortunately, over the past two weeks, the campaign of smear and smear between the camps of the two leading presidential candidates is appalling and reprehensible. The gloves have definitely come off between All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar. Both candidates are fighting dirty in the market square. They have accused each other of being drug lords, thieves and whatever. They have also asked the courts to disqualify the other. That is a joke taken too far. No court in the country at this particular time will disqualify any of the leading candidates. That is an open invitation to anarchy and the country is not prepared for the consequences of the crisis. We are still fighting bandits, Boko Haram and unknown gunmen, we don’t need another crisis on our hands.
I think the candidates should call their thugs and bosses to order. Fighting in the mud is not helping their cause and both sides should grow. In addition to making unrealistic promises, they should focus on the issues and how to solve our main problems in the country. Make no mistake about it, no matter who wins the presidential election, next year will be tough. The removal of the fuel subsidy that all the candidates have agreed should go will put Nigerians through “hell” on their way to the promised land.
The most popular woman in the political space today is Hajia Naja’atu Bala Muhammad, who resigned from her position on the APC presidential council and her membership in the ruling party.
In his resignation letter to APC national chairman Abdullahi Adamu, Mohammed said that recent developments in the political and democratic space prevent him from continuing to participate in political parties.
The next day we saw her taking photos with the PDP presidential candidate after saying she no longer participates in partisan politics.
Since leaving the APC, he has been singing like a canary, moving from one media house to another recounting stories from his trip to Damascus. He is in his Eureka moment and tries too hard to justify the reasons why he left the ruling party. The APC has been running from post to post defending the charges. My take on this is that if I were an Atiku Abubakar, I wouldn’t trust people like this. When she leaves the Atiku camp tomorrow, she will reveal all of her dirty laundry to the next person or group. Tactless.
APC presidential candidate Tinubu was also trending this week when he took his party to the dry cleaners in Ogun. He spoke out of frustration because he believes that some people in his party are trying to sabotage his victory at the polls through the ongoing fuel crisis and new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policies. Ogun is fast becoming the place where he vents his frustrations. While he is entitled to vent when he feels frustrated by his party members, I also think he should have been more tactical about it. Fighting his party and the opposition right now is not smart with less than a month to go until the elections. The Jagaban should be smarter than this.