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OPINION

Scare Mongering Taken Too Far

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The scare mongering tactics of the  People Democratic Party (PDP) to politicking particularly to the campaign towards the 2019 general election was taken a bit too far in its near irresponsible reaction to the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16, 2019.

The independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had given its reasons for the postponement, citing specifically, failure to complete its own logistic commitments in good time and well enough to guarantee smooth and successful elections. The INEC flop was indefensible. All agreed that the Commission had no excuse to fail having repeatedly announced the full support of government in its work and assured the public of its readiness to deliver on its responsibility. Every stakeholder in Nigeria was therefore entitled to be angry and distraught at the failing of INEC. President Mohammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress (APC) came down heavily on INEC as expected with the President expressing surprise along with the disappointment that INEC failed when its performance was most required.

Unfortunately and as has become the character of the PDP and its leaders, this incident which should elicit worry among patrons became an opportunity for the party to project doom for the country. The PDP rather than blame INEC for its failure sought to inflame hatred and engineer crises by propagating a false conspiracy theory to the effect that INEC postponed the election in aid of a poll rigging scheme of President Buhari and APC. The accusation which had the potential to trigger a major political crisis was made on the basis of mere imagination and not even a shred of evidence. Nobody needs to be told that elections elicit deep running passion in Nigeria. Our history is indeed replete with crisis and blood letting resulting from disagreements over election results. It would have been expected therefore that responsible leaders would respond to the postponement with caution. The approach of the PDP showed just how little its leaders care about the political stability of the country and the wellbeing of the citizens. The PDP would not really mind if this nation burnt and it has to step on the corpses of all of us to get back to power.

This is beside the fact that it took the postponement as another opportunity to denigrate the person of President Mohammadu Buhari by accusing him of complicity in the alleged poll rigging scheme. That was not withstanding that the President had said that he was taken aback by the postponement and was angry as a leader should be at the failure of an institution as critical as INEC. Again, the PDP allegation came with no evidence other than the imagination of its own leadership. One wonders why the PDP so desperately seeks to occupy the office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria if it so disrespects the office as to repeatedly trash it.

All patrons must roundly condemn and reject any attempt by any political party or any group of persons for that matter, to throw Nigeria into confusion and avoidable crisis as the PDP is trying to do. We cannot sacrifice the peace and stability we have enjoyed over the past few decades on the altar of the ambitions of anyone, the least a group of people who have had opportunity to lead the country but made a mess of it. It is important to remind ourselves that the leadership of the PDP constitute the rich and affluent of society, most of which the last three years have revealed is actually our commonwealth looted when we entrusted it to their care. On our sweat and raped trust, they have built comfortable get aways for their families abroad, many of which now harbor wives, mothers, children and even their lovers while they scheme political violence to consume ordinary Nigerians.

     It is indeed difficult not to believe that the PDP is more intent on disrupting this election than winning it. At every turn in the preparation for this election the party has cooked up a twist to each proposal by INEC, reading into them measures which it claims are intended to create advantage for the APC. This goes from timetable through voting order to internal posting of personnel in INEC not withstanding that the measures complained about will affect all parties and persons involved in the election equally. Often one is left to wonder whether the PDP had a preset programme which it always wants to bully the government and indeed the Nigeria public to adopt.

As we approach the rescheduled election, it is important for all to be vigilant. Security organizations must not allow themselves to be blackmailed into complacence by the PDP who appear to have become experts in using scare mongering as an instrument of blackmail. The strategy is to complain so much and frequently enough to force the rest of us into creating room and conditions for the PDP to execute its private agenda. If they want to return to power, they must be prepared to beat President Mohammadu Buhari fair and square. They must convince Nigerians that the prosperity, good governance and tenacious fight against the corrupt structures and viruses which the PDP bequeathed to Nigeria in their 16 years in power are not worth continuing with.              

– Oladapo wrote from Abuja


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