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Nigerians, 2019 polls and political campaigns

With the kick-off yesterday of campaigns for the series of elections for the long awaited year 2019, which is almost finally here, Nigerians are about to witness another round of political fireworks and brickbats, as politicians put final touches to their roadmap to grabbing political power in the new year.

Already political brick bats have started flying across the political divide as politicians and political jobbers try to outdo themselves either to gain political advantage or to help the candidate of their interest gain advantage over others.

Some political party leaders have also thrown themselves into the fray, with the intention of impugning the character of the opposition political leaders so that the electorates will not see the platform as a credible platform and the candidate not reliable.

This development is already sending ripples across the land and threatening to throw up the kind of bitterness that may not augur well for the polity.

For example, recently a video emerged of the Kano State governor, Abdulahi Ganduje allegedly collecting a bribe of $5 million from contractors in the state, an allegation that the governor has denied.

The interesting part of the scandal is that the video was posted by a journalist, Jaafar Jaafar, the publisher of an online news medium, DailyNigerian.

Jafar is said to be a former aide of the former governor of the state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso who has been having a running battle with Ganduje over the political control of the state,

therefore many have reasoned that if Jafar, a former aide of Kwankwaso is releasing a scandal video of the governor at a time Ganduje is having a running battle with his former principal, Kwankwaso, it stands to reason that there is a political undertone which may not augur well for the state and the entire political system.

This is especially more intriguing because the said video was about two years old and now surfacing few months to Ganduje’e second term bid.

Now that Ganduje has sued Jafar for defamation of character, it is clear that this bitterness may be taken into the election.

Another development that calls for concern in this period of campaign is the running battle that the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole is having with some governors in his party who are angry that they are not able to have their way during the election.

Now, the battle has crossed party line, as the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has thrown a jab at Oshiomhole, telling him that because of the accusations that his party members are throwing at him, he was no longer fit to lead his party.

Now, Oshiomhole has also thrown his jab, telling Saraki that he is a disgrace to Nigeria’s democracy.

Oshiomhole who spoke in reaction to Saraki’s earlier statement, said it was pathetic and irresponsible that the Senate president would resort to ‘petty politics’.

He added that Saraki had no moral ground to call for his resignation as the APC national chairman.

The APC chairman threatened to sue Saraki if he failed to provide evidence that he actually took bribes from aspirants.

While it is granted that at a time like this politicians must work towards using every opportunity to have an edge over others, there is the need to be conscious of whatever they do at a time like this and understand that if indeed their intention is to do that which will be for the benefit of the people, caution must be the watch word.

Politicians must also try their best to play politics by the rule, with the understanding that when they malign anyone there are always consequences which may not end the way anyone can determine.

While we call on politicians to stick to issues as they transverse the land campaigning about their plans for the people, it is also important to tell them to make realisable promises and avoid issues that will impugn on the character of other aspirants.

We will also like to advise the electorates to be circumspect at a time like this and not be taken in by every promise whether realisable or not, knowing that after election, reality beckons.

While it will be difficult to tell electorates not to take money from politicians, it is important to warn that for every vote you sell you have purchased hardship for the next four years.

At this time, the electorates should be wise and not allow themselves to be deceived by any smooth talking politician eager to gain political advantage.

They should ponder over the fact that those who made promises in 2015 are yet to fulfil a better part of those and not allow themselves to be deceived again.

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