APC’s desperate tactics By Bolaji Tunji

buhariNigerians are different . They act differently. They do things differently. Their reactions to issues are equally different,especially when you compare them to citizens of other countries especially in Africa. When Nigerians travel out of the country, their attitude changes and become different from what obtains while at home.

There have been instances of these. When Nigerian armed contingents- the police or members of the military go outside the country for peace operations, they are more professional and comport themselves so well that they even come back home with commendations and laurels.

When a Nigerian sets his mind to do anything, he does it to the best of his ability. And excels or should I say over-excel.

That thus brings me to the issue of the ongoing political parties campaigns. The Nigerian ‘can-do’ spirit has come forth once more with the two main political parties striving to outdo each others as the nation inches towards the elections.

Today, I am going to be very unsparing of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Twice in the last two weeks, the party had been embarrassed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The first time was when a picture of its Presidential candidate, General Mohammadu Buhari purportedly waiting for his luggage at the airport in the United Kingdom went viral. Most of the General ‘s supporters were very happy at the apparent humility of this former head of state, who in spite of his stature, waited patiently at the carousel for his luggage. Within a few hours, the PDP came out to put a lie to the picture. The first to raise the alarm over this deceit was the governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, who is fast becoming APC’s nemesis. The picture, Fayose alleged was taken during a visit of General Buhari to London on March 5, 2013 when he went to give a speech at the 4th African Diaspora  Conference hosted by the UK parliament. Fayose had alleged that Buhari was sick and had gone outside the country for medical attention. His argument was that Buhari was too old and sick to govern a complex country like Nigeria. Not done, Fayose accused the APC of covering up the health status of the General. The picture was therefore to put a lie to the issue of his illness as alleged by Fayose.

Till  today, the APC has not explained to Nigerians what happened and why it tried to deceive Nigerians with that picture.

As if that was not enough, the APC again came up with another picture of its candidate purportedly being interviewed in London. This was worse than the first picture as it was sent to media organisations in the country, most of them used the picture on their front pages. Again,  it was Fayose that burst the bubble. That the interview picture was not taken in London as Nigerians were made to believe but in Nigeria. The Ekiti governor was so specific that he even went into the room where the interview took place inside the Transcorp Hilton hotel, he sat on the same chair that the APC candidate sat on when the interview took place. APC has not apologized to Nigerians over these deceits. It was only the Guardian newspaper that apologized to its readers over the deception.

Before those two incidents, a press statement had been issued by the APC stating that Buhari visited the Chibok community after his presidential campaign in Borno state. In the statement, the APC candidate was said to have insisted on going to Chibok inspite of security report warning him against the trip. The statement stated that Buhari was moved by the scores of Civilian JTF that volunteered to give him security cover when the JTF refused to offer protection.

In Chibok, he was said to have meet with parents of the abducted girls,”who were filled with hope and joy upon sighting Buhari and his entourage and escorted him into Chibok with singing and dancing”. After his address and Buhari was departing the community, the people were so moved that some of them started weeping, according to the statement which was only used on social media.

It  was soon discovered that Buhari did not visit Chibok.  The Director of Media of the APC campaign organisation, the highly respected Malam Garba Shehu said though the Chibok visit was actually planned, the General was unable to make the trip.

So the questions are; who concocted  all those things said to have transpired in Chibok? Is it about working towards the answer? Meaning the script had been written before the event.

It is rather unfortunate that the APC has embarked on this desperate tactics. General Buhari has been recreated by the party as someone Nigeria needs now and one has to concede that to the party. But the deceit is bound to hurt the General more as it could lead people to start wondering whether all that are being said about the candidate are far from the truth. Instead of winning more supporters for the General, it could lead to disgust and this would definitely hurt him.

The APC would also be a loser here as the party would be tagged a party high on propaganda but limited in the art of truth telling.