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Election heatwave

By AbduRafiu
17 November 2022   |   4:15 am
The country has slipped inexorably into election fever with the flag-off of the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential campaign in Jos on Tuesday.

Crowd at a political campaign ground. Photo/twitter/officialabat

The country has slipped inexorably into election fever with the flag-off of the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential campaign in Jos on Tuesday.

The Peoples Democratic Party had kicked off its own on 10 October in Akwa Ibom the home state of highflier Governor Udom Emmanuel. Emmanuel is the chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council. Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, who, like Emmanuel, is overall chair of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, took the APC campaign flag-off to his state capital as well, on the Plateau.

The launching of the Labour Party Presidential campaign took place also in October, precisely on 25 October, at Lafia in Nasarawa State where Peter Obi, schooled in the art of eye contact ineffective public communication was in his accustomed oratorical prowess. He said on the occasion that with him as President, “You will see government, people who are committed, not people who will steal your money.” Wherever he goes, he brandishes his glittering scorecard as one-time governor of Anambra State.

As for Rabiu Kwankwaso’s message to the electorate: “NNPP voice must be heard and must resonate across the nation with its message of hope for a NEW NIGERIA that has a future for all Nigerians. We see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We see a glorious future for our nation. We see a new Nigeria citizen will be proud of as a great arsenal of democracy in Africa. We see hope for the hopeless, help for the helpless, unity in diversity, prosperity for the impoverished, freedom for the oppressed and captives, voice for the voiceless, and goodwill to citizens of the world. Nigeria shall be great again.”

PDP Presidential candidate and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar in his own case had this to say: “I believe that your being here is because we share a common belief that an extra day of the APC and Administration beyond May 29, next year will be a burden too heavy for our country.

“You are here because you believe like I do, that Nigeria deserves a President who is prepared and ready to lead from day one. You believe that Nigeria needs a UNIFIER leadership that leaves no one behind in our march to peace and prosperity.

“You are here because you believe that this is the moment that God has designed for the country to rise again.

“The greatest need of Nigerians today is inclusiveness. Can we be sensitive to the feelings of other people? Can I be guaranteed a country where a criminal in Sokoto is a criminal in Abia and a criminal in Abia is a criminal in Zamfara? Can I be guaranteed a country where my son will not be brutalised because his name is Okolie? Can I be?”

On Tuesday, Bola Ahmed Tinubu the flagbearer of the APC was overwhelmed by the mammoth crowd at the rally which was attended by the leaders of the party from President Muhammadu Buhari to the governors and campaign council helmsmen. On the occasion, he said: “One can see greater prosperity and jobs in an economy humming with activity. From the farmer in the rural area to the city boy in a bustling urban centre, each will have productive work to do and a decent home to return to.

“One can see a Nigeria where all who want to will be able to build a decent life from the fruits of their individual and collective endeavour. From this fine vintage point, we see how far we have come. We also see how far we must go and the road that will take us there.”

He expressed gratitude for the presence of Buhari at the flag-off ceremony: “I am deeply honoured for the presence of His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari. As campaign chairman, he promised to lead from the front. A man of his word, President Buhari has done what he said and more.”

Beautiful speeches all, indeed touching and they raise hopes of a better morrow. Tinubu went on: “We hereby reaffirm our commitment to progressive good governance and to the fruits that such governance can bring to this nation. February 2023 is more than an election. It is a fight to define the soul of the nation and to determine our collective fate.

Do we adhere to the ideals of broadly shared prosperity, competence, peace, justice and compassion toward all? Or do we toss these ideals away, lashing ourselves at those whose rantings show they cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy?

One party wants to take us back to a past that never should have been. Another party wants to take us to a past that resides only in its candidate’s head. Neither the old road nor the fantasy road is good enough. Instead, we forge the wiser path toward our approved destination—an even better Nigeria. This is what the election is truly about.” He went on to laud what he called massive development in the agricultural, infrastructure and power sectors in the last eight years of the APC government.

He said with the foundations in place what was required were “more builders to make it a massive structure.” He invited all Nigerians to embark on the journey with him. “Here I thank President Buhari again because he has truly established a strong foundation for the things we are now to do.

The Buhari administration achieved things in the agricultural, infrastructural, and power sectors no other administration has done. Additionally, his government liberated hundreds of communities from terrorists and brought thousands of displaced persons back to their homes.

“Truly the foundation has been set. It is now time to call more builders forward to further construct the national edifice that will be our best home. We, the APC and the Tinubu/Shettima team seek to make permanent a covenant of progressive good governance with the people, he said.

“Under this helpful pact, we will assemble the best team. We shall build on progress in the agricultural sector by establishing commodity boards guaranteeing minimal prices for strategic crops. We shall create agricultural and industrial hubs in all zones. You shall also see water catchment and irrigation systems to help farming while mitigating the dire effects of drought and flooding brought about by a changing climate.” He will also quicken the development of the commercial oil found in Gombe and Bauchi states.

The presidential torchbearers of the four most visible parties have started on a good note and they know they will be held accountable for their pronouncements. As the politicking unfolds reaching the crescendo, it is to be hoped that the banters will be civil and will come with humour and some polish.

PDP flagbearer said: “I have always believed that the strength of a democracy is derived from the conduct of its operators. Therefore, for me, any democracy that aims to work for the people must be anchored on the principles of decency, honesty and fair play…

The 2023 polls are the most consequential election in our democratic journey; it is crucial and the world is taking a keen interest in it. That is why it gets disturbing that some players in the election will rather use microphones to throw vitriol than communicate issues that affect the country. The APC will not want to discuss these issues because they know that they have a very poor record. A record of destroying the dignity of all Nigerians.

When next you hear them say some nasty things, let’s remind them that Nigeria is at this low because APC happened. Let’s also tell them that the election next year will be won by the political party and candidate who can unify the country and recover the economy from the comatose that APC has led us into. The party is PDP.

As I have pointed out on a few occasions, this column sometimes dabbles in political controversies and has expressed strong views on social discourse. This will continue as a way to be relevant to some extent in these desperate times.

Even then my participation in political controversy has to be considered within the context of the objective of this column which is to discuss life and existence, and by so doing, awaken the urge in man to seek higher values in life which alone lead to joy and peace, progress and prosperity.

This column, it needs to be made plain, is not the source of what emanates from the page but draws from that knowledge which gives a conspectus of all life, the manual Creation. Also, if I may remind us of what this column has said twice before: Politics, important and all-pervading as it may be, is only here on earth and in the dark regions of the Beyond, practised by those seized by a propensity for power which they carry over with them from this earth.

As enlightenment spreads we will come to recognise that leaders are born not made; they are sent and not electable. In the democratic order prevalent on earth today, leaders rise through the ranks of the electorate and the system throws up all manner of people, which is unhelpful in facilitating the attainment of the purpose of existence on earth and will necessarily change in the future.

There is too much talking in politics. It is even more so in politics, in campaigns, in strategic meetings and in fighting Opposition. In the process, words are misused. Human words are precipitation from the Holy Word of the Almighty Creator. They are gifts to us human beings on earth. But the gifts have been abused, unaware that the dragging down of the words, spoken or written, is not without consequences. We learn, for example, the following from the higher knowledge available to all mankind in these times:

“As A GREAT grace for your maturing in the coarse World of Matter, the ability to form words has been bestowed upon you human beings by the Creator! You have never recognised the true value of this sublime gift, because you did not trouble yourselves about it, and treated it carelessly. Now you must suffer bitterly under all the consequences of your wrongdoing.

“You stand in this affliction and do not yet know the causes which bring such suffering in their wake.”

It is stated in the higher knowledge:
“The application lies in man’s hands according to his free volition; however he is unable to control the effect, which is strictly and justly governed in conformity with the Holy Law by a power hitherto unknown to him. No one may trifle with the gifts of the Almighty without harming himself; such is the Law which rests and works in creation, and which can never be diverted.

“Therefore, in the final reckoning, we will now fall upon every human being who has abused the mysterious working of the word!

“Just look around you! You must recognise it if you only will. And for those who will hesitate to do so, the veil which they themselves hold before their eyes will yet be forcibly torn away from the fruits of their volition through still greater suffering than in the past, so that this earth may be cleansed from the pressure of your guilt!”

The revelation continues: “Therefore, never hope for anything else as a fruit than always and only the same kind as the seed!”

It bears stating that the misapplications of words are permissible during elections is a fallacy. Words are words and they work in the Law once they are released by us. From the foregoing, we can see that we cannot be too careful!