I have become completely exasperated by how the Presidential campaign organizations of the two major political parties have turned the 2015 electioneering campaigns into a harvest of fabricated lies, rumour peddling,and daily accusations and counter accusations. From the way things are going, it seems that these organizations believe that the elections will be won by which ever party that is able to fabricate more lies or peddle more rumours or raise more accusations. The whole thing is becoming so deamining and nasty that many decent Nigerians are getting worried. Each day one wakes up, he will regaled with a new tale.
  For several weeks now, there has been this wild rumour that the President wants to remove Jega from office prematurely. This rumour has been propelled by the APC campaign team. For what reason? Because he plans to conduct a free and fair elections. How can that be an act of misdeamenour that will attract summary dismissal. The President had to deny this rumour at a media chat on prime television,some weeks back. Yet the rumour would not abate. A variant of the rumour subsequently developed- Jega would be asked to proceed on pre-retirement leave in March so that another INEC Chairman would be appointed who, would then postpone the election a second time. At the recent interview on Aljazera television, Dr Goodluck Jonathan denied the rumour again. He explained that it would be like looking for trouble, for him to send Jega away at this critical time, without a just cause. He even went further to assert that he had never discussed the issue of removing Jega from office with any body on the Planet Earth. How far can a denial go and yet this rumour is still simmering, regularly stoked by the campaign organization.
  Then General Muhammadu Buhari goes to London and Governor Ayo Fayose and the PDP campaign organisation allege that he had gone for medical treatment. The APC campaign organization denied the allegation and to prove their point that he was on a working visit, they presented a picture of where he was being interviewed by a lady. But it turns out that the picture was an old picture taken in Nigeria and not in the UK. What an embarrassment. Why would lies be told about a simple matter. What is wrong with going for medical check up or medical treatment abroad?Young men and women in their thirties and fourties go regularly abroad for medical reviews or treatment. How much more a 73 year old man who has stressed himself over weeks of strenuous campaign trips across the Nation. I routinely combine my medical checks with my business or ministry trips abroad.
 Thereafter, the Campaign organization of President Goodluck Jonathan alleges that they have information that the vice Presidential candidate of APC, Prof Osinbajo has signed a post dated resignation letter that will allow Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu( BAT) to replace him as Vice President, should APC win and subsequently become the President, since Buhari is not expected to go the whole hog. Firstly, I must reiterate my abhorrence to this matter of speculating on the life and death of General Muhammadu Buhari. It is in bad taste. Life is in God's hands and nobody knows with certainty who will die before the other. Death does not always follow chronology. Yes, it is logical to assume that a 73 year old man may have greater physical and may be mental challenge in dealing with the multifarious issues in a complex country like Nigeria than say a 55 year old but no one can say for certainty who will die before the other. So let's stop this morbid campaign. Now that Prof Osinbajo has threatened legal action, let's hope that the accusers will bring forward the evidence.
  The APC has alleged that the PDP wants to use the military to rig the elections and so the military should be locked up in their barracks during the election and the PDP counters that the APC has concluded plans in connivance with INEC to use the electronic card readers to rig the election and so we must reject the card readers. Accusations and counter accusations. Some are so absurd like the allegation by APC that the PDP does not want the elections to hold, instead preferring to set up an interim National Government( ING) to be headed by Dr Goodluck Jonathan. I can not understand the logic behind this allegation. Neither can I fathom the logic behind the accusation that the APC is responsible for the recent fuel shortages in parts of the country. It is on record that the President had been worried that the recent actions taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN ) in an effort to stop arbitrage and round tripping in the foreign exchange market in the bid to conserve our foreign reserves could precipitate fuel shortages. And he was right on spot. Even Femi Otedola at a recent interaction, had asked the President to get the oil marketers paid to avoid shortages . Therefore, we can not blame the opposition party or even the oil marketers. The lesson will continue to be learnt that the governments of the federation must meet their obligations to labour and suppliers on due dates to avert the disruption of the system, and then the adoption of fire brigade measures.
   I have not stood for any elective political office before, so I may never know exactly what Politicians do to win voters to their sides. But in my simple mind, I have doubts that rumour mongering or wild and unsubstantiable allegations against the opponent will be sufficient to win voters. Since most of these allegations are built on falsehood, they soon collapse and the lies are exposed, often to the embarrassment of the tale bearer or rumour monger.  I personally believe that the jobs of the campaign organizations are well cut out for them. President Goodluck Jonathan has done many good things in his first term, yet there are some Nigerians who say he has done nothing. It is their job to engage these doubters and present convincing evidence of what he has done and what justifies his quest for a second term. As for General Muhammadu Buhari, some Nigerians are focusing on the many bad things he did when he was the military head state, after overthrowing President Shehu Shagari in a military coup in December 1983 until sometime in 1986, when General Ibrahim Babangida over threw him in a 'popular' counter coup. They need to focus attention on what evidence to provide to these doubting Nigerians that General Buhari is "born again" . Those are the valid issues.
  Fabricating lies, rumour peddling or daily wild accusations and counter accusations will not do it in my own opinion. Rather these wild stories raise tensions in the polity, foul the environment and denigrate our image in the international community. They should stop forthwith.
  Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa OFR


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