By Frank Opara
Personally, I find nothing wrong with a 72-year old who decides to seek medical attention after an exhaustive round of campaign rallies in a country like ours. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the APC presidential flag bearer in the forthcoming general elections is human after all.
He did what every sensible human being would do, irrespective of age. In all conscience, and as far as my knowledge can offer, he has not committed any crime or broken any law as a Nigerian.
However, the level of deceit embedded in the false-ministration embarked upon by the propaganda machinery of his party recently is mischievous, abhorrent and disadvantageous to the overall image of the party. Before now, the machinery had been able to give its PDP counterpart a good run for their money, both in the virtual reality of major social media platforms and otherwise.
In fact, the guesstimate of many is that if the forthcoming presidential election is to be decided on the performance of both parties on social media platforms, APC will definitely emerge as winners. I share in this assumption because as one who is constantly on these platforms, one could palpably feel the commanding influence of a coordinated group of professionals who have succeeded in giving their party a visible edge over its ruling counterpart.
With the level of virtual campaign so far, some undecided, eligible, proud owners of PVC should be able to make up their minds on who to vote for. Others could be said to be considering their options based on which party campaign strategy will provide the X-factor that will appeal to them.
In fairness and on until now, both parties propaganda machinery have been conspiratorial and conservative in pushing out some quantum of agreeable lies to the public. Both of them have observed some level of cautiousness, calculating and discreet in the quality of information they disseminate.
However, the APC’s progress in this regard got a setback that has left a huge dent in the holier-than-thou image they have been selling to Nigerians.
A couple of days ago, by hook or crook, Nigerians were forced to believe that Buhari travelled out of the country on a working visit to London, whereupon he would proceed to the United States of America. In London, he was alleged to have met with Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister.
A picture of him in the company of Blair to establish this fictitious claim went viral. The same claim showed Buhari granting interview in London, whereas the said interview actually took place in Abuja, Transcorp Hilton Hotel to be precise.
However, contrary to these reports, Buhari actually left Nigeria to seek medical attention abroad. After all, he, Buhari, admitted as much, albeit as a damage control mechanism having realized the lies that had been making the rounds during his speech at Chatham House on Thursday, February 26.
In a speech that was streamed life, he admitted that he went to seek medical attention and his doctor gave him a clean bill of health. The wife had before now acknowledged the fact that part of her husband’s itinerary in London was to go for a check on his health.
If our memories have not been blunted by corporate lies, the gaudy theatrics that surrounded the ailment of former president, the late Umaru Yar’Adua, should still be fresh in our minds. As our personal experience validates, it was an offensive season when those we elected to lead us lacked the honor to be accountable to us. Not until the late president breathed his last that they suddenly ran short of lies to feed ever compliant Nigerians.
In the same vein, the present administration has never considered Nigerians human enough to have the courtesy to inform them whenever they embark on their medical trip abroad. What we see other countries do as norm is usually the opposite in Nigeria.
We as a country have cultivated the ugly culture of lies, no thanks to our so-called leaders and political office holders who mischievously chose to be stingy with the truth whenever they come to us to observe simple obligation which they owe us. Rather, we are treated with contempt.
The managers of the propaganda campaign group of the presidential choice of the APC have done little to hide their irreverence for their teeming supporters and Nigerians in general.
The same treatment they have also meted to so many who are still contemplating to align with their so-called ‘Change’ movement. They have disrespectfully taken all for granted. For a party that is so ambitious to wrest the mantle of power from an alleged floundering administration, this is not the right way to begin.
The ‘Change’ Nigerians are clamoring for is a ‘Change’ devoid of lies and deceit. Nigerians eagerly look forward to a new era of administration that will leave a legacy of sincerity. For as the saying goes; “If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part your future”.
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