(by Ivor Ekpe) – It has been fun watching the evolution of Fear as a Weapon in the quest to take charge of the narrative over the airwaves.
It has become OBVIOUS that there is a clear and stifling fear of the APC Presidential Candidate, Gen. Buhari possibly emerging victorious in the Valentine’s Day Elections in Nigeria.
This Fear was initially designed as a weapon to ‘warn’ Nigerians about the possibilities of anything from ‘the Islamization of Nigeria’ via the possible imposition of Sharia Law across the country should the General be voted in, to the country being overrun by Boko Haram and by extension ISIS should such a ‘win’ materialise.
The Fear was also designed to ‘Scare’ the Powerful and the Sacred of Nigeria of possible lengthy jail terms should Gen. Buhari become President.
Along with many other insinuations, Nigerians are meant to be wary of anything GMB, Northern and/or similarly APC.
It is obvious this has not worked as was conceptualized in the minds of the propagators of these theories.
The evidence lies FIRSTLY in the degradation of our political campaigns and campaign messages.
Nothing has been determined sacred or Out-of-Bounds in the chase for the Presidency. Family, dead or alive, Personality Traits or even Carbon-dated Qualifications have been made an issue.
The most important things or issues for Nigeria’s vast population have since fallen by the wayside. Things which have become of lesser importance as the elections get ever closer.
SECONDLY and more poignant is a comparative analysis of a Buhari challenge FOUR years ago versus today.
Four years ago, Gen. Buhari was in his 70s but it did not matter much.
Four years ago, President Jonathan was riding on a wave of sympathy across the nation so a ‘win’ was almost guaranteed therefore a Buhari challenge was safely deemed inconsequential.
Four years ago, a Buhari with or without a ‘certificate’ was deemed a non-starter so it mattered not whether he had one, could produce one or not. Or whether the President ignored him and the offer to attend a Presidential Debate as so slated at the time.
Four years later, the state of the country is much different and the sympathy on which Mr. President rode into office has somewhat waned.
Though many would rather tell you otherwise, there is much more that Nigerians complain about with regards to the Jonathan administration than they had four years ago.
Four years later, it matters that Gen. Buhari may or may not have a certificate or that he is in his 70s or that he was once a Military ruler.
The Fear of Gen. Buhari is irrational in my opinion. The challenge could have been fought with tangible achievements of a 6-year old Jonathan administration.
A Buhari challenge could have been fought with evident steps AND satisfactory conclusions to Corruption cases.
A Buhari challenge could have been fought with evident and not promissory improvements in Power Generation and Supply.
A Buhari challenge could have been adequately met with fewer unsavoury characters taking the front row in both their declarations of chaos and threats to a nation of 160m all in the name of supporting the President.
A Buhari challenge could most definitely have been fought by ‘proven’ actions in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency INCLUDING decisive action against the sponsors of Boko Haram rather than spurious and unproven allegations against individuals who may have contrary views to those of the Government.
It is important yet laughable to note that with barely 2 weeks to the elections, the real issues which face Nigeria have taken a back seat to Character Assassination by those who themselves have very little to protect by way of acceptable character and personal traits.
It is VERY CLEAR that the REAL FEAR, this time round, is of a Buhari challenge.
Well, come February 15th 2015, the morning after the night before, Nigeria will certainly have a sense of direction.
Which direction that will be is open to conjecture. Whichever way, we will have a problem.
In the final analysis, we will have to dine with one Devil or the Other.
How Long is Your Spoon?
Ivor Ekpe writes from Lagos.
He is a Management Consultant and a Communications strategist.