by Odekunle Ayokunle
I have never been a keen supporter of any political party. Rather, I have always been wary of politicians especially the ones who thrive on propaganda and portend to be what they are not.
Being a person who has lived in the South-West for a very long time, I have seen first hand the hypocrisy of the Yoruba dominated press and the Yorubas themselves.
Propaganda I said?
Yes! The press which is dominated by the Yoruba has the ability and even show off such ability by uncannily making or marring whoever they so deem fit.
Let me use the A.C.N governors in the South/West as an example. The press makes it seem as if the PDP guys before them were so bad and pillaged the whole South West which is wrong. It is on record that there were A.D Gvernors in all the 6 South-Western States from 1999 to 2003. We cannot remember any of them for any ‘stellar’ performance, yet the rot in the South West is presently blamed on the PDP. Why?
It is disheartening that whenever a governor in the South-West lays a foundation for building a bridge, even when the bridge hasn’t been built, the papers would be awash with reports of the governor’s ‘exceptional’ performance. The governor of Ogun State even recently called Pasuma to come perform during the foundation laying of a Fly over bridge!!!
Comparing the state of the South-West with what obtains in other parts of the Country would stir up a lot of questions in your mind. You would wonder : Are these pressmen deluded? Or are Yorubas themselves deluded? This is because other regions which have been consistently governed by the much derided PDP are much more developed than the South-Western States, Lagos exclusive.
I have been to the East ,a bit of the North and South-South and then I wonder aloud why their governors are never lauded in the Press as much as the chronic underperformers in the South-West are praised. A visit to states like Enugu, Jigawa, Akwa-Ibom, Ebonyi, Cross-River, Kwara which have all been ruled by the PDP since 1999 would make you always want to return to those states and yet, these governors never blow their own trumpets in the papers or let me say they never have their trumpets blown for them by the press.
The press is succeeding in painting anything PDP as evil and anything A.C.N OR CPC as saintly and angelic. Whenever a South-Western governor falters, you would hardly see it on the pages on newspapers. The much applauded and hyped Raji Fashola (SAN) comes to mind. Often lauded as the best Governor in Nigeria (which I don’t agree with), he doesn’t know how to withstand opposition. Remember how he set mobile policemen to dehumanize protesters during the Lekki Toll-Gate imbroglio? Yet he got covered up by the press. The Nation Newspapers owned by his god-father, Bola Tinubu did not even report it. And he is supposed to be the ‘face’ of the A.C.N. You get my point?
Remember how during the subsidy protest, President Jonathan dispatched soldiers to restore peace and order at Ojota? There were reports then that Fashola himself demanded for the soldiers. These soldiers were relatively unarmed and no one was hurt or molested. However, there was an outcry in the press and even the same Fashola who was alleged to have demanded for the soldiers played to the gallery by criticizing the president. And don’t let’s forget that unlike the Lekki-Protests, no one was hurt here. Now be the judge, which incident should have received more press coverage?
The idea behind the Press’ conspiracy is to label anything from the PDP as acute evil. And that is the cause of our problems. Bad people in the A.C.N and CPC have been able to brainwash the rather gullible electorates to vote for them nothwitstanding their history of non-performance. It is a general belief that a criminal in the PDP who crosses over to the A.P.C has had his sins forgiven. The press opine that the PDP is a den of murderers and evil people.
My question to the above is how many people in the PDP have ever been convicted of murder? NONE. Except on the pages of The Nation Newspapers, of course! When they tell people that the A.C.N is filled with men of stellar behavior, I say to them that the only 2 people with manageable credentials among them are Fashola and Oshiomole. If the press keeps insisting that only the opposition guys are ‘good’, what then do we say about men like Chime of Enugu, Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Elechi of Ebonyi, the past and present governors of Kwara, and Amaechi of Rivers?
The medi should be fairer in its assessment of politicians. Belonging to the CPC or A.C.N doesn’t make someone a saint. If people have forgotten, I can remember the precedents of men like Tom Ikimi, Audu Ogbeh, Bola Tinubu, Segun Osoba, Achike Udenwa, Ifeanyi Ararume, Nasir El-Rufai, Dino Melaye, Femi-Fani Kayode and other people who are now ‘saints’ all because they don’t belong to the PDP or left the PDP because they lost out in the power game.
People should realize that a man’s capabilities goes beyond his party affiliations. Being a member of the Ifa religion doesn’t make you hell-bound while being a member of the normally saint-like Deeper Life doesn’t make you heaven bound. Your character and antecedent matter.
The Nigerian press and electorate should learn from the above.