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APC: The Hidden Persuaders and Fake Bishops APC: The Hidden Persuaders and Fake Bishops
by Ovi Magazine Guest
2022-08-05 07:26:03
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APC: The Hidden Persuaders and Fake Bishops
By Tunde Akande

It was beneficial for APC to appeal to religious sentiment of a Muslim-Muslim ticket to make up for its abysmal performance in eight years.

We are in the season of speech-writing. Speechwriters are like hidden persuaders. We are in the season of lies, the season when wordsmiths help political actors to conceal their crass ignorance and stupidity, to hide their jejune ideas, to let the image which naturally belongs to these expert writers rub off on obvious fools, giving their pearls to hogs. We are in the season where religious bigots pretend not to be but haul accusations of bigotry on others. Every election cycle is this season, the season when the most stupid of persons are published as men or women of lofty ideas. We are in the season where imbeciles are inflicted upon the nation. We are in the season of propaganda where lies are concocted and made to sound like heaven's truth. In this season, it is necessary that discerning persons also guide readers or listeners to unpack these lies, and expose the truth that they seek to cover. In other words, what are the speechmakers really saying? What is the lie behind the façade they put in the mouths of their clients?

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has very brilliant writers around him and they are doing a splendid job. But now we heard Kashim Shettima, Tinubu's controversial running mate for 2023. After a postponement, perhaps caused by the tremendous pressure put on President Muhammadu Buhari and his party APC to drop the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, the party finally in the words of an AIT reporter, Omo Bazauye 'damned the consequences' by going ahead to unveil Kashim Shettima, former governor of Bornu State, where insurgency has been on for over ten years, and put a seal on his selection as the running mate of Bola Tinubu in the 2023 election. Damned the consequences of APC's Muslim-Muslim ticket; consequences but why? It was because in the midst of allegation that the sitting President Muhammadu Buhari has through his Fulanisation and Islamisation posture divided Nigerians along religious lines and people are wondering why the APC went ahead and slammed a Muslim-Muslim ticket on Nigeria at a time when national reconciliation was the most urgent agenda.

We don't know what happened in the inner circle of APC and its government but those who want the leopard to change its spot soon got the rude shock of their lives by the eventual unveiling of Kashim Shettima. Buhari is an Islamist; Islamism is what moves him, and to expect him to change is to expect a leopard to change its spot.

Everything that happened so far is according to his script. But the first consequence manifested in this unveiling of Shettima on July 12, 2022. Rather than the story of the unveiling taking the center stage in the reportage, it was the story of fake bishops that were hired and brought into the conference that took the interest of the journalists. That is news hunting for you. Journalists were no longer interested in whatever the unveiling had to offer Nigerians but in what the fake bishops had come to do when the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had criticized the Muslim-Muslim ticket and began to mobilize Christians to defend their faith with their votes.

The manner of dressing of these bishops attracted the attention of the audience who knew that bishops are respected in society and will never dress shabbily. Soon the 'bishops' who were supposed to be respected were seen carrying chairs by themselves looking for spaces to sit because none was provided for them. Though Kashim Shettima greeted the "30 bishops" who graced the occasion, nobody knew how he got their number, which may mean he was part of the arrangement that brought them in and he knew how many had been procured. None of the 'bishops' was acknowledged from the high table. Nobody will do that to any true bishop in Nigeria.

For a journalist, a dog biting man is not news but when a man bites a dog, that's news. Journalists will rather report the awkwardly dressed bishops and their mission in the conference than anything that happened in the hall that day. That is the first casualty of the APC's misadventure of destabilizing the country by imposing a Muslim-Muslim ticket on Christians who constitute 50 percent of the population of Nigeria. How did the speechwriters of Kashim Shettima rise to the occasion? What did they put in the mouth of Kashim Shettima? What did they think that Nigerians want to hear? What lies did they make Kashim Shettima tell Nigerians? We don't know if Kashim Shettima took from the stock of writers from the stable of Bola Ahmed Tinubu or if he procured his own stock but we must acknowledge that those who wrote Shettima's speech are equally good as Tinubu's master writers and as masters of deception and lying. How did it go?

For Shettima, through his speech writers, APC's success in the past two presidential elections was the reward of its foresighted and pragmatic decisions to sacrifice its personal interests and sectional sentiment for overriding progress of our 'our’ party. By this, Nigerians have been told that Shettima is a child of necessity, not necessarily a choice for competence as Tinubu had said. "My emergence as the running mate of the inimitable Jagaban Borgu is based on the Party's very forthright assessment of the threat ahead". Concealed here is the fact that APC has failed monumentally in its two terms in the presidency and it knows it faces a great threat of losing the coming election.

Therefore it had gone beyond that which is beneficial to Nigerians to that which will help the party to avoid certain rejection by Nigerians at the polls. It was beneficial for APC to appeal to religious sentiment of a Muslim-Muslim ticket to make up for its abysmal performance in eight years knowing that religion is a very strong factor in Nigerians thinking. It is pragmatic for APC to press on an Islamisation agenda, though veiled, as a way of preying on the religious sentiment of Nigerians, the possibility of splitting the nation down the middle notwithstanding.

APC has begun to whip up that emotion with a destructive frenzy. In a post on Facebook, a prominent leader in the party, and governor of 'bandit tortured' Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai said that “CAN has only warned the Muslims to wake up". Christian Association of Nigeria has been at the forefront of resisting Fulanisation and Islamisation in Kaduna State where El Rufai runs a Muslim-Muslim governorship. In his reign, Christians have suffered untold deaths in the hands of rampaging Fulani invaders. In APC's pragmatism, it serves the party to divide the nation in order to rule the nation, even if it has nothing to offer Nigerians than the unbridled looting of its treasury. The Bola Tinubu-Kashim Shettima ticket is the face of that divide and rule tactics.

The speechwriters of Kashim Shettima pressed further to explain away this veiled Islamisation for political gain. They praised the wisdom of the 'Progressive Governors' of the party for the " immensity of their sacrifices, calibrates their sacrifices, their wisdom, and sensitivity, to the myriads of opponents". The writers call them progressive governors, which by the way is a brand employed by APC to promote its governors who are anything but progressive but hid the fact that only the Northern arm of the 'progressive governors' who Tinubu had swayed by his prebendal politics for a long time, played the card that saw to Tinubu's nomination. In other words, it was the North where Muslims are in large numbers that Tinubu's nomination was cooked, it was also the North where Kashim Shettima, a Muslim was fished out, thus completing the arrangement to subtly foster an Islamic agenda on Nigeria through politics.

The myriad of opponents mentioned by Shettima's speech writers are the two hundred million Nigerians who have no food to eat, no house to live in, who are daily ravaged, kidnapped, and raped, who procreate like rodents because being poor, sex is their only recreation, whose children are out of school, on whose behalf Buhari has borrowed humongous amount of money that future generations of them will have to pay with pains. But APC must retain power to complete Buhari's agenda of Islamisation. How the party hopes to manage the impending crisis is not known but since it is a party that is used to 'speaking to Nigerians in the language they understand', the language of violent oppression, we must expect the #EndSars kind of treatment from all corners of Nigeria. Then the end will come.

First published in METRO


Tunde Akande is both a Journalist and a Pastor. He earned a Masters degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos.

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