Social media -dominated by the due of facebook and twitter has indeed change the nature of politics and politicians everywhere in the world. The social media also proven to be effective avenue to reach out to target audience mostly youths and intellectuals directly and almost instantly with ease as politicians have taken advantage of that to improve their presence and market themselves.
But this ofcause, as expected, comes with a lot of disadvantages ranging from numerous rumours, propagandas to false accusations. This is even more possible since with as low as N100 -for instance, one can afford to login to any of Facebook or twitter, claim to be a journalist, security or political analyst and post or tweet whatever he/she likes.
Bellow, I intends to list and possibly explain as briefly as possible some of the false campaign issues for and against General Muhammadu Buhari -on of the leading presidential candidate of the APC in the forth coming general elections in Nigeria.
Let me start with the false campaign issues against the General:
(1) That he asked muslims to vote for only fellow muslims. Now, this is a blatant lie, Buhari never said that. What he said -back in 2001 in Hausa language in Sokoto at a luncheon was people in Sokoto know themselves, so when the ban on politics is lifted, they should choose the people that will represent them responsibly. The reporter of the ThisDay newspaper that wrote the report is a yoruba man by tribe that does not understand Hausa and was not even at the event. The reporter who is now late (may his soul rest in peace) had since apologised to Buhari on the issue.
(2) That he vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable. This is also a lie. Buhari never said that and it was indeed Lawal Kaita -a PDP chieftain also from Katsina who said that if a Northerner did not win the 2011 presidential elections, Nigeria will be made ungovernable. The Guardian newspaper that broke the news attributing it to Buhari was taken to court by him and the presidency begged him to settled the case outside court. The newspaper later wrote a piece apologising.
(3) That he is responsible for the 2011 post election violence. This is also not true as none of those making these dubious allegations upto now came up with any evidence to support their allegations. Rather, the presidential committee constituted by the federal government that was headed by the respected statesman and scholar Ahmad Lemu cleared Buhari on the issue in the report which he submitted since.
Now let’s see some of the false campaign issues for the General:
(1) That his daughter is married to an Igbo man. This is a lie. Those who created and also circulating this lie are ofcause trying to show the world that Buhari is tolerant as oppose to what some people are thinking that he a bigot. But Buhari being him a very honest man has since debunked that himself. He said none of his children married or is marrying an Igbo man. I mean, must he married his daughter to an Igbo man or anyone from different tribe that he will be seen as tolerant?
(2) That Buhari does not collect his full pension. This is also not true. The total pension package for the Former Head of States is actually less than N12m per annum not the rumoured N27m and that Buhari never rejected any percentage of it. For God sake, it is his right, his pension just like anyother retired civil servant in the country. What is wrong with he receiving all that is lawfully his? Atleast he did not steal it.
Now, I’m appealing to everybody especially those on the social media -whether the fan of Buhari or not to please campaign base on confirmed true informations.
To those trying to paint Buhari black no matter how, please stop creating unnecessary lies just to prove a point. Use facts only and if at all he is bad, you will find some. Also, to those trying so hard to make him look like an angel, please do that only with facts also, for using false information might backfires and be counter productive. Let’s play politics with some decorum and definitely we can’t do that with lies.
Mustapha Saddiq wrote from Batagarawa, Katsina State.
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