by Ayokunle Odekunle
That people do not approve of your idea of change does not mean they do not want change. Your idea of change might be retrogressive and not progressive to another person.
On Sunday, October 30, 2005, Jose Mourinho, the Manager of Chelsea FC called Arsenal Manager. Arsene Wenger a Voyeur. What was Arsene’s offence? He had innocently responded to questions thrown at him about Chelsea from the very inquisitive British media.
Jose was furious and said the following “I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur,” he said. “He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families… “
Since the incident took place in 2005, I failed to get a clear meaning of what a voyeur is until I spoke to a friend sometime ago. He said a voyeur is the worst word you can describe a French man with. According to him, a voyeur is that man who would stay in his own flat, get a pair of binoculars and would watch a couple having sex. After watching the sex bout, he would go to town complaining that the woman wasn’t satisfied with the sex even when she never complained to him that the guy did not do it well. In short, voyeurs mind your business for you. Talk of crying more than the bereaved and being more Catholic than the Pope. Or better still, being more Muslim than the Sultan.
The just concluded Ekiti election reflects this malady.
I have never ever hidden my disdain for the Twitter All Progressives Congress (APC) horde. These set of people always fail to learn their lessons and who thrive in Minding the business of other people for them. And I can bet my left eye at Nairabet that they will never learn till Lord Jesus comes. With acute ignorance mixed with some baseless arrogance, they are afflicted with some of the most hazardous self-inflicted afflictions in human existence.
Whenever any election approaches, they are almost always cocksure their candidate will emerge victorious; even when such candidate has little or no political pedigree. This is borne out of arrogance. They presume that they are the best human beings ever to exist and so their candidates just have to emerge as winner in any election as they are a rare breed of progressives- specially ordained by God. They do three things pursuant to the elections to wit:
1. Overhype their candidate
More often than not, their candidate is someone who will be imposed on the party in the imposing sitting room of the neon-eyed god who controls the party, Bola Tinubu. There will be no primaries as their father in Bourdillon only needs to raise a candidate’s hands. The rest dare not complain.
Even if little or nothing at all has ever being heard about the candidate in the political sphere, the Twitter soldiers will start hyping him as Barack Obama re-incarnated (Even though Obama is still alive). An example of this is Akinwunmi Ambode who is rumored to be the handpicked candidate of the Lion of Bourdillon to rule Lagos State from 2015.
The Twitter Overlords with thousands of followers who unfortunately are undercover APC members will start sounding the gong for all to hear. It is either you vote for this man or it is presumed and assumed you want this state to go backward. The most annoying thing is that APC tweeps based in the Northern part of the country and have never been to the South west will stay in Kafanchan and overhype the candidacy of someone contesting in Ekiti or somewhere in the South east. One who has even being doing his Ph.d since 749BC in Ukraine (Or is it Crimea) was also dishing out instructions yo people on twitter. These people make noise on Twitter and give us the impression that their candidate will win by a landslide. They will also do opinion polls showing that their candidate will win the elections by over 70% of total votes cast. They did this in Ondo, Anambra, Kogi and Ekiti. Their candidates in those elections lost hopelessly, haplessly and helplessly.
2. Malign the candidate of the other parties
After successfully hyping their own candidate, they then set about maligning and damaging the character of the other candidates; especially the strongest challenger of the candidates. In the case of Ekiti, they called Ayo Fayose a thug, a wizard, a murderer and a thief. You call him a thief, which court has convicted him of corruption? I asked them: You call him a murderer, mention one person you have seen him kill and the name of the competent Court that convicted him of either murder or manslaughter?
These people won’t be deterred. Few days to the election, they began tweeting aggressively, admonishing and cursing people who would dare vote for that thug known as Ayo Fayose. Then I wondered aloud: What is your own business? Why are people hiding under the anonymity that Twitter provides to malign the image of other people?
The APC Twitter activists were not done. They posted pictures of Ayo Fayose sharing bags of rice to Ekiti people, ostensibly to canvass for votes. Trust their PDP counterparts; they dug up pictures of Fayemi sharing jollof rice to aged people. Beaten to their game, the APC people then kept quiet because as it seemed, both parties had both risen to the occasion by sharing rice.
3. Massive propaganda on election day
*sigh!* Where do I start from? On every election day involving the APC, their Twitter warriors will sit in their dingy bases and set to work. Their aim will be to discredit the election, in case their candidate does not win. It almost always starts from former FCT Minister, Nasir El-Rufai who would stay in his palatial residence in Abuja and tweet something like this:
BREAKING: PDP AGENTS ARE CURRENTLY THUMBPRINTING IN ROOM 3, HOUSE 2, WARD 1 OF ISI-IYIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF EKITI.
And then I will start wondering whether el-Rufai has the Nigerian Satellite in his house where like the Big Brother, he can see everything going on around the country.
Not stopping there, the Twitter agents will carry rumours and rumours of rumours of soldiers shooting and abducting people in gestapo operations. The aim of all these? To taint the elections in case the APC loses.
You want an example?
During the last Edo gubernatorial elections, while the Twitter overlords were in their elements, the Edo State Governor said he wouldn’t accept the results NO MATTER WHO WON as the election was fraught was gross irregularities. Sunday morning, the guy was announced winner by INEC and he changed his tone changed. He praised the President for upholding the tenets of democracy and for ensuring that the state experienced free and fair elections.
THE EKITI ELECTION IN PERPECTIVE
I feel heart-broken that some online celebrities have been insulting the good people of Ekiti for voting Fayose over the educated Fayemi. They have being using words like hungry, stomach infrastructure to describe those very educated and sophisticated people. I think it is selfish of these bloggers to begrudge the Ekiti people for receiving rice from Fayose when they had themselves gotten N50,000 from the governor during a so-called tour.
Come to think of it, winning in 16 local governments out of 16 is no fluke. Fine, if they insist Fayose won because he enticed people with rice, that means he must have shared rice to over 203,000 people which is a near impossibility Have these people forgotten that winning elections is about acceptability and doing your homework well? This is something Fayose did. For one, I have always known Fayose to be immensely popular in Ekiti State. His people love him to bits. A man who identifies with the people will be looked up to as a hero by the people. It is simple. Describing Ekiti people as hungry because they refused to vote for Fayemi is fundamentally wrong and rude. You cannot stay in Katsina, Kano, or Crimea and decide for the people of Ekiti.
Amadioha cannot leave Enugu and assume jurisdiction in Igbo-Ora in Oyo State. Check the case of Madukolu V. Nkedilim.
ISSUE OF GIFT SHARING
You see, a lot of APC Twitter Overlords only see that which they want to see. It is common knowledge that almost every politician in Nigeria indulges in sharing of gifts before elections so as to induce voters. It happened in 1993 (Abiola Rice), Obasanjo did it in 1999, Fashola did it in 2011, Akeredolu did it in 2012, Fayemi did it in 2014, Fayose did it in 2014, Aregbesola is doing it now. Tainting Fayose’s victory because of that is demonic and uncharitable.
With the little experience I have had with the electoral process in Nigeria, people will take your gifts and vote for or against you irrespective of your attempt at inducing them. As student at the University of Ibadan, I saw people take former governor Alao-Akala’s wads of cash and yet voted for the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Alao-Akala even got a brand new Plasma television for my Hall (The Great Independence Hall, UI). We appreciated the gift but yet, he lost in the hall of residence when elections were conducted.
In 2003 when it was glaring that Gbenga Daniel would oust Aremo Olusegun Osoba from office as Ogun State Governor, Osoba shared lots of money to artisans and market women. He shared bread sandwiched with money to kids. Yet, that did not stop him from suffering defeat in the hands of Gbenga Daniel. I can go on and on.
The message here is simple; Fayose won not because he shared rice. He won because he is the choice of the Ekiti people. That must be respected.
The Anambra, Ondo and Ekiti elections should act as learning curves for the APC toy soldiers; that is if they are ready to learn and are ready to come down from their high plastic horses. Winning elections go beyond ranting on Twitter, spreading propaganda, talking down on other people or hyping people. Serious people who want to win elections go to the grassroots and identify with the voters; people who have no smartphones and do not know neither do they care of the existence of Twitter. Elections are won by meeting real people and not artificial and fake people.
The APC people can keep up with their Twitter Act sha. I, however, hope they know they should forget any fantasies of winning the Presidential elections next year and should instead focus on not allowing their party crumble after the selection of a presidential candidate. They have failed litmus tests in Anambra, Ekiti and Ondo so far. The APC is not a serious political party, they’re in the political business to party.
I do no know what locus those insulting the Ekiti people possess to believe they have the power to decide or think for the Ekiti people. They are voyeurs kilometers away from Ekiti arrogantly believe they have the divine right to select a candidate for them. That people do not approve of your idea of change does not mean they do not want change. Your idea of change might be retrogressive and not progressive to another person. Sneering and jeering at other people all because they refused to vote for your candidate notwithstanding your propaganda is piss-poor.
And that is part of the evil marriage of arrogance and ignorance I referred to.
Ayokunle Odekunle is an Associate in one of Nigerias largest full service Law firms. he tweets from @Oddy4real
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.