by Ore Fakorede
They say all’s fair in love and war, and to call the April 2011 presidential race a war would be an understatement. Against that backdrop, we can be safely conclude that this year’s contest will be a fierce, no-holds-barred event. Media mogul and this year’s National Conscience Party flagbearer, Dele Momodu, just struck a hard blow against the more militaristic Rtd. General Buhari, who is gunning for president on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change. In all fairness, Momodu’s camp only shot back in self-defense, but the sheer dexterity with which the verbal stinker was fired shows that it was more of a reprisal than anything else.
The first strike came off the fist of the Buhari Youth Vanguard (the name says it all). The organisation allegedly made a tongue-in-cheek offer to Dele Momodu, asking the Ovation publisher to take up a job as Buhari’s official photographer after the ex-general wins at the polls and is sworn-in as president. Further rubbing some salt in the wound, the pro-Buhari youth movement based the offer on their assumption that photography is Chief Momodu’s “core competence.” Please keep a straight face.
What kind of media mogul would Dele Momodu be if he took such a direct insult lying down? The job offer was undoubtedly an undisguised attempt to label Momodu as an incompetent candidate who has already lost. Not good, not good at all. According to the principles of tai chi, an Asian martial art, the best fighters turn the strength of their opponents against them, conserving energy in the process. And in that fashion came the intelligent return serve, fired effortlessly at breakneck speed by Team Dele Momodu.
In the far more cheeky reply, Dele Momodu’s camera-toting crew accepted General Buhari’s offer, proudly referring to photography as “respected profession” – they named Kelechi Amadi Obi and TY Bello, two of the nation’s best photography professionals. Giving Momodu’s potential employer good reason to confirm his employment, the crew promised to make the good old general look “seven years younger” and “more handsome.” Ouch! To top it off, the apparently cynical Momodu made an offer of his own – to make Buhari “chairman of the anti-corruption agencies” that will be created when Momodu becomes president. LWKMD! What’s next, Ribadu tackling Jonathan WWF-style at Friday’s presidential debate? Maybe.
As we take ring-side seats and hope to God that this interesting fight progresses to the next round, we can’t but seriously wonder if these are the kind of people we want as leaders. Think about it.
Photo credit: image 100 / Corbis