Whenever issues revolving around Nigerian politicians spring up on the Nigerian social media space, you get to see Nigerians who have an intense dislike for certain politicians express their ill views about them. This mudslinging at other politicians could be better described as “Character Assassination’’.
Politics is a game. There are no permanent friends or enemies because the politician you support may become an ally to the one you have so much disgust for tomorrow.
A few days ago, I read an update on Peter Obi’s verified social media handle. The consensus candidate of the Labour Party advised and urged his supporters who call politicians names on social media to deter themselves from doing that. He also stated that he had observed his followers making personal attacks on other presidential aspirants. He thanked them for their support and humbly appealed to them to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship.
In Nigeria, taunting other politicians, attacking their supporters and other people who have dissent political views, and promoting yours in the process doesn’t in any way change their opinion about their preferred presidential candidate. It only serves as a means of smearing the image of the politician you support, because of your bad temperament, and inability to accept other people’s opinions.
The energies expended on criticizing, maligning, and vilifying other aspiring political office holders and their cohorts can be used in promoting your preferred political candidate through online media platforms and grassroots mobilizations.
We are in a democratic setting and whomever any Nigerian decides to support, whether inept or competent, is a choice they make because he or she is exercising his or her political rights. The only way you can change their perception is not by denigrating theirs, but by promoting yours and telling Nigerians who do not know about him, his achievements and ideas that can help rescue a fast sinking ship like Nigeria. Through this, you can lobby, persuade and win hearts for your candidate.
It is indeed appalling that some people go to the extent of calling out certain tribes or regions. I have seen this myself. How does anyone intend to present his or her candidate in a good light in such a manner? What if anyone makes a mockery of your preferred aspirants’ candidature, would you be happy with it. This shows that name-calling and insults are beneath the quality anyone would desire for his political campaign.
Let us learn to keep our emotions aside and imbibe good manners. Peter Obi isn’t foolish for giving a piece of advice that must be heeded to. He has cautioned his supporters wisely and it is left for them to tread softly. Learn to play a more mature game so that his labor wouldn’t be vain.
A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR THE WISE.