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APC’s Propaganda to keep other parties out of the 2023 election

Anyone who has followed Nigerian political punditry in the institutional news media and on social media in recent weeks would think that the 2023 presidential election would be dominated by candidates of the erroneously named All Progressives Congress (APC), which is actually a collection of opportunistic, conservative fascists.

The majority of traditional and social media commentary on the presidential election has devolved into a pointless internecine feud between Bola Tinubu supporters and Yemi Osinbajo supporters. The unjustified assumption that the choice before Nigeria in 2023 will be between Tinubu and Osinbajo has stifled our traditional newspapers’ investigative ambition and inquisitiveness.

As I noted in my social media interventions, the raucous social media shouting match between headless Tinubu and Osinbajo supporters could very well amount to dancing themselves lame in rehearsals for a dancing contest they may or may not ultimately participate in, but given the uncertainties and constantly shifting nature of political alliances and alignments in the APC, no one can make any predictions with cocksure certitude.

Nonetheless, by focusing almost entirely on the supremacy struggle between Tinubu and his sidekick, Osinbajo, we rhetorically marginalize other parties with the potential to produce the next president. I’ll return to this topic later.

Commentators, news reporters, and opposition politicians are likely unaware that the APC is attempting to deceive the country. Persuasion and mind management are topics I research, teach, and write about. The rhetoric of inevitability is what the APC is doing by pushing us to dualize political sympathies between Tinubu and Osinbajo, and causing these sympathies to perpetually dominate the news cycle and political commentary.

The rhetoric of inevitability predisposes the electorate to accept as fact the idea that Nigeria’s next president must be the APC’s nominee. It subtly tries to instill in Nigerians’ minds that other political parties are irrelevant and have a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating the APC’s candidate in the general election.

In other words, it forces people to accept the fact that Nigeria is a one-party state, and that whoever wins the APC’s presidential nomination will have an unhindered and inexorable path to the presidency.

For the time being, the strategy is working. You’re being sucked into the carefully planned rhetoric of inevitability of the continuation of APC’s incompetence, whether you’re for or against Tinubu or Osinbajo and spend precious emotional and intellectual energies justifying your support for or opposition to either of them.

The nakedly transparent facts of the APC’s proven inability to govern and reform Nigeria after nearly seven years in power are what the rhetoric aims to conceal more than anything else.

Nigeria has regressed in every imaginable metric of human development as a result of the APC’s ineptness.

Nigeria became the world’s poverty capital under the APC. While the APC has been in power, the World Internal Security and Police Index published by the International Police Science Association and the Institute for Economics and Peace shows that Nigeria’s police force is the worst in the world. And, of course, we became the world’s third most terrorized country under APC.

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The Heritage Foundation in the United States ranked Nigeria’s APC government as the second worst in the world in terms of “government integrity.” The only government in the world that is worse is Venezuela’s.

Nigeria was ranked 157th out of 157 countries in the “Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index” by Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI).

According to Premium Times, an analysis published by the Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom revealed that “Under Buhari, Nigeria records [the] worst attacks on journalists in 34 years.”

Nigeria has consistently regressed in Transparency International’s corruption perception index since the current regime came to power, despite the APC government’s tiresomely sanctimonious noises about “anti-corruption.”

Youth unemployment was 13.7 percent when the APC came to power in May 2015, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. It had risen to 33.1 percent by July 2017. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, a government agency, it increased to 53.40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 40.80 percent in the second quarter.

That is one of the most alarming statistics on youth unemployment anywhere on the planet. On the other hand, when Arise TV interviewed Buhari on June 10, 2021, he expressed perverse delight in claiming that the federal, state, and local governments no longer have any vacancies, jobs, or contracts. “So, you may have a good degree, but you may DIE WITHOUT EVEN A JOB!” he concluded, gleefully. What kind of person finds joy in seeing the people he’s supposed to lead writhe in agony?

According to the Peoples Gazette’s reporting, “Nigeria’s economy under the Muhammadu Buhari administration is worse than 10 years ago,” according to the World Bank’s “Global Economic Prospect” report for 2022.

The list goes on and on. No decent country on the face of the earth would reward the gang of inept know-it-alls who presided over such an unrecoverable state of devastation and destruction with a stable government.

Tinubu and Osinbajo are a dreadful duo of ineptness who have been a part of Nigeria’s disaster for the past seven years. They’ve been painted with the same brush of moral turpitude, incapacity, callousness, avarice, hypocrisy, and overweening ambition as Buhari, whose legacy they both vow to carry on.

Furthermore, the respected Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) consistently finds Lagos, which Tinubu and Osinbajo ruined together for eight years, to be one of the world’s “least livable cities” every year.

People who have made Lagos one of the worst places to live in the world and contributed to Nigeria’s status as the world’s poverty capital and a leader from the bottom in most human indices want a second chance to destroy what’s left of the country, and people are consumed by pointless fights over who should lead the charge to bury us.

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We’re not taking ourselves too seriously!

“Tinubu, Osinbajo, and Buhari: A Troika of Treacherous Villains,” a social media post titled “Tinubu, Osinbajo, and Buhari: A Troika of Treacherous Villains” was published on January 12. “Muhammadu Buhari, Yemi Osinbajo, and Bola Tinubu represent a triumvirate,” I said. “Both Tinubu and Osinbajo have been important props to Buhari’s ongoing disastrous regime of ungovernance,” he says, adding that “they reinforce, reflect, and inflect each other.” Buhari will not be president without them. Every damn step of the way, they helped plant, grow, and fertilize Buhari’s autocracy and monstrous incompetence.”

Even otherwise clear-eyed people who recognize that the APC is a clear and present danger to Nigeria— and that Tinubu and his political creation, Osinbajo, are key members of the conscienceless gang of villains who got us to where we are now— are seduced by the rhetoric of APC’s self-succession.

Because Nigerians love false dilemmas (“if not Tinubu or Osinbajo, then who?”— as if that’s the only option), easily make peace with their oppression, and forgive their tormentors who are at the upper end of the social scale, the APC’s mind management tactic of creating a discursive regime of the inevitability of its self-succession has been effective.

Despite its lackluster and inept performance in opposition, the PDP has just as much of a chance as the APC to seize power. In light of the total social collapse that the APC has presided over, there is now an unjustified but entirely understandable nostalgia for the PDP.

It’s also possible that a third-party candidate, such as the impressively cerebral Kingsley Moghalu, who has launched a massive grassroots outreach across Nigeria and whose appeal is gradually widening, could surprise and win.

Because no incumbent is seeking reelection and INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu appears to be free of the encumbrances that his benefactor Abba Kyari imposed on him in 2019, no party has a clear advantage over the other, as I stated in my January 11 social media update titled “Why the 2023 Presidential Race Will Be a Shot in the Dark.”

“In Nigeria’s recent political history, this is probably the most variegated, endlessly changing patterning of political variables,” I wrote.

Allowing the APC to persuade us that their internal politics are our national politics is not a good idea. Instead, we should hold them accountable for the incalculable harm they’ve caused to our economy, our freedoms, and our national emotions, as well as for reversing any progress we’d made before they took over.

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