By Chidiebere Nwobodo
The lifespan of a propaganda is shorter than falsehood. A conjecture is always at the mercy of truth and time. It is like a castle build with sand, that is bound to crash anytime it is challenged by a whirlwind. No matter how far a lie travels, that doesn’t make it truth—it will be busted one day. Alas! Atiku in America! I got this news with mixed feelings. A lot of thoughts raced through my mind when it broke. Firstly, I have been a proponent of this school of thought that potential Nigerian president does not need to embark on wild goose chase in United States of America, to prove his preparedness, competence and show credibility for the plum job in the land. I promoted this nationalistic narrative that Nigerians does not have to rate their presidential candidates, using traveling to America as a yardstick. I argued that, progressing in this erroneous path would be tantamount to outsourcing our hard-earned sovereignty to a country that never colonized us. Only discerning minds connected with me on this mental wavelength.
One of the cogent reasons I gave in my postulations was that, neither Donald Trump—presidential candidate of the Republican party nor his main contender—Hillary Clinton of the Democrats, visited Nigeria before the last presidential election of United States of America. That, it would smack of inferiority complex, coupled with neo-colonialism mindset to insist on Atiku going to America to prove his innocence of the corruption allegations—or his global acceptability, when actually voting will take place in Nigeria. I queried whether Americans in US would be the once to determine who governs here in Nigeria as president. During the heat of the 2016 campaign for White House, not even one single American voter “dared” Clinton or Trump to travel to any country of the world; just to prove that he (or she) is not corrupt. Some Buhari supporters bandied US Senate Committee Report which they claimed indicted Atiku Abubakar, on money laundering issue, of which necessitated the suspected visa ban on the former vice president.
Today, Atiku is in America! What happened to the so-called US Senate Committee Report? Has it suddenly disappeared into thin air? I told those APC propagandists that a committee report is not a conviction from court of competent jurisdiction. It’s merely advisory. To shortened the story, Atiku Abubakar—former vice president, was not directly mentioned in the report but one or two persons around him. The United States I know, would not have granted Waziri Adamawa visa if there was any substance to that allegations. In America, institutions are powerful than individuals—not even President Trump can comprise these age-longed principles, on which American democracy was founded. Atiku was a victim of jungle justice in Nigeria’s court of public opinion. He was sentenced in the media without trial. I am not implying that he is a saint, but Buhari is not holier than him.
Powerful forces in Nigeria, whose political interests clashed with that of Atiku years ago, instigated this blackmailing propaganda. They clothed Atiku with garment of corruption—just to tame him then. Even American foreign office was hoodwinked into the propaganda which created difficulties for him in getting American visa in the past. The chips are finally down; the bubble of falsehood has bursted. Atiku Abubakar is in US after 12 years. The only straw of propaganda against Atiku, that is keeping the APC’s spin doctors afloat in the ongoing campaign, has been taken off. Buharists have been stripped naked in the market square. This development has nailed the coffin of the APC’s propaganda machinery. They have been beaten to their own game. It is called uppercut blow and below-the-belt punch! Buharideens were piqued, spooked and befuddled when the news broke. They were caught napping. And wished it was a nightmare.
Buhari New Media Center (BNMC) has ran out of propaganda. Their joker: “Atiku cannot travel to America”, has been taken away from them. There is gross drought of propaganda in Buhari’s camp now. The online urchins have gone back on scavenging mission again. They have become clueless on what to use against Atiku. These chronic propagandists were not only flabbergasted but outfoxed. They have been gamed. They’re wondering what has befallen them in the last few days. Indeed, Buharideens are bereaved—they’re in mourning mood. When they were gyrating on Atiku’s inability to get US visa, we warned them to focus on issues of governance here in Nigeria, but they pay no attention. Instead they kept majoring on minor issues and majoring on mundanes.
Some of them vowed to start campaigning for Atiku, if he dared to visit America. Today, like typical insufferable hypocrites, the goal post has been shifted, and the songs changed. The new challenge, according to them, is for Atiku to “dare” gatecrash into Donald Trump’s bedroom, take a picture with Trump’s wife, to prove truly that he is in the United States of America. While Buhari is committing blunders and losing support base, Atiku Abubakar is building momentum and gaining political mileages. Atiku Abubakar; Nigeria’s next president has defied the odds and disappointed his adversaries. We challenge President Buhari to “shame” his own critics by attending coming presidential debate.