A Replay Of Decree 4.
But for providence, the incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was set to start on a very wrong note. Before his emergence as winner of the 2015 presidential elections, the All Progressives’ Congress Candidate was faced with several hurdles chief of which was the negative publicity he received from a section of the Nigerian press. Daar Communications Limited, owners of the African Independent Television appeared to lead the pack of media houses which sought to discredit General Buhari on account of his past deeds as military dictator.
The AIT was overtly sympathetic to the cause of outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan. This they proved with the commitment and passion with which they dug out and disseminated information on the ugly past of General Buhari. Other media houses like Punch Newspapers, Channels TV and TV Continental were clearly sympathetic to General Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives’ Congress; they were however unable to dig out dirt on President Goodluck Jonathan because there were virtually none hence it was easier for them to have maintained stipulated broadcasting standards drawn up by the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria.
Along the line, I was told that certain documentaries on Bola Ahmed Tinubu and General Muhammadu Buhari were recorded and served the Nigerian voters by the African Independent Television in further show of support for President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples’ Democratic Party. Although I am yet to see any of the films under reference, grapevine sources have it that the contents of the said documentaries is sufficient to drown the career of even President Barrack Obama. How Bola Ahmed Tinubu and General Muhammadu Buhari survived the negative impression that documentary sought to create is a tale that can only be told by them and their handlers.
Monday, the 27th day of this month was almost ending when news went viral on the social media. General Muhammadu hammer have landed on its first victim – The media crew of the AIT. I would later read that at the official visit of the Cuban Ambassador in Nigeria to the President – Elect, his spokesperson Shehu Garba politely advised the media crew of the AIT to stay away. Shehu further advised that in line with the request of the President – Elect, the AIT crew would not be allowed to cover any event wherein he would feature. Security concerns were first cited as reason for the ban; other concerns from members of the first family (in waiting) were also highlighted.
In as much as I think the President – Elect is entitled to his views on matters, I am of the opinion that the reasons cited by his aide are entirely baseless. As I write, I am aware that General Muhammadu Buhari have disowned Shehu Garba on account of what is being made to seem like his been overzealous but that disclaimer is both nonsense and useless to me because I verily believed that he had authorized that directive ab initio. If he hadn’t, Shehu Garba would have a hard time explaining how he as an aide measured the feelings of members of General Buhari’s immediate family and how his agape love for them caused him to issue such a directive on behalf of his principal without hinting him of his plan.
Nigerians on their own part have not taken a clue from this first blunder of the incoming president. In fact, a couple of them took to the social media in a rare display of stupidity and intellectual blindness to defend General Buhari’s action. Some argued that the outgoing president would never have Sahara Reporters cover an official event of his; I found this twist irrational. Sahara Reporters is a well known cottage propaganda and lie factory commissioned to disseminate lies about the Peoples’ Democratic Party. The only reason Omoyele and his gang succeeded is because they were faced with a PDP which appeared cursed with the weakest media team ever known to man. From the publicity unit of the party to the media cell of the presidency; all we have to show is a bunch of over fed government contractors surrounded by very backward thinking young university dropouts and failed young entrepreneurs some of whom while operating our media machinery had faith and trusted their creator that sooner or later, they would find favor in a way that will cause them to go back to their businesses.
Another argued that matters related to security must be taken seriously hence his view that the AIT crew should abide by the order till all security threats pertaining to them are resolved. The funniest of them was from a Nigerian resident in Washington who attempted to dig out the 2010 Independence Day bombings for which Dr. Raymond Dokpesi was indicted. When he spent his energy trying to convince me to think along, I simply reminded him that Dr. Dokpesi was discharged after investigations were concluded by relevant agencies alongside Mallam Nasir El – Rufai who was equally indicted. I queried him to know why General Buhari would feel at home campaigning in company of the Mallam while considering the staff of Dr. Dokpesi harmful to him. This is an Army General whom I was told swore to uproot Boko Haram from Nigerian soil.
Though the All Progressives’ Congress spokesman have long arrived the scene and doused the tension that was fast brewing, I suggest they subject General Buhari to further tutorial on the tenets of democracy as they strongly relate to freedom of speech irrespective of party affiliation. His family members should also be advised to stop being too concerned over the incoming president as he is now public property. If he was brave enough to renege on his pledge not to seek re-election after 2011, he should be prepared to receive his fair share of the curses, abuses, insults and burdens every political office holder bear. They are part of the perks of office.
Ezeani, Chukwunonso Elvis is the Shadow National Youth Leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party. He can be reached via @NonsoEzeani1.