BY BODUNRIN ORIADE
Unknown to 84 million Nigerian registered voters, Saturday, 19th January, 2019 , was a day set aside by the APC and her siamese twin sister, the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) , under the flawed leadership of Mr John Momoh, to openly rubbish and humiliate the PDP and her most popular and winning candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the just ended 2019 presidential elections debate.
The presidential elections debate was a booby trap laced with an intention to ambush, mock and malign; all from the stable of today’s villa men. The debate was a decoy to exploit.
Eventhough 60% of the voting population in Nigeria does not have access to television, 75% has no access to cable television such as DSTV or GOTV. Then it requires a very strong commitment from a voter who has upgraded his android phone to keep vigil in order to watch a debate live on a YouTube medium.
Now , the desire to watch might be there, but what about the means to buy data in a lacerated bungled economy such as ours – Nigeria ? How buoyant are the Nigerian masses economically? Could an average Nigerian voter have afforded the luxury of watching the debate ?
But then, even the privileged elites who constitute less than 30% of voters , and were interested in the debate, did not also know what the surreptitious and ignoble plans of the APC and the organisers were.
First, the election of Mr John Momoh as the Chairman of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) , and who has been one of the organisers of the debate events in Nigeria, was chiefly facilitated and highly influenced by the APC cabal in Aso Rock Villa long before now.
The aim was to position John Momoh as their dependable surrogate and head of Nigerian broadcasters and media entrepreneurs, and to enable him continuously serve the interest of the APC and have unfettered leeway that would make government control the Nigerian media willy-nilly.
Not surprising, Mr John Momoh is the owner of Channels Television, the medium thorough which the organisers relayed the debate to the world. At event commencing, BON, Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Channels Television, were fully in charge of the event.
They were in charge of invitation process, sitting arrangement and officiating of the entire process. The staff of Channels Television, including the ushers, pretended to be doing the right thing while they masked their ulterior intentions to advance the cause of APC and pull down PDP and her presidential candidate.
It happened that front row seats reserved for the PDP VIP members were tactically and forcefully usurped and high jacked by the APC with the connivance of some facilitators, even when some ushers prevailed for APC interlopers to relocate, these APC usurpers remained adamant, but not until Mr Momoh himself, was stampeded by PDP members to discharge the APC intruders.
Mr Momoh saw the ensuing uproar gradually brewing menacingly, then he was moved to do the needful. The hired APC men then quickly and quietly reverted to their uncomfortable shell. This happened few minutes before the programme was kick started.
I was there live. I saw it happen. The APC had planned to sit at the front row ahead of other PDP members and other members of other political parties that were present, pretending to be members of civil society groups, so that the camera would focus on them as they had planned to boo and ridicule the PDP presidential candidate as a retaliation of the humiliation suffered earlier by President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Assembly, when he presented the budget.
Can you imagine APC devotees sitting right in front of PDP stalwarts?
No doubt, one of the ways to tackle the protracted malaise of the Nigerian economy is through liberalisation: free market economy, where the forces of demand and supply will allocate price, thereby engendering a free economic participation. And, this is mostly permissible through privatisation, which opposes the flawed socialist regime of most traditional African countries like the present Nigeria, where welfarism is only practised among the presidential kindred in Aso Rock and Daura.
Atiku Abubakar tried to communicate this to a business community in a forum in Lagos, but the APC has since latched on this to misquote and misinterpret Mr Abubakar’s motives, and are now misinforming the masses of plans to sell our national assets to friends and cronies.
Also, during the debate, APC had planned another onslaught to deride Atiku. They planned to fraudulently engage Mr Segun Eddo, the moderator of the debate. Segun Eddo was the Nigerian whiteman among them; a Nigerian/British. Segun Eddo is a renowned international journalist. Segun Eddo was in ITV News in London. Segun Eddo was a presenter and a reporter at the BBC in London. He represented BBC in Asia, South Africa,USA and the middle east. Mr Eddo has also reported for Aljazeera, CNBC, MSNBC, and The Wall Street Journal TV in New York.
APC had arranged and smuggled some funny questions to mock Atiku during the debate and was perfectly packaged to be delivered by Mr Eddo. They planned to resonate and reverberate Atiku’s response to privatisation to the world, especially on the account that Atiku alluded and wanted to know if his friends and not his enemies were not qualified to benefit from his government if elected as president.
They had plan to synchronise all Atiku’s responses and remarks on privatisation at different media to draw home their very weak conclusion. As the debate lasted, Mr Festus Keyamo, the APC campaign spokesman, was busy circulating a fake version of Atiku’s response to privatisation questions in Lagos meeting.
That was their plan. But they failed, thank God Atiku did not debate.
The concept of privatisation may be too hard for an average Nigerian voter to understand. I suggest Atiku should start mentioning Free Economy or Liberalisation. Let voters who want to know more about Atiku’s plans for Nigeria go to www.Atiku.org.
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