Monday letter2

Panic is easy to detect. People start sweating. They feel nauseous. Their heart starts to beat at an incredible rate. Then they stop thinking straight. They become paranoid. They make decisions based on emotions instead of rationality.  It is very important that when you meet someone suffering a panic attack that you help them, attend to their needs and see they receive medical treatment immediately.

But what can you do when a whole party starts to panic? When the system itself is afraid of the political competition and starts to see enemies everywhere, making up threats to national security? Well, then you can’t just help them and call a doctor. All you can do is raise awareness.

The recent allegations by the Coalition for Nigeria about a Trumpesque cabal targeting our 2019 elections left me quite speechless. Not only did it provide zero evidence, it didn’t even make sense. First, the geo-political level: It is obvious the Russians have an interest in the United States. Nigeria? I remain sceptical. China, yes; the United Kingdom, for sure. But unfortunately, since the end of communism, Russia hasn’t cared much about Africa.

Second, the strategic level: We all know that President Buhari has filled every vital post in his administration with people who are very close to him or in his pocket. And his pockets are indeed deep. Are there any PDP sympathizers left in INEC key positions? It’s hard to imagine.

Last, but not least, the practical level: An opposition party rigging the elections? That’s absurd! They have neither the power nor the means to accomplish such a feat. How exactly would the opposition rig the election, even if they wanted to? Everybody knows that only the governing party has influence over the electoral bodies.

Let’s all take a deep breath, let the panic pass and see clearly: This is a smokescreen. A pathetic attempt at distracting the masses from the real issue – which is the fact that President Buhari has lost all support and is facing crushing defeat. This is the story that he doesn’t want you to talk about. Let’s not do him that favour during the campaign.

Keep calm and see through the smokescreen.

Lawrence Gemade, Abuja