Tinubu and the Inventions of Propaganda, by Fredrick Nwabufo
Bias, desperation, delusion, and deception govern the outputting of the distortionist mob. Mob distortions are purposive fabrications. They are oddly designed inventions pulled from a smorgasbord of fake news, injurious falsehood, slander, and prejudice. They come in the cloak of truth and certainty. They come in the swaddle of history and records. But in actuality, they are just a carefully curated jumble of lies, propaganda, disinformation, and misrepresentation.
What the crocheters of the yarns of distortionist hypotheses seek to achieve may be to cause a breakdown of trust, to blackmail, poison perception, stoke crisis, cause disaffection, and ultimately, spur an uprising.
In the case of President Bola Tinubu, his villifiers have always sought, but fruitlessly so, to poison public perception against him. They invent ahistorical accounts, contort records, fabricate stories, and think up utter ridiculousness.
During the campaigns, detachments of distortionists worked the mill of propaganda overtime. They invented tales and doctored videos. Time has revealed the falsity of those videos as well as the dark entrails of the promoters. Today, the President is seen speaking extempore, clearly, intelligently with poise, panache, and a sprightful gait.
The traducing did not let up after the elections – even when it was expected that those in the adversarial phylum would form an opposition established on unrelenting issues of governance as they affect all Nigerians — and not on inanities and delusions. The fixation has been, laboriously, on the pursuit of a will-o’-the-wisp — not substance.
Despite indisputable evidence, punitive expeditions to the US were undertaken in furtherance of the smear campaign. There was nothing to be had from such endeavours ab initio, but to stir disruptive controversies and excite supporters whose morale is waning. The outcome of the Chicago State University expedition is an indictment on the species of opposition and their disposition of resistance.
This dimension of opposition is ruinous, perfidious, and insidious. It tears down without building; it talks down without uplifting; it attacks without reason; it claims without evidence; it lies without let; it defames and defiles without conscience; and it opposes without a cause. All it seeks is to pull down and destroy – for as long as its longing for the chief seat remains a pipedream.
At the heart of Nigeria’s troubled and enchanted existence are wild and minacious politics. Politics defiant of patriotism and national interest; politics vacant of soul and righteous purpose; politics of predation and degradation. Politics of gladiatorial contests and duels. Destructive, dangerous politics.
We cannot make progress if our politics persists to be cancerous and a contest of absurdities. We seldom debate policies, and even when we do, it is usually from insular, dopey, and blighted lenses.
Groundless tropes are the definers of our conversations when there are critical matters seeking attention. We keep going through the same foundry every cycle and expect a change. We have to be more purposive about governance, and less obsessed with thrilling distractions.
Political parties, especially those in the opposition, have seminal roles to play in educating citizens, mobilising consciences, and activating the right discourses. The opposition holds a decisive place in any democracy. Should this value be expended on asininities and on guerrilla warfare? If the essence of seeking power is corrective and righteous, where is the sense in efforts to bring down the roof with every artifice and conjuring available?
No one is saying the opposition should be the consort of anyone, but patriotism dictates citizens must commit to the peace, unity, and progress of the country regardless of who is president.
The Tinubu administration has been expansive and sensitive to Nigeria’s complexional complexities, blurring the lines between ‘’supporter and opposition’’ in appointments and in the provisioning of public goods. This clearly says it is all about governance and building a cohesive country for this administration. This is patriotism — what has been essentially lacking in governance in Nigeria.
However, it has become evident that debate in the next four years will be on the absurd. Perhaps, there is a cavity in the intellectual domain of the objurgators. I recall during the past administration; vicious conspiracy theories of ethnic domination and ethnic cleansing were noised as imminent truths. Ethnic epithets, slurs and tropes defined oppositional aspect to that administration. All for what reason – politics. It was all politics.
Conspiracy theories are the animating force of Nigeria’s political discourses. They give taste to falsehood, tension, fear, and prejudice. And often, they are eaten, digested, and regurgitated by the unwary. It is only four months in the life of this administration, but the crocheters of conspiracy theories are returning to their accustomed vocation. I would not give oxygen to the plot of lies and tall tales by reproducing them here.
But it is important that Nigerians understand that those desperate for power will do anything to keep them hooked on the opium of lies, fear, and prejudice.
By Fredrick Nwabufo, Nwabufo aka Mr One-Nigeria is the CEO of Line and Link Limited; publisher of TheLink News.