This Day (Lagos)

22 January 2013

Nigeria: Obanikoro - My Fake Campaign Posters Cheap, Miscalculated

The former Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro, Monday described as cheap and miscalculated some fake campaign posters that flooded certain parts of Lagos State at weekend, purportedly presenting him as gunning for the governorship of the state in 2015.

Obanikoro, who is currently out of the country, said whatever was the motive beind the move, has failed ab initio because, apart from the fact that the strategy is old-fashioned, the timing was ill-advised and the intention stymied as it were.

From his reading of the move, Obanikoro said it was intended to achieve either of two things: to present him as desperate or a politician of uncompromising tendencies and therefore concluded that both intentions have failed because they could neither push him out in the ring nor stifle him.

"Honestly, this has not come to me as a surprise because I understand the terrain in which I operate. But I would have thought that even if those who relish in destructive politics still admire the trade, they could have at least, gone a notch up in their game. This is cheap, ill-timed and a miscalculation.

"I know where this is coming from, but it is good for the PDP because it shows clearly that the opposition is jittery already and when the time comes, our party which is bigger and better now will put them in their place. If all this has set out to do is cause disaffection amongst us, too bad because it failed even before it was recognised as mischief.

"Interestingly, the same approach was used against the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and it failed because it was false. Even a member of the opposition party, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, recently had a whiff of his party's bad politics. It has since been discovered that it was not true. And coming after me when others have failed shows they are myopic and lacking strategic thinking.

"I have been around for too long to be played on so cheaply. I know the game better than they do. I understand procedure and respect laid down party rules and regulations. I am disciplined enough to what know line to cross or avoid. So, why waste their time over Obanikoro, who does not reckon with their existence or what they do? I advise them to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise. This is sheer time wasting and grossly unproductive," he said.

The former senator recalled that "two weeks ago, this set of people sponsored a story saying the party leadership was considering me as its flag-bearer, a move the party had debunked immediately. At least, from this point of view, they have exposed their desperation and the inanity in their strategy, which reflects very poor thinking. But note: neither the PDP nor Obanikoro is worried. It is just one of those comic reliefs."

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