Emmanuel Enyinnaya Appolos
The Yoruba have a saying that even if a lie continues for 20 years, one day truth will catch up with it. This appears to be the issue with the current controversy over the recently concluded Democratic National Convention in the U.S. Ordinarily, the purported invitation of embattled former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, whether by the US Democratic Congress or President Barack Obama, to the just held national convention, where President Obama was renominated to re-contest the US presidency in November, would not have been an issue of public discourse, if the media handlers of Tinubu did not come to town with what has now turned out to be outright falsehood that he was personally invited to the convention “in his right as the leader of opposition in Nigeria.”
The Action Congress of Nigeria national leader’s media aide, Sunday Dare, had said: “Tinubu will be at the ring side as the Democratic Party conducts activities that will culminate in the nomination of President Barrack Obama as its candidate for the November 2012 presidential elections in the USA. Tinubu received a gold card invitation, which is prime; and with this, he will be joined by three other eminent personalities: Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji; and a former commissioner for information and strategy in Lagos State, Mr Dele Alake.”
Until the lies were unfolded that Tinubu bought his way into the convention with $5000, which he is said to have donated to the Obama campaign, the Lagos axis and the ACN, were perhaps, plotting a street-show for their national leader upon his return from the US.
In fact, Nigerians would have been fed with another tissue of lies that Tinubu had a jaw-jaw on how Obama would support the self-acclaimed National Leader of the ACN, on how he would be elected the president of Nigeria in 2015.
Part of the plots to hoist the falsehood was responsible for a superimposed picture of Tinubu on a crowd at the convention, which was published in a national daily.
According to the report, the news of purported invitation extended to Tinubu, irked DNC, as it explained that the invite that was given to Tinubu was a generic type that similarly went to whoever donated more than $5,000 to the Obama campaign.
“The invitation card sent to Tinubu, the former senator from Nigeria, was generic; and it generally goes from the campaign organisation and not personally from President Obama,” a source in DNC said.
The source said that it would be difficult for anyone to implicate Obama in attempts to foist a preferred leadership on Nigeria or Africa, as that would negate the philosophy of Washington’s new international engagement.
“Nigerians are capable of determining its destiny; politicians are free to strategise but it is immoral to deceive anyone that we are who we are not,” he said. “This gentleman is not like your popular national icon, businessman Moshood Abiola, who was well grounded… and at home with many people in government and private sector.”
After the facts had emerged that that Tinubu was not invited to the convention, but rather paid $5,000 as donation to obtain a generic invitation from the Democratic Party campaign office, the ACN, through its National Publicity Secretary and head of propaganda machinery, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, came up with another tissue of lie to say that Tinubu never said that he was invited. Of course, if you told a lie once, you would continue to tell another to cover it up.
In corroborating the true report, Mohammed, who accused those who exposed the lies as being indolent, said: “This indolence on the part of those making the allegation; anybody, who is conversant with the Democratic Party National Convention, DNC, and US politics, will know that you will never be invited to the convention unless you fall into any of these three categories: you are a candidate, a delegate or supporter of the party. “If you are a supporter and you are being invited, you will be addressed with your first name as if the President (Obama) invited you.
“Asiwaju (Tinubu) never said he had personal invitation from President Barack Obama. Why the brouhaha about who invited him?
“The question is, was he there or not? He was invited because of his support for the Democratic Party, and he never said he was personally invited by Obama.”
Consequently, the ruling party has taken the lying opposition to the cleaners over the issue. In what it described as being desperate for attention, the Peoples Democratic Party accused Tinubu and ACN of lies and deceit. In a statement by Chief Olisa Metuh, its National Publicity Secretary, PDP said that such deceitful postures and needless barefaced lies by the ACN are tragedies capable of inculcating negative values in the growing generation of Nigerian politicians. The full statement said: “The usual desperation of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his party to court attention at all costs has taken an international dimension.
“This time, Senator Tinubu who prides himself as the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has been basking in a delusory frenzy of being ‘specially invited’ to the just-concluded Democratic National Convention, which held in Charllotte, North Carolin a in the United States of Ameri “When former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli said that no government can long be secure without a formidable opposition, what he had in mind was a focused and constructive opposition whose view would be an alternative to government in power. He never envisaged an opposition that is founded on fraud and deceit, all in an effort to buy cheap popularity and run down the government in power. Whenever we in the PDP say the ACN is not offering and cannot offer Nigerians any alternative, it is because we know that the foundation and the leadership of the party is based on fraud and deceit. While Tinubu and his co-travellers are still humouring themselves on being recognised in the international circle as leaders of opposition for attending the convention, it has since b e e n revealed that the man actual laboured vigorously to purchase desperate his invitation. We do not really question Tinubu’s right to engage in any form of political tourism but we find it reprehensible that he could take to even the fraudulent, to establish importance for himself political party nor a politician worth the onion needs to live a lie to create enough effect and acceptance before the people. We therefore wonder at the d r i v i n motivation behind ACN’s maneuverings. Is the ACN just a political party with a constitution and manifesto devoid of moral code for members? It appears it is. The claim by the ACN of a working agreement between itself and the Democratic party, which the latter has debunked and waved off as an inconsequence, is k a sludge on the image of Nigeria. With over half a decade of independence behind us and with generations of eminent Nigerians at the national and international levels, it is painful that our people I are being subjected to denigration by a foreign political party on the account of fraudulent claims of an international alliance by the ACN. The PDP is not surprised at this merchandise of falsehood by the ACN because evergreen in The memory of Nigerians is the doubtful background of the so-called national leader of the ACN, not excluding his state of origin, his date of birth and educational qualifications. “Very laughable in Tinubu’s image laundering trip to the US is the essence in the delegation of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who is standing trial on corruption charges. We wish to remind the ACN that no amount of “black market” convention trip or pseudo endorsement abroad can improve its political fortunes at home. Endorsement belongs to the people of Nigeria and not even the fraudulent manipulation of the media can earn this.”