It is campaign season and to be honest, campaigns are never easy. Knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it are the stuff only the greatest orators are made of. For this reason, I will be kind with my words (because I am a good person *insert humble emoji*). Below are some of the aspirants and candidates who made blunders during the primaries.
- Khadijah Okunnu-Lamidi – ‘I am somehow related to Tinubu’
KOL as she is popularly called was easily one candidate who caught my attention and the attention of many others earlier this year when she declared she was running for president. She is Young, industrious, female and no stranger to politics as her dad was at a time federal Minister of Housing in Nigeria. Her campaign seemed to have taken a nosedive when she mentioned in an interview with BBC pidgin that Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and she are ‘somehow related’. She later clarified, in an interview with the pulse that she grew up in Lagos island and it is a close-knit area, therefore, you grow up with many people you consider uncles and aunties, but she and Tinubu are not ‘blood relatives. LOL
To be honest, this is not the most scathing remark made by a presidential candidate this year, but a lot of people did not appreciate the name dropping and quite frankly, it did her no favors.
- Peter Obi– ‘My 29-year-old Son does not have a car’
Peter Obi, is a former governor of Anambra state and one of the more popular presidential candidates (especially, if you are judging by Twitter). As a politician, he has built his brand on people-centric policies and proper management of public funds, two things Nigeria is in desperate need of. Sadly, this gentleman is not above an occasional gaffe, apparently. Recently at an event, he said “I have a son that is going to be 29, 30 soon. He doesn’t own a car because he must buy his own car”. He also spoke about how his daughter got married a few weeks prior and people expected him to throw a shindig for the ages, with the elite of society present but he did not see the need for it.
The criticisms of his statements on Twitter were brutal. Personally, I am tired of the poverty/faux humility PR of presidential candidates. If they are not bamboozling us with stories of them milking cows and growing bitter leaves on their remote secluded farm up north, then it is about walking barefoot for 2hrs to school in their village down south. I understand the need to posture yourself as an ‘average joe’ to be relatable but honestly, we do not need an average Joe, we need someone who is willing and able to do the job, so let us focus on the real issues.
That being said, I wish Peter Obi the best as he recently decamped from the PDP to the labor party where he will be representing them at the presidential elections. Also, winning the election would be a true Underdog story I would like to write about.
- Bola Tinubu – ‘I made Buhari president, Osinbajo VP And Abiodun Gov’
The Lion of Bourdillon was in Abeokuta on the 2nd of June to speak with delegates and seek support for his presidential bid and boy did he roar loudly. In the presence of Dapo Abiodun (Governor of Ogun state) and Sanwo-Olu (Governor of Lagos state), he proceeded to give a scathing and rather uncouth 15 minutes speech that a competent PR team would never have let happen. He spoke largely in Yoruba making his words less weighty when translated to English. He said ‘If not for me talking to you today, Buhari would not have been president. It is over 25 years that I have been serving them. This one sitting behind me, Dapo Abiodun, he could not become the governor without me.’ Honestly, I am still reeling from the fact that he referred to a serving governor as ‘Eleyi’, meaning ‘this one’.
He bragged about how he made Buhari President after he failed to win the last three elections and cried on National TV. He spoke about how he protected Atiku when Obasanjo was out for him. He talked about how he anointed Osinbajo to be VP at his own expense. He boasted about how the governors he anointed never lost an election. Lastly, he spoke emphatically about how it was his turn; his right to be president. Basically, it was 15 minutes of Tinubu showcasing his god-complex.
Feel free to add a few other gaffes you can recall in the comment section below.