August 13, 2022

Good People, let me add my voice that some of the responses to Senator Tinubu’s choice of Kashim Shettima as his vice presidential partner in Nigeria’s presidential election for 2023, are unnecessary [yes, the Muslim-Muslim ticket]. Let us keep this debate polite, fact-based without innuendos. Politics is a contact sport, and you play to win. If that is what Tinubu wants to do to win, good luck to him. Obi has his own; good luck to him. Atiku has his own; good luck to him. But all playbooks will be evaluated by the Nigerian people. If INEC makes it free and fair, we have democracy.
I have never voted in America. But the day Trump started insulting Africans (1st generation and newbies in America), I decided to vote. He lost. Those insults were strategic for him but he also activated more opposing voters like me. 
Like in chess, every move has consequences. BAT, Atiku, Obi, etc must be respected as they deploy their strategies. You have your rights to respond how you want. But they have the right to plan how to win. There is no need to insult Senator Tinubu or his partner if indeed we believe in democracy.  That has to change; Christians will vote for Muslims and vice versa. Sure, for national cohesion, Tinubu’s choice is unique and bold, but that should not result in insults. 
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Your focus should be: everyone has made choices, I will respond with my vote based on those choices. Politics in Nigeria is inherently unbalanced, I understand. A few weeks ago, many Igbos were accused of not supporting their own when the delegates voted for non-Igbos in PDP and APC conventions. Today, most of the same people who threw those insults are now accusing the same people of being tribal for supporting Obi. 
What changed? Nothing, it is all positioning. But we can move that conversation to show civility. I have visited 93 universities in Nigeria, from Usman Danfodio Sokoto to ABU Zaria to OAU to Uniben, one thing is constant: Nigerians are actually nice people in their natural states. But demons become activated when politicians stimulate us. We must cast those demons out in 2023!
In this election, we need to grow up and focus on what matters: economy, security, social welfare, and general opportunities. Everything the candidates do should be examined within these core factors and more. Respecting the candidates will go a long way.
Refocus to economy, security, social welfare, and general opportunities. Who offers a better plan?
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Politics is a highly emotional game, we cannot wish away insults, pure distraction. It is irrelevant and inconsequential. What are the qualifications for participating in the political process? Just one: 18 years. Apart from your age, there’s no other special eligibility, yet we somewhat expect everyone to be so civil and polite; we are not fair to ourselves, and we are too delusional as a people.
Check other endeavours with similar eligibility, something like sports fans, are there less insults there? But magically, we want all people to be very nice and polite, in order to have their political opinions. We can demand such from the educated and elites, but it’s unfair to expect same from our compatriots who never had privileges of engaging in civil discourse, and with their psyches already battered and violated. We fail to give considerations to those things, but we want them to think and talk like us.
Anyone who decides on whom to vote based on what supporters of a candidate say is obviously a hypocrite and a liar, because those supporters are not on the ballot, neither did the candidate encourage them to insult people.
Peter Obi responds with candour and grace to those who insult him, so why is everyone not voting for him?

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