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A book on “21 political lies in Nigeria” penned by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, to educate the electorate on the antics of politicians during elections, was on Monday in Ilorin presented to the public.
Speaking at the presentation of the book, Oyedepo said that the 21 chapter, 140 pages book was targeted mainly to educate the electorate on how to vote for candidates seeking their franchise, adding that if the electorate voted wrongly, it would live with them for another four years. He chronicled many lies told by politicians to win votes during campaigns.
Said Oeyedepo: “I sat down and examined issues through which we win election and I discovered that some of these issues may be there. They are important, but they are being manipulated to miseducate the public to put people in political authority, which at the end of the day does not augur well for the people.
“So, my motivation is borne from consideration for the people of Nigeria. The book is more to the people than the politicians. Politicians must deceive. They are like applicants. They are applying for jobs and if they should deceive people to get the job, they will do it.
“It is left for the electorate to know that we will no more tolerate the deceit. This deception that is giving us bad governance from election party to another is not the best. I want to use the book to educate the people about the lies of people in authority.
“I want the NGOs to use the book as a sensitisation manual to several people so that they will know when a politician is telling a lie”.
Pointing out that politicians would employ lie, Oyedepo stated that it was left for the electorate to identify a lie from genuine promise during campaign, just as he stated that he discussed in the book the variables that made politicians win elections in the country.
Noted he: “The variables, in fact are in existence. It is the manipulations of the variables that make them lie that is the focus of this book”.
Oyedepo said the variables that politicians turned to lies were centred on ethnicity and population, religion, money, godfatherism, community conflicts, politics of imposition, wealth and fame, docility of the electorate, poverty and nebulous federalism.
He also said the lies also include North/South political focus, violence, politics of power rotation, philanthropy, traditional institution, the rich, their children and politics, youth and politics, education, inherited fame, incumbency power and political platforms.
According to Oyedepo, the only way to defeat the political lies captured in the book was through all round sensitisation for consciousness among the electorate.
Stressed he: “This indeed is the attempt of this book. This book is to expose the lies of political actors so that they will not through the lies lead the people to the gallows all the time”.
Another APC chieftain, Malam Saliu Mustapha, who was the Chief Launcher, commended the author for his vision and efforts to document a very comprehensive account from a personal point of view.
Observed Mustapha: “Some of the issues afflict our body polity in Nigeria at the moment. I hope that this effort will be sustained.
“Against the background of the issues raised in the book, I should like to urge us all, the political class, whether ruling or opposition, to embrace a more transparent approach to winning election. This cannot be overemphasised because at the end of our endeavours, what will matter most is not the number of lies that we tell, but the number of lives that we impact.
“If we are sincere with ourselves as political elites, we will realise that it is an accumulation of the desperate lies of the political class that has brought Nigeria to its present quagmire on security and ethnic agitations.
“The task to de-escalate solely resides with us. We better get down to it, and quick, to salvage our failing sectors”.
Reviewer of the book, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, said it contained 21 chapters of the “lies” behind the winning tricks of the average Nigerian politician pointing out that politicians had unwittingly come to place the desire to win elections over and above the goal of good governance, which was the essence of democratic tenets all over the world.
Noted Alabi: “The big lies that politicians tell the gullible masses to bamboozle their way into the corridors of power in Nigeria have included blatant lies and deceits, according to the book”.
Alabi, a former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, added that politicians lied because the electorate enjoyed the lies.
Added he: “We enjoy such lies once they are in accord with our personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies and beliefs”.
The book presentation was attended by APC chieftains in Kwara and outside the state.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, who was the Chairman of the occasion, was represented by Hon. Jide Jimoh, member representing Lagos Mainland in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
In attendance also were the state APC Caretaker Chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa; Kwara APC Woman Leader, Hajia Ramat Olaide; Umaru Shaba; and Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly, Danladi Yakubu.
Others were Senator Lola Ashiru; former speakers Ezekiel Benjamin and Bio Ibrahim; Saidi Popoola; as well as APC LG chairmen and SA (Politics) to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Abdullateef Alakawa.