By Fatoumata Oumar
“Is it true that in Nigeria, if you want to be the president and you have suffered defeat more than three times and you are nearing your retirement age, you must weep in the public while taking a nomination form”? “You ask too much questions. What is the weeping for? And by the way who and who have wept and they became president”?
“It is either you are not a student of history or you are not a Nigerian. Were you not here in 2015 when Buhari wept in public when he wanted to get his presidential nomination form? Did Buhari not sob like a donkey and he used a white handkerchief to clean his eyes? His eyes were red with tears. People were patting his back and telling him to stop crying. If you did not attend that All Progressive Congress event, did you not watch it on the Television or read it in the newspapers?
Then after he wept publicly, he went ahead and picked the form. And he won the election miraculously”. “Eeehhh, just like that? What happened”?
“You see, the tears of an old man are very strong. When they drip on the floor, they have the power similar to that of an earthquake. Humans get emotional when they see an old man crying. And you know, God respects the wish of men. So, God gets emotional too. And the rest will be history”.
“Nawaaooo. Do you mean that Nigerians got emotional about Buhari’s tears and voted him into power in 2015”? “I don’t mean so. But you know, when you put your emotions first, it disrupts your reasoning and you will do some irrational things”. “Okay. You mean, Nigerians got emotional about Buhari’s tears and they became irrational and voted Buhari”? “Oh! My God, my friend, I thought that you are my friend. Why do you want to quote me, that I said…? So that they will send SSS and police after me. I am sorry, I am smarter now”.
“So, who is the next person who wept”? “My friend, you better start reading newspapers and watching TVs. We are in the age of information. Let me tell you this. Atiku Abubakar wept openly on Friday when he went to get his PDP Presidential nomination form. “But he said that young people bought the form for him”, “So you know the story and you want it to come from my mouth”, “Oh…Sorry, you can continue”.
“Atiku did exactly what Buhari did in 2015. He said exactly the same words that Buhari said while he sobbed. Things like, “Nigeria is in trouble and we must get Nigeria out of trouble”. “Ehhh. This Atiku must be a very smart guy ooo. Just because Buhari wept and he won the election miraculously, now, Atiku is weeping so that he would win the election miraculously too”.
“Yes now. You have to be smart to rule a country like Nigeria. Nigerians are very emotional people. You have to dig into the voters’ emotions. Anyhow you want to do that is okay. If you like, go naked in the market. You can go to the market and help the women sell their egusi and ogbono. You can go to a primary school classroom and sit with primary four pupils just like Aregbesoola did. You can help the women sell their roasted corn and plantain and pears by the roadside. You can help plait women’s hairs in the saloon like Okorocha and Amechi did. The most important thing is that you need to appeal to the emotions of the voters. When you are able to do that, they will forget their sorrows and vote you again”.
Na waooo. Just like that. But these Nigerians are funny people ooo. You see somebody shedding crocodile tears and you fall for that. You see someone who has not stopped by to say hi to you, just because he wants your vote, he comes to help plait your hair and you carry your vote and give him just like that”.
“Let me tell you, everything is concept. If you like, call it strategy. When something has been tested and proven, smart people would adopt it. The concept of crying in the open at the point of electoral campaigns have been tested and proven. It did not start today in Nigeria. K.O Mbadiwe of Imo State of the blessed memory was the weeping governor. He used his tears to rule his people and his people loved him. Buhari is not the first weeper. Atiku is not the second weeper. Others have wept. The difference will be that what worked for Buhari may not work for Atiku”.
“Nawaooo. Weeping is now a political strategy. There is God ooo”.
Oumar is Editor at Discover Africa News