Propaganda is an abstract vehicle through which a government, church, organisation or even an individual could disseminate whatever piece of information it desires to place at the disposal of her citizens, members or intended customers. Propaganda also serves as a veritable instrument of intellectual enlightenment and enrichment. A propaganda item is, therefore, synonymous with verifiable and quantifiable piece of information. The world over, governments use the instrumentality of propaganda to sensitise and mobilise their citizenry to imbibe, uphold and sustain their national code of ethics, ideology or even to be prepared for any national eventuality, such as draught, flood or even territorial threats.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain made effective use of propaganda during the Second World War of 1941 – 1945, to rally round both British and Allied forces in order to defeat a rampaging inordinately ambitious Nazi Army that was led by Adolf Hitler of Germany.
One indisputably essential ingredient of propaganda is veracity. Since propaganda is basically aimed at informing, enlightening and enriching, it must, of necessity, be based on facts and truth. Any attempt that is made to dish out any piece of information that is laced with falsehood automatically renders such piece preposterous and, therefore, deceitful. Of course, any organisation or group that deliberately sets out to deceive members of the public surely is at variance with the tenets of leadership.
For reasons no sane man can comprehend, some morally bankrupt, disgruntled and ever frustrated political pipsqueaks have kept themselves fruitlessly busy churning out one falsehood or another in God’s own state of Abia. There is no lie they do not unrewardingly endeavour to concoct. Their stock in trade has been to deceive their audience, who are not conversant with goings-on in Abia state to believe that for the eight years he is about rounding off, Governor T. A. Orji will be leaving the state ‘without any record of achievements’. Yet, chief T. A. Orji’s achievements speak volumes. If elections were to be worn on the basis of perjury, the rag-tag opposition that indecorously hibernates in Abia State would come next to none but unfortunately and sorrowfully, elections can only be worn based on content, context and mass appeal.
In a civilized political clime like Abia State, what the electorate should be expecting to hear from any political party or politician that is worth its or his salt at this time, when general elections are less than two months to be conducted, is what the party or individual intends doing in other to accelerate the economic, social and political growth and development of the state. The morality of this expectation becomes more compelling now that Nigeria is confronted with a lot of challenges arising from the state of its economy. With a consistently dwindling revenue from the oil and gas sector, which accounts for about seventy-five percent of the country’s income, any group or person that is aspiring towards the leadership of this state should be one that, by now, is very busy thinking of how to place the state in such a stable economic position that will be capable of stimulating economic vibrancy. Any politician that has any meaningful service to render to Abia people, using the 2015 general elections, can not afford any time to waste on frivolities.
On 8th December, 2014, the People’s Democratic Party in Abia State conducted its governorship primary election in a manner that gave every contestant a level-playing ground. Each aspirant had enough access to both statutory and adhoc delegates that participated in the said election. As God had already ordained it, the delegates to the election voted overwhelmingly for Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu as their choice for Abia governorship come 2015. Except for the insatiable, that election remains one of the freest, fairest and most credible elections, both in process and conduct, in the annals of elections in Nigeria. Everything about that election was purely transparent and legitimately consummated and was, therefore, flawless. The most beautiful and significant aspect of the outcome of the election was its combination of equity and competence to give the good people of Abia state what they really deserve.
As soon as Dr. Victor Ikpeazu emerged the victor in that very keenly contested election, the first reaction of the few that would never see anything good in Abia state was to go to town with the unplausible insinuation that Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu was not experienced in government enough to be the helmsman of the state. It later dawned on them that an erudite academic who got admitted into a Nigerian university at the tender age of sixteen, obtained his doctorate degree in his chosen field of environmental sciences just before clocking thirty and had consistently been in the executive arm of government, both at the local government and state levels for about fourteen years, can not be said to be inexperienced. Like birds that have no nest to perch upon, the opposition to democracy in Abia State has resorted to flying cacophonously as if their engine has lost its carburretor. They have, again in vanity, decided to condescend to the lowest level of animalistic reasoning. Having realized that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s profile is a clear manifestation of experience, in and out of government, they have formulated another lie only in their determination to deceive the Abia electorate.
Their latest sing-song is that Dr. Ikpeazu ‘failed to pay his tax as and when due’. To them, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu; ‘the Governor in the waiting’, should not be allowed to fly the flag of the Party as, in their fantasy of unrealistic imagination, his governorship would be vulnerable to a cheap judicial knock-out on the simple reason of irregularity in tax payment.
This shameless thinking on the part of the opposition in Abia state, which, to the consternation of the majority of elites in the state, includes one of the unsuccessful governorship aspirants on the platform of P.D.P. who comes from the same Obingwa Local Government Area from where Dr Ikpeazu hails, is not only ludicrous but an unpardonable dethronement of reason. Why on earth must a human being ever contemplate that a public officer, whose taxes are unnegotiably deducted at source, failed to pay his or her tax as timely as appropriate?
Dr Ikpeazu had, until his recent resignation, been consistent in Abia public service for a reasonable length of time. Each month he received his salary, he also paid his tax under the well known and cherished public officers’ tax system of pay as you earn, PAYE. By Gods grace and the collective will of the electorate, Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu will be the governor of Abia state come may 29, 2015 and no court of competent jurisdiction would found him lacking in any material particular because he has no skeleton in his cupboard.
• Ubani is an Abia based political analyst and commentator