This election season must be the most interesting I've witnessed since I started following such elections in Nigeria, in terms of the bizarre, comedic and outrightly outrageous. The season, and everything about it for me has been, and continues to be, the gift that keeps giving. Just last night, Nigerians were treated to what is now the direct opposite of what transpired nights back when incumbent President, and All Progressives Congress, APC's Presidential Candidate, Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were Kadaria Ahmed's guests on "THE CANDIDATE". The People's Democratic Party, PDP's Presidential Candidate and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar reminded us of what an articulate President from the North of Nigeria could sound like (even in the face of an antagonistic interviewer who seemed to be saddled with the hatchet job last night), since the time of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, when he and his running mate, former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi were on last night. The case of the running mate attempting to help his principal answer questions was non-existent last night, and even in the face of provocation, they calmly held their grounds, and still managed to put their points across to teeming Nigerians, angling to know their positions and policy direction, on issues affecting Nigerians, and what they intend to do to remedy the positions. Though Atiku refused to attend the Presidential Debate organized by the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria, BON after he found that Buhari wasn't going to attend, last night afforded Nigerians the opportunity to compare and contrast between the candidates on several issues for which they had opposing views. On the campaign trail, the major candidates are engaging in penis size measuring, with the number of crowds they're able to pull at campaign rally venues, and so far the obvious includes the fact that, more people appear for such rallies in the North, than in the South. In the North, the mammoth crowd, and daredevil billboard and flood light climbers go to Buhari's rallies, while a considerable number also appears for Atiku. In the South, the crowd is more orderly but never the mammoth that's in the North for both candidates, though there are more for Atiku there. Hence, the refrain in recent times, amongst supporters of Buhari, to any question concerning the competence of their candidate is to respond by posting pictures of the mammoth crowd in the North, were Buhari enjoys a cult following. Then there were the unexpected events that fuelled speculations about Buhari's health, with several clips of him missing his steps at the rally in Kogi and falling to his seat at the rally in Kaduna both of which can easily be interpreted to mean that he's fatigued because of the heavy campaign schedule, which can be very tasking even for younger candidates. However, one thing that continues to fuel the above mentioned speculation, remains the blunders that point to some loss of ability to appreciate, time, space and location (might I add, personalities), as Buhari presented the flag of his party to the Gubernatorial Candidate of the APC in Delta State, referring to him initially as the Presidential Candidate, then corrected himself to name him Senatorial Candidate, before again getting corrected to announce him the "Governortorial" Candidate in the person of Chief Great Ogboru. APC Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole thought he had everything under control in Cross River State, and left Buhari's side to prepare the gubernatorial candidate to collect the flag from Buhari, only for Buhari to raise the hand of the man (Presidential aide, Ndoma Egba) bringing him the flag from the other side, and when he was corrected, forgot to collect the flag, raised the hand of the right person (APC's Gubernatorial Candidate, Owan Enoh), before presenting him with the "campaign flyer" with him in lieu of the flag. It didn't take long before the PDP that was all the while celebrating the misadventures of the APC before now, had a taste of their own medicine, and when it came, it was big time, though the saving grace was that it didn't involve the Presidential Candidate of their party, rather the Gubernatorial Candidate in Kebbi State. It felt like the devil who was at the receiving end of the "auzubillah minashaitan nirajeem" prayer made in Arabic, decided to shake their refuge by removing the floor under them, or in the likeliest of scenarios, exposed those saddled with the responsibility of mounting the stage as doing a very poor job at it. Before all of this, Reno Omokri of PDP's cyberspace, after entangling his main opponent on cyberspace, Tolu Ogunlesi into admitting that the voice on an audio he released was indeed, that of Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, went ahead to leak more audios of the minister casting aspersions on his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, such that Tolu Ogunlesi stopped responding to new releases, in order to curtail further spread of the damaging audio material at Reno's disposal, that became hits online after every new release, before going further to extend bans to his ever-growing list of politically antagonistic Nigerians on Twittosphere who would never let him drink from a cup and drop it in peace, who saw another opportunity in his misadventure over the Amaechi leaked tapes, to bare his arse on social media. Meanwhile, in Lagos, a flame lays asmouldering. Apparently, issues surrounding Governor Akinwunmi Ambode's inability to secure for himself, a second term ticket (after seemingly offending the powers that be, as well as the kingmaker, the tiger on whose back he rose to power), are yet to be resolved. Feelers have it that he had become aware of intentions not to fulfil to him promises made initially, for which he declined offers to pitch his tent with other parties willing to field him as gubernatorial candidate, after his party refused to field him as candidate for a second term in office, and for that reason had Lagos put on autopilot. This action has now been interpreted by the power brokers of his party, the APC in Lagos as counterproductive, for which they've instigated impeachment proceedings against him in the Lagos State House of Assembly earlier this week, accusing him of spending (many believe, even funding the opposition PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje, whose message of freeing Lagos from the grip of one man, is beginning to gain traction amongst the hapless masses) from a 2019 budget that hasn't been passed by the House. One can ascribe the protest by some "concerned Lagosians" yesterday before the House of Assembly as being that of Ambode's response, howbeit unofficial. We must wait till next week Monday, when the deadline for the Governor to respond to the allegations levelled against him expires to know what fate awaits him, as an impeachment will mean that he will not be entitled to any of the largesse that should accrue to any ex- governor of Lagos. Elsewhere outside of Lagos, Zamfara and Rivers States will not have gubernatorial and State House of Assembly candidates for those elections, respectively in March because of internal wranglings that made it difficult for them to beat the deadline for submission of candidates for the positions in the APC chapters of the affected states. This election cycle, will also be the first time, incumbent governors of states, such as Imo and Ogun States will not be supporting candidates of their party for the gubernatorial elections, while they pursue senatorial ambitions under the same party, simply because their anointed, nay preferred candidates lost out in the primaries of their states, and had defected to other parties to actualize their political dreams. Finally, in what is seen in many quarters, especially amongst the opposition, as President Buhari's desperation to hold on to power, is the recent suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen for not declaring his assets fully, just days before the Presidential Elections scheduled for the 16th of February, and most importantly before he could inaugurate the Judges to head the election tribunal panels. The speed with which the allegation was raised and fast-tracked up to the Code Of Conduct Tribunal leaves the intentions suspect also, seeing as should the result of the Presidential Elections become disputed, it is most likely that the CJN will sit in judgement over the case, at some point hence the suspicion that the president may have seen in the replacement that's Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, someone in whom some posit, he might not entertain the same fears as he would, an Onnoghen. Indeed, even as I'm writing this, new things are happening, enough to relegate this to the backwaters of history, because of the fast pace of developments politically inn Nigeria. I've just learnt that MC Oluomo (the chairman of the Oshodi chapter of the powerful National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, a close associate of the Jagaban, the mover and shaker of Lagos politics, former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu) has just returned from the US, where he'd gone for treatment following a stab wound he sustained during the flag off of the gubernatorial campaign rally of the ruling APC in Lagos, a few days back, as members of his group came under attack by another group, wielding machetes, axes and other life threatening bladed instruments. A thanksgiving "prayer" I hear, is scheduled for his successful recuperation today, and that alone is a metaphor of what Lagos, the CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE has become under a democracy, and similitude of the greater Nigerian tragedy, where it is replayed in the goons which after elections in Kwara, go on to robbing banks, and the kidnappers and militants in the southeast and Niger Delta, as well as the religious extremists in the North, amongst so many others dotting the landscape of the lie that's the country called Nigeria. 'kovich PHOTO CREDIT: - NIGERIA'S ELECTION SEASON

Published by m'khail madukovich