A traditional prime minister in Rivers State has described as deception, the performances put up by some political office seekers in a bid to galvanize the electorate to vote for them in the forth-coming general elections.
Dr. Tony A. Chuku, of Woji Kingdom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state described the action of dining and wining with the down trodden, less privileged and vulnerable by candidates of political parties, only during electioneering as fake, adding that it was a ploy to play on the psych of the people.
This unusual romance is often seen during election campaigns. In some cases, you see male political office seekers with their entourage in saloons, braiding women’s hairs.
Some are captured in photographs playing or eating with primary school children from plastic plates. There are those who visit market places, carry traders’ goods on their head, while some visit corn sellers stand to eat corn.
In Rivers, some gubernatorial candidates have also put up some unusual acts, such as, carrying children, dishing and serving food to a congregation, paddling canon, learning with school children in the classroom, among others, which depicts kindness, but the concern as expressed by Chuku is the question of what happens after the election.
In an exclusive interview, he told TNN that “it’s clear deception, people playing to the gallery, want to play on people’s intelligence, it’s all fake, nothing real about it.
“There’s this saying that what you are is what people say behind you and not necessarily what they say in your presence. Things you were not doing before now, you want to pretend doing them; dining with the poor, just because you want to attract public sympathy so that they will vote for you. When you arrive there, will you come down to this level to do the same thing, the answer is no?”
The Woji traditional leader explained that, “there are other ways you can win the sympathy, the hearts of people, part of it is your antecedence, what you did when you were nobody, those are the things people will count; the number of people who turns round and smile when your name is been mentioned in a place, that is how you can win the hearts of people, you understand?
“Dining and wining with the down trodden, less privileged and vulnerable, particularly the political office seekers during electioneering, amounts to deception. They are just playing to the gallery. If I may ask, how many of them will do that after being elected? Besides, some of them contested election in the past and won, did they do this, before or after the polls?
“What they are doing now is fake, a ploy to play on the psych of the people. If they are Men and women of honour and good conscience, they should tell us what their programs and manifestos are and how to achieve them; we will also judge them by their pedigree and antecedent. A Man’s life, according to a philosopher, is measured not by the fluent English, wealthy life style and well starched clothes, but by the number of faces who smile when his name is mentioned.”
“For me, another way you can demonstrate this thing, not just reducing yourself to the level of a comedian, acting it, any serious minded politician, in addition to what you have done, your past good deeds, you have to go down to the people, explain your programs to them, not you are a candidate yet have nothing to offer, go and tell them, and then ask them to use these words against you if you eventually emerge, that is what I think should be done.”
The prime minister went further to advise the electorate ahead of the general election: “My advice to electorates is that they have to be responsible enough, this time around our votes counts.
“Do not be bothered what others will do, satisfy your conscience that you have voted somebody that you are convinced if he emerges will represent you well, so, be responsible in casting your votes, start with doing a total evaluation of the persons who are running for a particular office, what you know about them, and what they have told you before you cast your votes.
“Do not be involved in band wagon, do not vote because this person is your person, but vote according to your conscience, with that conviction that this person will give you that quality representation, if we do so, we will get there.”