A former chairperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State, Iyiola Oyedepo, has said his book on “21 political lies in Nigeria” is to educate the electorate on the antics of politicians during elections.
Mr Oyedepo said this on Monday in Ilorin while speaking at the presentation of the book.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 140-page book with 21 chapters chronicled many lies told by politicians to win votes during campaigns.
According to him, the book is targeted mainly to educate the electorate on how to vote for candidates seeking their franchise, adding that if the electorate votes wrongly, it will live with them for another four years.
“I sat down and examined issues through which we win elections and I discovered that some of these issues may be there, they are important, but they are being manipulated to mis-educate 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 one election 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 and a sensitisation manual to several people so that they will know when a politician is telling a lie,” Mr Oyedepo said.
He said politicians would employ lies, adding that it was left for the electorate to identify a lie from genuine promise during the campaign.
Mr Oyedepo said what he discussed in the book were the variables that made politicians win elections in the country.
“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,” he explained.
Mr 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 institutions, the rich, their children and politics, youth and politics, education, inherited fame, incumbency power and political platforms.
According to Mr Oyedepo, the only way to defeat the political lies captured in the book was through all round sensitisation for consciousness among the electorate.
“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,” said the author.
APC chieftain, Saliu Mustapha, who was chief launcher, commended Mr Oyedepo for his vision and efforts to document a very comprehensive account from a personal point of view.
“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 would like to urge us all, the political class, whether ruling or opposition to embrace a more transparent approach to winning elections.
“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 quickly, to salvage our failing sectors,” Mr Mustapha said.
Reviewer of the book, Mojeed Alabi, a professor, said the book contained 21 chapters of the “lies” behind the winning tricks of the average Nigerian politician.
He said politicians have 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.
“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,” he said.
Mr Alabi, a former speaker of Osun House of Assembly, added that politicians lie because the electorate enjoy the lies.
“We enjoy such lies once they are in accord with our personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies and beliefs,” he added.
The book presentation was attended by APC chieftains in Kwara and outside the state.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who was the chair of the occasion, was represented by Jide Jimoh, a member of the House of Representatives.
Also in attendance were the state APC Caretaker Chairperson, Bashir Bolarinwa; Kwara APC Women Leader, Ramat Olaide; Umaru Shaba, and Speaker Kwara House of Assembly, Danladi Yakubu.
Others were Lola Ashiru, former speakers Ezekiel Benjamin, Bio Ibrahim, Saidi Popoola and Abdullateef Alakawa, an aide to the Kwara governor.
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