In the words of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister for Propaganda, “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
This philosophy, as unpatriotic and disingenuous as it is, has come to define the character of the brand of politics played by the top echelon of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Right from the electioneering campaigns, the Party has consistently peddled falsehood and made bogus claims and promises with the clear intentions to fulfil none.
Off the cuff, just any Nigerian can now recall and recite the litany of falsehood churned out by the APC to hoodwink the Nigerian masses in a bid to obtain their mandate. After promising el Dorado and deliberately lying about everything from claiming missing billions of dollars, to the existence of a phantom hit list, deaths in the elections and even the character of its government; upon its ‘success’ at the polls and faced with the burden of governance and the dossier of its phantom promises, the APC has gone on, in a brazen and ridiculous move to deny every single documented and advertised promise it made during the campaigns; pitching itself as the most unreliable political organisation in the history of Nigeria’s politics.
Consider the imprints of the APC in Rivers State right from 2012 to 2015, when the Party was in power. It was all about fables and fictions and little about the business of governance. The people of the State suffered misgovernance as a result and the difference was clear between the same government working as PDP, prior to the defection, and as APC, upon the defection. The Party left nothing but false claims as its legacy for the people of Rivers State. It was so bad that as a people we swallowed the shifting dates of the delivery of the utopian monorail that has come to define the APC as not just wasteful but a Party lacking in capacity to deliver on governance.
Today another story is being told by the APC about electoral violence and killings in Rivers State, which upon close observation are linked to the Party itself. But it is blaming others. It has held a so-called Black Day to reinforce the narrative of falsehood. But it has clearly failed to establish the veracity of its various spurious claims. The Party believes that if it keeps claiming being victimised by the ruling Party in the State and churning out big lies in cahoots with media as we saw recently with the propaganda material published by The Nation Newspaper on December 1, 2015, claiming an attack by gunmen on a rally and the burning of 10 buses that never happened, it would become true that they happened and on that basis as advanced by former Senator Wilson Ake, invite the visitation of Armageddon by the Federal forces on the peace-loving people of Rivers State.
The presumption that falsehood told repeatedly, especially when horrendous and humongous, takes the shape of truth fails the test of credibility when measured against the backdrop of the eventual consequences of such misleading practice. To accept that falsehood takes the shape of truth is to infer that truth is not reality and that in fact, it is anything that is believed, and that, in itself, is a dangerous conclusion and the height of grand delusion, which understandably members of the APC are accustomed to already.
Politicking on the strength of falsehood negates the credentials for administering governance on the strength of truth, equity and justice. It is the very reason, the Party is burdened with the challenge of delivering on governance. It lacks the capacity. That character is alien to it. It is poorly prepared and self-inflicted by lame inadequacies.
The Party, is yet to realise that although politics and governance may seem Siamese twins but unlike politics, governance is about results that impact positively on the lives of the people and has no bearing with fables, fiction and falsehood. And this is where propaganda will fail to do the magic.
It is heartwarming to see that in spite of the gamut of misinformation and black lies being peddled by the APC, the People of Rivers State have shown themselves to be more enlightened on issues, making it consistently futile for the APC to gain a stranglehold of their consciousness and political space.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.