2023 Presidential election most divisive in Nigeria's history - Shettima - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

2023 Presidential election most divisive in Nigeria's history - Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima, has described the last presidential election as the most divisive in the nation's history.

Speaking at the unveiling of the book 'Beating All Odds: Diaries and Essays on How Bola Tinubu Became President,' Shettima emphasized the pivotal role of courageous truth-tellers amidst a tumultuous sea of misinformation and political maneuvering.

The event, brought together a constellation of political dignitaries, media figures, and civil society members.

In his address, Shettima praised the book's author, Sam Omatseye, for his courage and intellectual prowess in documenting a pivotal moment in Nigeria's democratic journey.

Shettima said, "turning words into memorable sentences is a singular talent. The soldier we honour today exemplifies these qualities and more. He stands as a courageous sentinel for history, transcending the mission of those who shy away from truth, even in the most uncomfortable places and under challenging circumstances. 

"Nigerians need more men of courage, and today's honoree is a symbol of that. I hope this marks the beginning of a renewed dedication to integrity and our resolve to choose truth over lies. 

"The last election was the most divisive in our nation's history, with ethno-religious fault lines manipulated for political ends. 

"However, it is heartening to see that in many instances, the expected outcomes were overturned, demonstrating that what binds us is stronger than what divides us. This book is a record of the signs and miracles of our journey to this height."

The Vice President emphasized Tinubu's adeptness in cultivating relationships, which played a significant role during the elections.

His speech also shed light on the rise of a new generation of writers and bloggers in the aftermath of the election. 

He pointed out that instead of advocating for the marginalized, they chose to engage in political fantasies and fiction.

He warned about the perils of misleading narratives and called for a return to integrity and truth in journalism. 

Highlighting the unity displayed during the elections, Shettima underscored the importance of the book in presenting an alternative narrative to the propaganda that overshadowed the election period.. 

He continued, "We recognize the power of the pen and its influence on politics and society. The author we celebrate today has deployed logic and intellect to present the truth, standing firm against falsehoods and machinations. 

"Some journalists present today, whose names I will withhold to avoid embarrassment, are of the Christian faith, yet they were some of the most ardent proponents of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's candidacy. This shows that we are not defined by a single narrative."

In his reflection, the Vice President further stated that Omatseye offers a three-dimensional perspective on Nigeria under President Tinubu, meticulously documenting both the public and private aspects of the political landscape.

He mentioned that the author's diary entries from August 2022 provide a sharp insight into the implosion of the main political opposition and the struggle against a 'vote against all odds' campaign.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio echoed the Vice President's sentiments, emphasizing the book's portrayal of hope and the indomitable Nigerian spirit.

"This book is not just a testimony of the indomitable spirit of one man but represents a beacon of hope and resilience for our entire nation.

"We were all witnesses to the journey of this great man we popularly called Asiwaju; starting from the primaries to full conclusion of the electoral journey in 2023," Akpabio remarked. 

He urged all Nigerians and government authorities to support the President as he navigates the governance phase, emphasizing the importance of national duty and perseverance.

The book reviewer, Louis Odion, a former senior technical adviser to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, lauded Omatseye's authoritative narrative. 

He stated that the book offers a unique insight into Nigeria's political climate, enriched by the author's extensive knowledge and experience.

"Sam writes with authority as a senior editor with a vast network of contacts in high places," Odion remarked, commending the author's profound experience and knowledge.

He recommended the book to those seeking a deeper understanding of the country's political crossroads.

Omatseye himself, the Chairman  of the Editorial Board of The Nation Newspaper, spoke of his work.

He stated that the book provides an account and context for one of Nigeria's most tumultuous election seasons, an assertion underscored by the presence of a diverse audience that included political dignitaries, media personalities, and members of civil societies.

The occasion, chaired by Chief Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun state, not only celebrated the literary contribution of Sam Omatseye but also served as a reflection on the country's journey towards truth and integrity. 

According to the former governor, the unveiling of the book is more than a celebration of a narrative; it is a call to the nation to unite behind a shared vision of progress that transcends past divisions and advocates for integrity and truth in the Nigerian story.

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