From newspaper stands to Twitter accounts and television programme across the country, the arguments between president Muhammadu Buhari’s supporters and former president Goodluck Jonathan’s continues to be very volatile and seemingly endless.
Although campaigns run largely on funds provided by godfathers, political aspirants and officeholders strive hard to build a strong supporters’ base who can sustain their interest against critics and often, function as ‘attacks dogs’ on their behalf.
It has been three years since President Buhari defeated the incumbent Jonathan in a general election, yet it appears the country is still in a campaign mode.
Supporters of both men continuously attempt to prove that each side’s principal is the better leader while castigating the other.
Mudslinging is now the order of the day, where Jonathan’s supporters and Buhari’s supporters, direct insensitive words and comments to each other.
The vitriol from both parties in the buildup to the 2015 elections has refused to go away, even as Jonathan’s political party, PDP, struggles to position itself as a credible opposition.
Critics of the Buhari administration have a point in suggesting that as a presidential candidate, the man at the helms of affairs had ideas on how to curb the insecurity issue in Nigeria, for example; only to become president and become hapless on the rampaging Fulani herdsmen.
The recent statement by the media assistant to the president Femi Adesina that herdsmen killed over 700 people while Jonathan was in power was an example of the buck-passing that carries on today. It echoes of GEJ’s aides who claimed that Boko Haram was a political move by opponents to distract his administration.
Therefore, it is not hard to draw a parallel between supporters of both men, who are for all intent and purposes, only care about catering to their base.
As 2019 approaches, Nigerians will debate the merits and demerits of this administration, and determine if President Buhari deserves a second term. Thus far, his 2015 mantra of belonging to everybody and to no one has not entirely held true- the same can be said for his supporters who often masquerade party loyalty for patriotism.
In the same vein, supporters of President Jonathan- who has been criticised worldwide for his less-than-ideal tenure- who still see him as a viable candidate against Buhari makes it clear that both sides are one of a kind.