Few days left to the presidential debate in Enugu-Ngwo in preparation for the Town Union elections, the campaigns have intensified drastically, occasionally accompanied by mudslinging and name calling.
Candidates have formed party-like groups moving in pairs to various families during their monthly meetings to solicit for votes and sell their political machadise. Various social gathering and spots, including beer pubs, fellowship assembly and sports viewing centres have also been busy with the activities of contestants seeking audience with the likely voters.
But as the day to the debate draws nigh and election is just around the corner, every political observer would have perceived that the campaigns have gradually moved from vote conversing to that of politics of smear.
Some candidates have embarked on a smear campaign to discredit others with misrepresentation, deliberate falsification and even unclothed lies.
Noteworthy is the laughable attempt at the disparaging of some contestants with the accusation of sleeping with a middle-aged married woman and illegally disposing of landed property. This conveyor of calumny goes from one family to the other and from one gathering to another brandishing uncorrelated letters from a certain law firm to anyone he sees.
The motive of the political smearing becomes more suspicious when one takes into cognisance of the fact that the electoral committee did publish a notice for members of the public to write a petition within 14 days of the publication against anyone of the contestants found to be of questionable character. Yet not one person came forward until the window of petition closed after opening for 14 days spanning September 2 to September 16. And then commenced the smear propaganda seemingly aimed at ridiculing other political opponents.
Ironically most other contestants are focused on discrediting the outgoing adminstration and its projects without even proffering solutions of thier own. It is so easy to judge one’s action when one has not be given any task on which to be judged. And the easiest thing for any political adversary to do is criticise an ongoing administration with falsehood and obfuscation of facts.
Perhaps there has never been a more heated political campaign in Enugu-Ngwo as this. Maybe this could be alluded to the administration that is sought to be replaced or the fraction between the community’s local political players.
But the message in the campaign especially for the PG aspirants should be themed around taking the community forward and building on existing legacy.
But unfortunately, some clever political players are building on the superstitions and bias already at the grassroots and exploiting it for their own selfish polical gains. The campaign of unfounded propaganda, falsehood and character assassination have the capacity to rise beyond personal tragedy and political differences into a communal problem if its wings are not clipped in time.