Yesterday in Abeokuta; the capital of Ogun State, President Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Adams Oshiomhole and their presidential and party entourage were booed with shouts of “ole, ole, ole!” and also stoned by the crowd at the Ogun State presidential campaign rally of the APC. Seeing the visuals last night on Channels Television, I felt both sorry and pity for Governor Amosun as he kept begging the people not to embarrass him in front of their father (President Muhammadu Buhari). Perhaps the President may have been hit if those DSS officials (as seen in the attached picture) did not promptly form a human wall in front of him – and others.

And like wildfire, the social and mainstream media were awashed with the news and many people (especially PDP supporters and sympathizers) were/are happy this happened. While this behavior in Abeokuta once again proves that Nigerians are now politically ‘woke’, conscious and can no longer be taken for granted by a thieving and lying political class as they’ve done since 1999, we must all condemn this behavior because the President of Nigeria does not deserve to be so treated – no matter the reason and the anger. We must not allow partisanship make us forget social etiquettes or lose our senses of reverence to the Office of the President.

But like they say, karma is a bitch. Some of us promptly remembered that during one of his reelection campaigns, the immediate past president (GEJ) was viciously abused and stoned in Katsina and Bauchi states by some youths chanting “Sai Buhari” and “Sai baba” – but the APC; the main opposition party at the time, failed to condemn that action. Instead, it used that shameful event as a campaign profit and told the world that the Nigerian president was abused and stoned because the people have rejected him and his party; the PDP.

Except my memory is no longer as sharp as I know it to be, even candidate Muhammadu Buhari did not condemn those attacks, particularly the one that occurred in his home state of Katsina – and today, he is the main beneficiary of that senselessness. But yesterday, that same senseless thunder and lightning decided to strike again but this time, the APC and now President Muhammadu Buhari were at the receiving end. Can we then say, like the APC said in 2015, that the people have also rejected President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC in 2019 like they stoned and rejected GEJ and PDP in 2015? Can we then say the thunder of defeat of PMB is doing press-up and waiting for Saturday’s action?

And instead of building political and electoral capital with this regrettable and disgraceful incidence like the APC and Gen. Buhari did in 2015, I expect Triple A (Alhaji Atiku Abubabar) and the PDP to condemn the stoning of the President in Abeokuta. Doing this is important so that it would not happen again. Every Nigerian, no matter one’s political party or political sympathy must respect the Office of the President (and the individual) and must hence condemn the stoning of President Muhammadu Buhari in Ogun State because we do not want this to become a tradition. In a democracy, the constitutional, legal and generally acceptable way to express discontents with political leaders is to vote them out during elections or recall/impeach them. For some of us to stone the President while others are clapping for the ‘stoners’ is a new low for us as a people.

© Chad Otsapa