Comical political posters mock crowded presidential race

Comical political posters mock crowded presidential race

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Not only Nigerians in Nigeria are aware that the general elections will be held next year. Many Nigerians abroad and non-Nigerians alike are also aware especially with the several political heavyweights desiring to toss their hats into the ring for the exalted number one seat.

There are aspirants wishing to contest the presidency on the platforms of many political parties including that of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition party, the People’s Democratic party.

But one thing is clear: the presidential race has shown to be crowded with several individuals indicating interest amid a poor economy, worsening insecurity and mutual distrust among ethnic groups.

Nigerians, especially some youths, appear to be mocking the crowded presidential race by making declarations to contest the presidency through posters. The posters from the presidential pretenders who obviously aren’t contenders have gripped the internet.

Funnily enough, the pretenders don’t belong to any political parties and obviously have not bought forms to indicate interest to vie for presidency. They are merely catching fun. Most of them coined names of political parties and used the logo of known parties. The posters are mainly on the internet and bear ridiculously funny electoral promises.

The clownish posters

A popular Nollywood in the Yoruba genre, Olaniyi Afonja otherwise called ‘Sanyeri’ was caricatured as one of those eyeing the presidency in 2023. A poster depicting his alleged aspiration obviously designed by some mischief-makers has graced the internet.

Sanyeri was dressed in a funny way in the picture. used for his political poster. He had a fitted grey suit on with a bowtie.

The poster indicated that the comedy actor would be contesting the presidency on the platform of the APC. However, the motto adopted for his own brand of APC is ‘Patience for Action,’ different from that of the ruling political party.

Apart from Sanyeri’s poster, there are others promoting the ambitions of other political pretenders on social media who purportedly desire to take over from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in 2023.

One of them is Collins Eke, believed to have posted his political poster on Twitter. The poster parades his picture and a political party, Democratic People’s Daddies, with the acronym DPD. The political party imbibes colour of the opposition PDP and uses its umbrella logo.

Eke in the poster indicated his ambition to contest the 2023 presidency and added www.collinseke4president.org as his website.

Another comedian identified only as Israel made many electoral promises in a poster comically announcing his ambition to contest the presidency next year.

His picture, cartooned on the poster, uses a peach-coloured background. In the picture, he wore a green suit, a white shirt with a green and white tie depicting colours of the Nigerian flag.

In the poster, he announced his political party as APD but there was no full meaning.

As part of his campaign promises, Israel promised to cancel hellfire, provide soul mates for singles, embezzle with discretion, provide 24/7 power supply, and legalise the beating of debtors.

He added, “Join us in creating a better country, so we can sell this one.” The poster shows a motto, stating, ‘robbing hood, steal from the poor and give to…… wait, that doesn’t sound right.’

The witty poster captures the diverse ones designed by the humorous youths to mimic the 2023 presidency now parading many aspirants. In fact, it’s appearing like a race for every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

In a tweet by one Asiwaju Lerry, he declared his ambition to contest the presidency.

He stated, “Fellow Nigerians, you called and I have answered. As a patriotic citizen, it is my obligation to help this country rise from its disarray. Which is why today, I declare my ambition to contest as the worthy candidate for the coming presidential election”

Asiwaju didn’t use a poster to announce his political ambition; rather he posted his picture alongside his amusing declaration speech.

Another political pretender, one Franklin Ikemefune, made his declaration to vie for the presidency on Twitter. The poster he pasted on his Twitter handle no political party but showed a motto.

Ikemefune declared contesting not only to contest the presidency but also for Gambia & part of the English-speaking part of Cameroon.’’

In a tweet, he wrote, “Fellow Nigerians, I’ve decided to heed your call. I hereby announce my intention to run as president of Nigeria, Gambia & the English-speaking part of Cameroon at the 2023 general elections”

He urged his followers to kindly retweet his tweet as his voters might be on their Twitter list so that he wouldn’t lose votes.

The comical pretender added his electoral promise, “We’re already broke, there’s nothing left for me to steal. Vote for me, let’s attempt to make these countries great again or kuku sell them.’’

On her part, a United States of America-based Nigerian, Bolajoko Adedoyin, joined the fray by pasting on her Facebook a poster announcing her ambition to contest elections in 2023.

Her posters are particularly funny going by her amusing desire to contest the presidency in 2023 or unseat the governors of either Ogun or Lagos states on the platform of the APC. She also jokingly indicated interest to contest a senatorial seat in either Lagos-West or Ogun-West.

Adedoyin promised many things if elected into any of her desired political posts. She promised to pay women N30,000 every month, make petrol and diesel sell for N10 and N15 per litre respectively, make transportation free, ensure Nigerian students receive N5,000 daily for food among other ludicrous promises in a country where politicians only make promises without delivering on them.

The poster bearing her dressed beautifully in a native attire also adds, “serving the nation, you chop I chop iyalaya anybody.”

In another vein, a tweep, Amaka Abara, pasted her political poster indicating her desire to contest the presidency in 2023.

The poster has a green and white background and a picture of her standing behind a podium with microphones fixed to it. The name of her coined political party is IPC; an acronym for Independent Presidential Candidate.

In the tweet, she said, “My fellow compatriots on this Zucker-Street, home and abroad, join me your fellow Youth to change the current zoological nomenclature.’’

Another tweep, Smithie identified as Alhaji Beardless Smallie tweeted a poster portraying the colour of the Nigerian flag as background. The name of his purported political party is Progressive Violence Congress with fire in the middle of the logo.

The tweep said he saw a new Nigeria full of beards, asserting that Nigeria must be great again in 2023. He wrote on the  poster, “Vote Alhaji Beardless Smallie for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’

Psychologists, others speak

Commenting on what could make youths to mimic presidential contests through amusing posters and electoral promises, a psychologist, Prof.  Oni Fagboungbe, said people who engage in such do that to express themselves.

Fagboungbe said, “As far as I am concerned, different people will have different information, opinions, and perceptions about the contestants. But using clowning posters or pictures is a way of expressing their agreement or disagreement with the contestants.

“I don’t use a poster to express my opinion. But I can say look at this minister who could not do this, you just have a portfolio in ministry, you cannot use it perfectively. You then want to rule the whole of Nigeria. It’s not for unserious minded people like you. That’s how I make my remark.’’

He added that it was expected that people would have their opinions and perceptions about the contestants. The don said, “It’s a way of expressing acceptance or rejection. When a picture of something like that is put out there, whoever puts it there is trying to ridicule that particular contestant. It’s done everywhere except whatever we want to do in Nigeria, we tend to overdo it.”

Also, another psychologist at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. Peter Olapegba, said that people now expressed themselves using technology as a means of disseminating information.

Olapegba said, “Making cartoons, posters and all that are not strange, people do that to pass across messages to let society know what they feel. At times, they make cartoons or posters of issues that are important to society or important to individuals.

“Probably the reason why we have an increase in the rate at which people do this now is because people have access to technology like never before and with the smallest Android phone you can do all manner of things. People now have access to many things that can be used. They are more knowledgeable on how to use this to be permissive, and maybe that’s why we are having an increase in the rate at which people are doing such things.”

He noted that the reason for the development could be because of the importance of the 2023 presidential election.

The lecturer said, “It’s important because since the last seven years people have been saying all manner of things and they will want to pass across their message in terms of probably judging the ruling party and even the opposition parties.

“People take cartoons to newspapers and television stations in terms of passing across their views, frustrations and all that. They are using this as a form of information dissemination to let the leaders know what they feel like; to let them know how they judge them and what they think they have to offer and all of that.

“At times, psychologically, it could just be to let out their frustrations. People are frustrated. There are many things they think are not going on right and they have this pent-up frustration and anger within them. There’s what we call catharsis; it’s an avenue to let out some of the aggression that has built up inside of them. Basically, people are just expressing themselves in terms of whether they agree with a candidate or whether or not they agree with what the government is doing. People are using the avenue in a way to express what they feel about the ruling party, politicians, and even the opposition parties.’’

On his part, the Vice Chancellor of Babcock University, Prof.  Ademola Tayo, in an interview with our correspondent condemned the action and noted that Nigeria needed capable hands at this time.

He said, “Those who are declaring ambitions indiscriminately are obviously not prepared for the task ahead. For them, it’s all to joke about. However, this time that Nigeria is, the country needs someone with proven experience, someone who has been tested and trusted, someone who’ll lift Nigeria from the shackles of insecurity, economic instability, hunger and poverty.

“Only someone with proven experience can make this urgent intervention that the country needs and not just some children who have yet to understand how governance works. Nigeria really needs capable hands.’’

Asked if the memes’ declarations to contest the presidency were provoked by poor governance shown by the ruling party, the VC said, “I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say that at all. There are different declarations all around and we’d just count it as one. And like I rightly said, at this time when the country is going through a challenging time, it sure needs capable hands to paddle its course to the Promised Land.’’

In his contribution, a former member of the House of Representatives, Dr Ehiogie West-Idahosa, said he was not sure citizens believed in the Office of the President since it had not been able to solve their many problems.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria added that the mockery of the contest for presidency reflected a vote of no confidence in the presidency by the electorate.

West-Idahosa said, “It also suggests that they don’t take that post seriously and that’s because the office itself has not shown commitment to national development. Let’s see, I hope that by 2023 we will take the office more seriously.”

He stated that some who felt that the best way to express their dissatisfaction with the presidential race was through the caricature posters seen on the internet.

“It’s a way of saying do we have a president. Is the office of the president still needed? I think the office of the President is important and we do have a President but maybe he is not measuring up to expectations. My advice to them is instead of putting caricatures, they should take a look at the aspirants that are taking forms now in the two major political parties and see which of them has the qualities to be the President of our country,” he added.

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