It’s the World Cup in a few days and while Nigeria won’t be taking part, there are no hard feelings as there’s enough drama at home to keep us occupied. With things getting intense ahead of the 2023 elections, we’ve seen presidential candidates buckle under pressure with twists and slips.
Being the troublemakers that we are, we’ve compiled the top four embarrassing moments of the presidential campaigns so far.
Atiku has his “emi lokan” moment
We start with the unifier. Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), had his first major gaffe at an interactive session on October 14, 2022. Addressing the Arewa Joint Committee, Atiku was asked what his plans were for the North.
We should have known he was up to no good when he turned up in sneakers. He took the mic, and the words that came from his mouth were in stark contrast to his goal of unifying Nigerians.
His words: “I think what the average northerner needs is someone who is from the North, and who also understands the other parts of Nigeria, and who has been able to build bridges across the rest of the country. This is what the northerner needs. He doesn’t need a Yoruba candidate, or an Igbo candidate. This is what the northerner needs.”
Nigerians had interesting reactions to this online.
BAT loves bad things
Bola Tinubu (BAT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is no stranger to controversies. If anything, he delights in them. At a summit in Kaduna, around the same time Atiku was pulling his “emi lokan” stunt, BAT reminded us that he’s the true king of comical errors.
In what was supposed to be a compliment to Nasir El-Rufai, BAT still found a way to throw a jab at him. He said: “I’m begging Nasiru El-Rufai not to run away for (an) additional degree. Your vision, creativity and resiliency in turning a rotten situation into a bad one is necessary at this critical time.”
His spokesman called it a “slip of tongue”. But as you’ll find out soon, that would be one of several slips to come.
Obi and his unverifiable facts
Peter Obi (The Rock) of the Labour Party (LP) has no doubt captured a lot of supporters, building his Obidient army. And if there’s anything he is famous for, it is quoting statistics to back up his claims. However, not all rocks are solid, as Obi has shown us.
His most prominent gaffe came in an interview on Channels TV. On July 25, 2022, he claimed that of the 150 players playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), almost 100 are Nigerians.
You know how Obi always says “Go and verify”? Well, fact-checkers did and they found his claim to be untrue. Turns out that among the 109 international players registered for the league’s 2021-2022 season, only five — and not “almost 100” — are from Nigeria.
The BAT strikes again
BAT’s most recent gaffe places him head and shoulders above the presidential pack. At a rally on November 15, 2022, in Plateau state, the BAT lost track of his own political party when he asked God to “bless the PDAPC”. We checked, and there’s no party by that name.
Naturally, we have questions.
And a winner.
Are there any other moments you think we left out? Let us know in the comments.