This is Zikoko Citizen’s Game of Votes weekly dispatch that helps you dig into all the good, bad, and extremely bizarre stuff happening in Nigeria and why they’re important to you.
Subscribe now to get the newsletter in your email inbox at 8 am every Friday instead of three days later. Don’t be LASTMA.
It must not be easy to be Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2022. When he won his presidential ticket in June, he signed up for a world of public scrutiny so intense it can power Nigeria’s erratic national grid.
Journalists, political rivals and even random 12-year-olds with an internet connection have poked and prodded into his life.
This isn’t a bad thing — the scrutiny is necessary for anyone auditioning for Nigeria’s highest political office. It’s not when you’ve already elected someone into office you want to find out they’re medically unfit, love eating semo or used to sell drugs.
In Tinubu’s case, he’s made the job pretty easy for his haters by running a campaign so chaotic in its messaging and frightening in its prospects. Even before he won the ticket, he pissed everyone off with his infamous “emi lokan” rant and his unending stream of public slips of the tongue has made him a fertile target for online ridicule. But one of the candidate’s biggest burdens is his unresolved shady past threatening to blow up his campaign.
This week, a former Cross River State governor, Donald Duke, complained that the Tinubu campaign has been using a picture of him as a young boy to represent the former Lagos State governor. The controversial documentary about the life and times of Tinubu first aired in June and implied the dashing young boy was a younger version of the candidate who says he’s now 70.
We need the wisdom of King Solomon to settle this one
This would be considered an honest mistake for any other candidate. But for Tinubu, it’s just the latest issue to cast uncertainty over his real identity, especially with the many hazy details about his past.
Tinubu has had many allegations thrown his way, from his dodgy academic credentials to his unclear employment records and even his political legacy. It’s an absolute miracle his campaign is still standing largely unharmed, but is there a point where his nine lives run out?
What else happened this week?
Make Air Travel Great Again (MATGA)
Using Nigerian airlines comes with some pretty heavy baggage, starting from when you arrive at the airports. If it’s not the bambiala officials, it’s the annoying queues, the announcer’s confusing accent, overpriced food, and security officials touching you anyhow in the name of inspection.
It’s a very long list of discomforting issues, but all of these don’t even compare to the moment you find out your flight is delayed or, even worse, cancelled. It’s a vicious cycle of feeling you’re on your own and not getting your money’s worth.
If you’re one of the Nigerians worried about not getting quality service from the aviation industry, worry not because the House of Representatives is stepping in to save everyone. House member, Simon Karu (Gombe – APC), raised a motion this week for an investigation into the violation of the rights of passengers in Nigeria.
The goal of the investigation is to improve the system to provide quality air travel services in the country. This means airline operators will stop shortchanging their customers and provide them with due compensation when they mess up.
Hopefully, this new energy for the industry can cause a chain reaction that’d remove the bambiala officials, the annoying queues and the customer service agents walking around with the attitude of an irritated porcupine.
Oh, look, a flying pig.
Have you seen this video?
Question of the week
On a scale of “Over my dead body” to “I’d like to sleep with them under my pillow”, what are your thoughts on the new naira banknotes?
Click here to tweet your answer to @ZikokoCitizen on Twitter.
Ehen, one more thing…
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, complained this week that police officers don’t have any human rights activists to advocate for them when members of the public violate their rights. Has he met Nigerian police officers before?