On December 1, 2022, the Labour Party (LP) held a press conference in Abuja to set off enough fireworks to go around. Among the issues raised, the party’s vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, called out the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its flag bearers, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) and Kashim Shettima.

What did Datti say?

Datti accused BAT of being “indecorous”. That’s a fancy way of saying the BAT lacks class. Here are his words: “A few days ago, the presidential candidate of the APC speaking in Delta State, and referring to our presidential candidate, said it was a disgrace to mention his name. While our candidate is quite comfortable with not being mentioned, it is most unpresidential, indecorous and disrespectful from the candidate who claims his turn at Nigerian Presidency.”

Datti also had words for Shettima whom he congratulated for improving his dressing but scolded for bringing shame to his heritage. 

The response was so scathing, it even referenced BAT’s alleged links with narcotics.

“Little wonder that their vice presidential candidate has consistently put to shame the noble heritage of the great Bornu Empire, in his unguarded and uncultured public pronouncements, which expose his intellectual laziness and discomfort with empirical facts and arguments. 

“Regular insults, which have now become his trademark, haven’t spared the current vice president whom he directed to go and sell ice cream, or the former vice president whom he described as a pure water seller, a noble venture which serves the populace better than a certain white substance.”

What else did Datti say?

Datti accused the APC of promoting falsehood and discrediting the candidacy of Peter Obi by spreading lies about the former governor demolishing mosques, deporting northerners and being against the production of oil in the North. 

He also took digs at the government whom he accused of abandoning its responsibility to safeguard the lives of citizens. Datti referenced the recent assassination of Victoria Chintex, an LP women leader in Kaduna State. He also spoke against the alleged battery and arrest of a student, Aminu Mohammed, over a social media post directed at the first lady, Aisha Buhari.

Has the APC responded?

Not yet. The APC has most recently been on a campaign trail in Bayelsa State. But they’re probably cooking their response. If we know anything about the APC, it’s that they don’t believe in turning the other cheek.

What should we expect?

More fireworks, obviously. Nobody cares that we’re approaching the festive season as things will only get more intense with the February 2023 election looming. We only hope all the dogs in this fight reserve some respect for the peace accord they signed. Political banter is unavoidable but it should only be that — banter. Otherwise, Nigeria could be teetering on the brink of electoral violence. And we definitely don’t want that.


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