Gumsu Sani Abacha, daughter of the late General Sani Abacha, took to Twitter this morning to express her displeasure over a political advert published on the front page of THE PUNCH and Daily Sun on Monday. Via her Twitter handle @G_sparking, the daughter of the late dictator asked: “When will our leaders learn to respect their predecessors?? I am utterly disgusted by this poster. Shame!!! ” She also posted an image of the advert, signed by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, warning Nigerians against voting for General Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress. The advert bore photographs of three former heads of state/president, who died in office. Ringed photographs of the late Generals Murtala Muhammed and Sani Abacha as well as Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua were among the four placed in the advert. The fourth pictured is that of Buhari. It bears a question mark, which seems to ask if Nigerians wants another leader to die in office. “Enough of State Burials. Nigerians, vote wisely, Vote Goodluck Jonathan. Northern Presidency should wait till 2019,” the text screamed. All the respondents to the her tweet were also critical of the ad copy, with one tweeting: “Big shame!!! Maybe he’s isn’t aware that death is nt by age.”
On Facebook, the image of the ad was lustily shared, with commentators calling Fayose and THE PUNCH a variety of unprintable names, including nincompoop and bastard, and wondering why a medium as reputable as THE PUNCH would publish an advert that was designed to milk the misfortune of a section of the country, given that all the leaders in the ad were/are Northerners. Many branded the ad sick and in bad taste. A poster wrote: “It is a new low”.
Another poster wrote “Like I said we get the leaders we deserve. that’s a state governor that knows nothing on the rules of engagement, as much as I am not advocating for no one, this is purely a defamation of someone character and he (mr stomach infrastruture ) and the daily (punch) should be trialled and again who runs yaba left na ? got some insane peoples walking around claiming to be leaders.”
Last week, Fayose had suggested at a campaign rally that Buhari, 72, is of frail health and could die shortly. The Ekiti State governor had accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of being part of the plot to foist an ailing candidate on the nation the way he foisted Yar’Adua, the gravely ill former governor of Katsina State, on the country in 2007. Yar’Adua later died after months of incapacitation. This was followed by a statement on Sunday from President Jonathan’s campaign organization, suggesting Buhari is suffering from prostate cancer.