Why I Voted President Jonathan in 2015 Despite him Sending SSS to arrest Me On Buharis Campaign. But in 2019 I am done voting PDP or APC, Let The New Nigeria Emerge. (Part1) by Stephen Akintayo
This article is a series, This Part1 will focus on details of what happened few weeks to 2019 Elections and how my article was adjudged to have helped Buhari become president, however, I am very disappointed in Him and No amount of intimidation by him will make me change my Mind.
Teaching my students on How to become a Digital Marketing Consultant, a man walked into the reception after which my secretary had informed him to wait till the end of my training, but he immediately resented and then rushed to the training ground showing his ID, saying he was here to arrest me. I asked for his warrant and he immediately ordered his hefty looking armed men & women with their big guns that I am physically assaulted. I told them not to dare it, then he said; I am from the presidency and operating by the president’s order, how dear you ask me for a warrant? To cut the story short I followed them.
Getting to their office a young man was asked to come, he claimed he bought our database. The SSS officer later told me these men had been locked up for the past 5 days. Though he didn’t tellme why my investigation shows that this client bought our database for Buhari Campaign Organization and pushed over 3 million emails that went viral and helped Buhari’s chances at the coming polls.
Was It constitutional wrong to send Viral Political campaign content?
No! Nigeria at the moment doesn’t have any spam law, whereas, this database was acquired from a business partner whose clients subscribed for newsletters and we have the resellers rights.
Am I Campaigning for Buhari? No!
But I am CEO of a company that runs digital marketing for corporate organizations, churches, NGOs and political parties. I am not a member of any party and my company renders professional services for various political parties in which one of my biggest clients is the President himself. But we render services to whoever demands our service.
Another friend who has a bulk SMS website had state security men raid his home and took his wife into custody but she was later released because they didn’t see him and the allegation was the same; “APC members used his bulk SMS site to send campaign SMS”.
Digital Marketing is a legal industry worldwide and businesses have the right to offer their services to whoever pays for it, as long as the content is not inciting.
Early that morning before the arrest, some of my staff were called by SSS claiming to be from APC, trying to find out who they wanted to vote for, all in an effort to know if they would vote APC or not.
When has APC become a terrorist group, that SSS should be asking Nigerian citizens to tell them if they will vote them or not? Every Nigerian has the right to vote whoever they want. This was the same issue I blamed pro-Buhari supporter for on social media, that they are bullying people on there and that it is wrong to bully anyone for choosing to vote their preferred candidate.
We must protect the digital marketing industry from politicians who want to destroy it in its infancy. Politicians are not even our main clients. There are businesses that die daily as a result of harsh economic environment and inability to carry out conventional marketing, as it is more expensive. We have helped thousands of businesses particularly SMEs to survive through our digital marketing consultations, services and training.
Am I Pro Jonathan?
Hitherto, I have been pro Jonathan and have written series of articles against Buhari but for the first time, I am disappointed and considering my decision as everyone around me are now anti-Jonathan because of what happened. When you throw stones be careful where you throw it as it may hit one of your own. Without personally collecting a dime nor have I met him, I have single-handedly lay campaign for him on Social Media and various forums I am privileged to speak at.
I have refused to attend Buhari nor Jonathan’s event but follow on-air keenly, so as not to be seen to be as partisan, but rather, that my personal opinion for conversing for Jonathan was of a pure conscience. I have severally stated, that this is a personal opinion and not that of the companies I founded.
Few Question I have for Jonathan and his team?
1)Why must I be harassed by the same system I am campaigning for?
2)Why should anyone be arrested for doing an email campaign for Buhari? If the campaign was for Dr Goodluck, would there have been an arrest?
3)Show me anywhere in the Nigerian constitution where it is wrong to send such bulk Mail?
4) If you had wanted to arrest anyone why not arrest the leaders of the political parties instead of arresting innocent young men who are working hard in a country with high unemployment?
President Goodluck has stated severally that he stands for young people and want to protect and defend their future. If that is true, why should some two young boys in their early twenties be illegally arrested by the SSS for 5 days without bail or being charged to court? I have publicly shared on national televisions that young people should maximize the business opportunities in this elections and provide services for politicians than to turn to a thug and cause violence. This is the time for youths to be on the Table and not on the Menu.
My Personal Opinion
It is a huge disappointment that a Parastatal can call itself SSS and will come to arrest a loyal citizen without even googling his name so as to do facial identification. What kind of gross incompetence is that? If SSS had done its investigation well, they would have known that I’m not anti-Jonathan and will not waste state property to come and arrest me like I were a terrorist. Also, a simple invite was all they needed to do and hear my part of the story and not to cause a scene and even seizing the phone of one of my students that videoed the incident for evidence.
To the president, I want to advise that this is not the time to arrest oppositions or those working for them. No! not even ordinary citizens going about their daily bread with no single criminal incidents. Law abiding citizens are being arrested day and night because they are perceived to be working for APC. I think Jonathan should look inward, a lot of people who claim to be his friends are wolves in sheep clothes deceiving the president. Now that you have illegally harassed me, do you still expect me to canverse for votes for you in this general elections? We must all build a Nigeria of our dreams where no one will be unjustly treated and subjugated to ill-treatment. We don’t need political prisoners. We need a great nation where law and order will take effect without any compliment. Equity and justice be done no matter who you are.
If not for my Lawyer and position in the society, I would have been illegally detained for 5 days for no just cause? This is a huge shame and slap to the Jonathans Government. I am terribly disappointed. While I am still widely consulting whether I will use the remaining 9 days to this election to actively campaign against Jonathan I will like my loved ones to know that my decision will be above sentiments but the personal conviction of what will benefit Nigerians as a whole and not my personal interest.
I want to thank all my loved ones who stood by me and made sacrifices for my speedy release. I am grateful to all those who called all their Ogas at the top for me without even asking. God bless you. My staff are amongst the team who took charge of business and didnt even need a single family members presence before it was all resolved. Indeed you are an example of the kind of Nigerian enterprise Spirit we preach about.
I wish to say that this is my personal opinion and hope SSS will not come after me again for saying my mind, after all, we are all praising president Goodluck for signing freedom of information bill. You cant slap me and still expect me to keep quiet. Well If they come after me again, you know what to do.
How can a ruling party be behaving like the opposition? As a Digital Marketing Consultant who has helped many businesses get better results online, I have told Jonathans Campaign team to get better hands to manage their social media archives and digital campaigns. The things Jonathan should have been doing is what APC is doing in campaigns. Email Marketing is one of the bests strategies Obama used to become Americans first black president. How can you be surrounding yourself with mediocres and not wake up to get the best hands? In my office, I often tell my staff, if I am more intelligent than you guys, then there is trouble because leadership is about managing the best hands and not being the best hand.
If Jonathans online campaign is in shambles, blame the team who are using old strategies. You cant be going about arresting young people in the digital space for referring service and blackmail them. Never! cant fall for it. I advice whoever ordered this kind of arrest to desist from it. Rather, wisdom demand that you entice best brains in that industry to work for you and not to intimidate them. If things continue this way, I am afraid that May 29th will be Sai Buhari! and I dont want that to happen for the various reasons I have stated in my previous articles, #whyiwillnotvoteforbuhariandyoushouldnt
I cannot kill myself for any politician, I fear only God. I cannot die for any party and that’s why I refused to carry any party’s card. I say my mind all the time and I remain patriotic about this nation. All my International trips are after this election. Lots of my friends have travelled, out of fear of intimidation and fear of violence. I am going nowhere. This election will be peaceful, free and fair and the right person that will bring true and lasting Change will Win. I stand for Nigeria! God bless Nigeria, God bless you all. #sacrificeswemakefortheloveofnigeria