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NARRATIVE OF THE HASHTAG #LIESOFOBI – CHARLES NOVIA

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Many of you would know that I’m a Filmmaker, a creative writer and now a media entrepreneur with a television channel founded by me in place presently on pay television.

In filmmaking and media, we constantly teach and speak about controlling the narratives as much as possible. If you don’t tell your story yourself and be in charge of the narrative, you will lose your story to others who might twist the tale without your permission.

A perfect example of owning the narrative happened last night up till this moment on Twitter, concerning Peter Obi.

Before I went to bed last night, I saw that someone (purportedly from the Sowore camp and in cahoots with the APC minions as someone reported on Twitter) began a hashtag which was trending; #LiesOfObi. It was meant to destroy the character of Peter Obi of Labour Party and the initiators threw up fliers and counter data to malign the person of Obi. They called him a liar with his ‘unproved data’ and having found no other means to bring him down, their strategy is to sell him to whom ever as a liar because of his economic figures and anti-establishment image.

I chuckled when I saw it last night, yawned widely and went to sleep. You see, I understand what people like these try to do. They are scared. Very scared. More than scared. Peter Obi is a Tsunami none of them saw coming and their fear is that if his momentum is allowed to continue till February 2023 with the same trajectory it presently has, their parties will be in a terrible deficit in erstwhile perceived strongholds. They are scared of the youth revolution. The angry and shortchanged youths of Nigeria, more than 70% polled right now saying they will vote for Peter Obi. They are scared of the organic mass movement of the Obi Campaign. While their principals and parties are spending billions and billions to garner support groups, the Peter Obi Support Groups across the country are springing up with self donations and massive volunteers! That’s quite scary.

It’s not so much if Peter Obi will win or not that is their problem (though the spectre of that happening will grow with present momentum in the next few months) but the fact that there are no more two leading political parties with candidates in the Presidential race anymore. All political pundits are talking about THREE and the third person is relatively a neophyte in the ring but potentially a Big Disruptor to their plans. That’s very scary.

So, such ruses like the #LiesOfObi is part of what they would use to try to twist the narrative and destroy perceptions. To them, before Obi wins more hearts with more young people, it’s better to destroy his image and character on social media.

When I checked Twitter a few minutes ago, the #LiesOfObi is still trending heavily but guess what?

And this is where it gets interesting and very hilarious…

Peter Obi’s organic online supporters, a powerful and determined movement which is presently amorphous, took hold of that hashtag and used it to their advantage and made Peter Obi trend the more! It is a classic case of making your enemy look stupid in public.

Youths went on the hashtag to extol Obi’s qualities and ended each comment with the hashtag #LiesOfObi. 😃

So, even the initiators of that hashtag which was meant to impugn on Obi, are now confused and confounded at the obvious boomerang.

That is a big lesson and an instructive one to the other contenders. Of course they will try other strategies but they will obviously be met with the same vehement rejection online as what is presently going on.

Talk about controlling your narrative!

~Charlse Novia

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