Peter Obi’s E-Campaign Dwarfs APC And PDP As Kwankwaso Struggles To Fit In
In each electoral circle, different characters are found from all shades interested in the elections.
There are analysts like us whose primary concern is to analyze the elections as they approach, there are speculators whose function is to simply sit down and cajole whatever they want, traffic builders who want to get noticed, serious contenders who are desperate, serial contestants who seek attention, pretenders, and, of course, the electorate who has the final say on who wins.
This is similar to the tale of the six blind men and the elephant, where six blind friends had an age-long disagreement about what they had heard about the elephant and resolved to go themselves to inspect an elephant so they could agree on one school of thought.
So, after being led by a guide to a location where they could see an elephant, the blind men walked forward to touch the beast that had been the topic of so many debates.
The first blind man stretched out and touched the massive animal’s flank. He said, “An elephant is smooth and solid like a wall!” “It must be quite powerful.”
The second blind man placed his hand on the limber trunk of the elephant. “An elephant is like a huge snake,” he declared.
The elephant’s sharp tusk was felt by the third blind guy. I was correct, he concluded. “This thing is as deadly and sharp as a spear.”
One of the elephant’s four legs was touched by the fourth blind man. What we see here is a really enormous cow, he declared.
The elephant’s enormous ear was felt by the fifth blind guy. He declared, “I think of an elephant as like a giant fan or perhaps a magic carpet that can fly over mountains and treetops.
The elephant’s thick tail was tugged by the sixth blind man. “Why, this is just a bit of worn-out rope. Dangerous, for sure “He mocked.
This eventually came to a yelling match until the elephant’s owner, the King, intervened and informed them that the elephant is a very large animal, and each man touched only one area of it. Perhaps putting the pieces together will reveal the truth.
That was how the blind men decided and agreed that he was right,” “To learn the truth, they must put all the parts together”
The enthusiasm in the candidacy of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on social media has heightened the electoral campaign. This is one frightening fact that some people refuse to acknowledge.
First and foremost what is the platform in which this social media frenzy is argued upon? Let us sincerely ask ourselves which means do Nigerians rely upon to get their information in real time? Even the conventional print and electronic media which platform do they use in sourcing their news? It’s all about the same Social Media that some people actively or unintentionally try to downplay.
The only place Nigerians may not rely on social media for real-time updates is the markets because here they see the reality of daily inflation. For example, two days ago I changed the dollar for 660 to a naira, and at the time of writing this article at approximately 4am on July 28, 2022, the dollar is 710 to a naira.
The social media has moulded us, whether you like it or not, just like the six blind men relied on the tales told to them about the elephant by travelers.
Because the Peter Obi movement has completely taken over the social media space to establish their structure, the political campaign of Peter Obi has today transformed into a wild movement that seems unstoppable.
Their E campaign has displayed such a sense of togetherness and oneness that it has elevated the traditional tactics of electoral campaigning to a whole new level.
They have used the social media space to meet physically on a regular basis, forming cell groups in all nooks and crannies. The alarming movement about the cell groups is that they are organically formed and have no link with the Labour Party hierarchy.
This means that while they are fully aware of all the guidelines and information provided by the LP through the use of social media and remain guided, however they have taken control of the finances and funding of their cell groups, whose sole purpose is to inform Nigerians about the importance of voting for Peter Obi. And they are doing well; the development trajectory is puzzling.
For instance, a meeting of the Labour Party was held recently at a well-known transporters’ home in Benin City, and the locals complained about taking up a hall for its daily meetings. The attendees, who had all connected through social media, immediately chipped in money to cover the hall’s rental costs.
Abeg do not joke with the Peter Obi’s movement when it comes to physical networking through the social media.
It would be self-deception for the APC and PDP to believe that the LP social media craze does not extend to physically meeting and making alliances; the people understand that the only way for change to occur is through the use of ballot boxes; they are not idiots and are aware of the repercussions of not physically networking.
Dem say pikin wey dey find party rice no suppose dey fear to scatter the dance floor. There is no gain without pain.
For instance, the APC relies on the conventional campaign structure, has duly elected officers mobilized, rules the print and electronic media, and has a strong distribution inside the party network.
The PDP’s structure is based on the North-South voting populace, and these individuals rely on the power of ethnic group and tribal voting feeling.
Musa Kwankwanso’s campaign group appears to be off the radar and I can certainly claim that he is out there for the GLAM…. won’t be surprised if he trades his support for the APC candidate.
We all forget, however, that in the last two presidential elections, despite having more than 84 million registered voters, none of these parties was able to garner more than 30 million votes combined.
The 2023 general elections will be shaped by the nearly 60 million voters who never vote because they have become disenchanted with the democratic process. Before the elections, the dollar would be worth around 1000 naira to a dollar, it would seem as though the Devil had decided to move in with us permanently.
Unity schools have been shuttered due to security concerns, judges are protesting a lack of security among their workers, the NLC is preparing to join the ASUU strike, and people are falling into poverty in frightening numbers.
All of the politicians’ children are studying overseas and earning decent money while doing so, while back in Nigeria parents are being kidnapped at their farms and ransoms of hundreds of millions of dollars are demanded.
Churches are targeted for terrorist operations and other afflictions, yet they believe these Nigerians are suffering because they refuse to vote, as though their woes are greater than that of Job in the Bible.
Obeying is preferable to making a sacrifice, and it is easier for Nigerians to vote in huge numbers for their preferred candidate than to endure another four years of dissatisfaction. The government can only be held accountable after that. . However, the narrative surrounding the depressingly low voter turnout of 30 percent is quickly shifting.
Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah is the chairman and principal of Bush Radio Academy.