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2015 campaign billions: Exciting or wasteful?

Almost everywhere you hear the jingles or see the ads of Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan and his party flagbearer in Lagos, PDP’s Jimi Agbaje, you would hear or see twice that in Lagos from APC’s Muhammadu Buhari and Akinwunmi Ambode, at least until Gani Adams’ Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) thugs vandalised APC adworks in Lagos two weeks ago.

Reports show that the same is true all over the country. The Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress (as if the other political parties are mere onlookers) keep outdoing themselves and seem hell-bent on outspending each other dollar for dollar. Oh yes, the race has gone beyond spending the Nigerian Naira, which keeps taking a dive against the world’s major currencies.

You may find yourself singing and dancing to the creative lyrics and beats of Ambode’s Lagos APC audio-visual campaign jingle “Ambo o, ambo… gba be e” and PDP’s “Everybody loves Jimi Agbaje…” which was remixed into different music genres.

But you must quickly call yourself back into the reality of these dire times. You must stop singing and dancing, and start thinking. How much is the 2015 electioneering process guzzling, even as the Naira keeps getting drowned N320-N340 to the British Pound and N230 to the US Dollar? If these candidates and their parties spend these monies on improving the lot of our ordinary masses by building enduring structures, would we all not benefit more for longer?

It is becoming clearer that the 2015 presidential election furore has a silver lining though. So many educated Nigerians who never bothered to vote for anybody are likely to vote by the millions on March 28 and beyond, pundits say. The political ads on radio, TV, billboards, blogs, social media, in newspapers have all contributed immensely to boosting political awareness, participation and hopefully, the power of the ballot too.

As if the very expensive razzmatazz in the mass media isn’t enough, the amount of money physically distributed at minor and major rallies is extremely upsetting. Millions of Naira are ferried to the massive political gatherings in GMGs – Ghana Must Go bags and openly shared in bales, while bales of dollars are reportedly shared at higher levels. It is a big shame really.

Many Nigerians (plus non-Nigerians, no doubt) throng these rallies to ‘hustle for (their) daily bread’ because, as they say, “these politicians must pay; after all it is our money they stole and this is our time to collect some back.” How crude and primitive.

Radio and TV stations, newspaper and magazine companies, outdoor billboard and signage agencies and firms, et cetera, must be smiling to the bank from the amount of money they have made on political adverts this quarter alone. This is great because it is one of the big reasons they are in the broadcast and publishing business, not just to report and sell news.

Celebrity endorsements are also rife in these campaigns. While some politicians paid handsomely to have sports stars stand on the rally stage with them, popular musicians sing at their rallies and wax jingles for them, others paid heavily to have Nollywood actors and actresses (vernacular and English speaking celebs) endorse their commercials as well as campaign for them at their rallies.

“Each Nollywood star was paid between a million and three million Naira, depending on their popularity rating. Musicians got between five million and N10 million for group and block performances. But one popular juju musician lost out for demanding N20 million just to remix his hit track in the 1990s for PDP” an insider told HAMILTONSTYLE.

The depth of propaganda that goes on all in the name of political campaign is mind-blowing. Our politicians all live in glass houses, yet they keep throwing stones at each other like crazy. Jonathan and Buhari would shake hands and hug each other on national TV only to abuse each other at the very next opportunity while their spin doctors go to town to pull down their bosses’ rivals.

Next, HAMILTONSTYLE will expose the various propaganda styles that politicians employ to influence the thoughts and actions of the Nigerian voter. This should enable our readers protect themselves from disinformation, misinformation and outright character assassination and evil lies, in order to vote right.

But first, what do you think about the amount of money that the 2015 presidential campaigns have gulped; do you think it is money well spent or wasted? Expect a HAMILTONTYLE token for the best reader feedback.

 

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One Comment

  1. Hmmm…you’ve said it all MOG! The money spent on political campaigns are money WELL WASTED!

    Looking at the political entity called Nigeria, it cannot be overemphasized that our political focus had shifted away from the usual manifesto-driven campaign to a more jamboree-driven campaigns.

    These political guys spraying Nigeria’s fund about indiscriminately, clearly using tokenism, aren’t just wasting the resources of Nigeria but also draining the Nigerian youth of logical reasoning, precious time, priceless energy and capacity to make good judgment.

    I think the absence of easily accessible political manifestos is the cause of this shift from focused and issues-based campaigns to fun-filled and jamboree-like campaigns.

    I can imagine the cost of posting hate adverts on the front cover of national newspapers by some governors whose people continued to live in abject poverty with overly dysfunctional infrastructures. Visual media houses aren’t left out of the largess from these politicians who are bent on doing anything and going any distance to cause collateral damage to an opposing candidate’s image.

    In the same vein, it was recently leaked that Obas in the south-west received bountiful harvest of 50 million naira, depending on the circle of influence of each Oba. Would one vote of an Oba represent the entire votes of their disgruntled subjects? Awujale of Ijebu land alluded it all!

    In my own opinion, I think these campaign funds, if invested into power and energy, would go a long way in solving basic problems of an average Nigerian, who is yearning for an improved living standard. Schools and hospitals lack adequate infrastructures yet our politicians are dancing ‘azonto’ and ‘shoki’ at campaign grounds after paying musicians, who aren’t gonna vote or likely be out of the country for shows, handsomely!

    Indeed, Nigeria yearns for credible change from jamborees to ideology-based campaigns!

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