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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Desperado Campaign Strategies

As we countdown to tomorrow's elections, the tension on the streets
has reduced, at least in Lagos but l suspect that voter apathy has set
in as the shenanigans of the past week has convinced many that their
votes will either not count, be counted or allowed to happen. One
interesting footnote to these elections of course is the vigour of the
media campaign especially in Lagos. The debates in particular provided
much beer parlour fodder, however is it just me or is everyone else
tired of the unending political bulk text messaging? Just as it happened last week, less than 24 hours to the commencement of the next set of election and my phone service has gone wonky, l hear the other networks are no better. One of the alleged reasons is the last minute campaign bulk text messaging to subscribers. As a rule, no more electioneering advertisements can be done on the conventional media platforms 24 hours to elections so the text and phone campaigns are intensified by those candidates who can afford it. I don't know what the "legalese" is or clearly understand how it works but isn't this aninvasion of privacy?

In fact before last Saturday's elections one candidate had a system in place that means you get a phone call from a 444 (my phone has erased the record) number and a recorded campaign message plays into your ears. At first l thought, it was a crank caller but it soon became clear that it was a rather desperate campaign strategy. That phone call came in over 5 times in a 7 hour period, even during a meeting, ensuring that l did not vote (not that l intended to in the first place) for such an irritant candidate. I am all for innovation and using IT solutions for sundry challenges but the text/phone political campaign is vexatious. Worse is the effect it
seem to have on the efficiency of the system, surely it cannot be more profitable for the networks to trade such wanton use of their networks for customer satisfaction and efficiency? Or am l being hormonal??

11 comments:

Thoughts of a Virgo said...

hello ma'am,I am very in-like(would write "love" but am not trying to scare you) with you and your blogs, you are very very very intelligent. you inspired me to write blogs aswell, thanks! please check them out and tell me what you think http://jsilla.blogspot.com/
keep doing your thing!

Ugo Daniels said...

We can only pray for a peaceful transmission...Amen!

Oluwabukola said...

You felt the pulse of the nation. There was obvious voter apathy in the turn out for the elections today. The local media, international observers and some INEC ad hoc staff think so too (live on tv).
I am not surprised. The general feeling is that the whole process doesn't count. The whole 'selection thingy' implies a predetermined end.
Even moi, die hard optimist that I am, had to drag myself out at about 4:50 pm to cast my vote. I barely made it! They were packing up already. Even though I had been forwarned by the media coverage, it was unerving that I was not handed a ballot paper for the Senatorial candidates. Oh well...Nigeria must survive! One way or another.

Unlike you I did not get any of the last minute GSM campaign msgs. Maybe its because I use Celtel, and not Mtn. But my Mum did. It was for a candidate whose candidature was ordered this week (to the utter consternation of the INEC...I am sure).
Anyway, I felt sorry for him when I saw it, seeing that he had not been fully in the thick of it. However, the alarming twist was that, the msg promised that once you forward it to ten (10) Mtn subscribers you will get N750 recharge free! I had to quickly warn everyone to beware cuz I once fell for a similar txt, ostensibly from my network provider in celebration of their anniversay. It promised that once you forward the msg to ten (10) people you will get N1000 free. I did it, and some of my credit vanished along with the sum charged by my provider as cost of the txt. It was a grand fraud. I still can't comprehend how they swung it!
It's bad enough that this is a time when we are being defrauded on a grand scale by our own leaders, no one should fall for the schemes of the ever present and unrelenting 419ers.

Pink-satin said...

nigerians will go to any measures..imagine calling pple not to vote 4 a particuclar candidate...that is funny

catwalq said...

I attend school in the US and have been quite disheartened as I try to follow the news of the elections and how once again, my brothers and sisters are allowing themselves to be shepherded into acts of violence against themselves.
While they kill themselves, the children of these contestants are abroad living lavishly off the spoils of their parents misappropriation of funds. I was home this December and so was the daughter of the "Vice President". When I returned to school after a very eventful break culminated by embassy trips and fuel scarcity, I was gob smacked that she had been unaware that there had been scarcity or that despite the fact that she had stayed in Lagos the whole time, she had not been aware that there had been an oil pipe explosion and that many had died.
When foreign leaders are running for office, they involve their families and this trains them for when they too are of age to contribute to the society.
Whether or not that is positive is debatable, the only result I know is that they are aware of the issues and when they campaign, they have what they believe to be honest answers.
I know not one person running for office that I aspire to be like. I am of the theory that you do not have to be in public office to make a difference. Not to toot your horn, but take your show for instance, it is classy and dignified. The issues being discusses are real and important. You dress like you put thought to what you wanted to be portrayed as and you speak with a diction that engenders in the youth a desire to sound the same. I do not know what you do off the set to give them a chance to do so but at least on your own , you are a campaign for the standards that Nigerian youth and people ought to adopt.

catwalq said...

I attend university in the US with the daughter of the "Vice President" and we were both home for the x mas holidays; me, to renew my visa and her to do whatever had rubbed her Buddha. Anyways, I was gob smacked to realise, upon my return that she had been unaware that there had been fuel scarcity or that- even though she had been in lagos the entire time - there had been an oil pipe explosion killing many at the end of the year. And this is the next generation of campaigners that will suddenly rise out of obscurity and stake their claim to the nation's wealth.
There is not one person running for office that i have heard of that I am inspired to emulate. The bulk of them do not hold collegiate degrees and for those who do, half of them are honorary doctorates that they are quick to brandish like swords against a mocking public.
Then when they know there is not the slightest chance in hell that they can attain the position either by purchase or otherwise, they eliminate their opposition.
I do not know what kind of country I will be returning to upon the completion of my studies. As it is, I have been systematically discouraged by my parents and colleagues from entertaining that idea. I only hold on to the fact that when God is done with us going through our spiritual karma as a people, the way will open for us and we will return gradually to the greatness we once were and aspired to maintain

Funmi Iyanda said...

@ all, what can l say. just look at the numbers they are declaring in an election that most either boycotted or where not allowed to participate in. I'm speechless.

@olubukola, yes l forgot about that one with the "incentive". Even if it were not fraudulent, sending 10 text wipes off a part of the so called profit. it really should not be allowed in a country were poverty is so rife.

@ thoughts of a virgo, will check you out

@ catwalq, the disconnect between them (including some who live here in Nigeria) and the reality out there is astonishing. Unless we begin to take the issues to them by "many" means necessary, it wont change. The media struggles but the intimidation is much i.e raid of AIT by SSS and those are the ones that get in the news o.

UnNaked Soul said...

sup Funmi, I've a bowl of popcorn and VIP back row seat to the drama that is about to unfold... you might need to tell me what juice you want to go with the popcorn *wink*

catwalq said...

I am sorry if i had two posts saying the same thing but I wrote my comment twice because I though the first one had not gone through.
About the SSS raid, wow. So much for freedom of speech. The Nigerian government is really something.I commend those of you who still keep pushing. I am confident that the fruits of your labours will manifest soon and my generation will rise up to take the country in the direction it needs to go... as it is my parents generation has not been so successful

Oyeyode said...

It was obvious that the voter have lost faith in the turn out for the Presidential elections, from knowing that they already have the result(predetermined)and their being at the polling booth is just to give the media {both local and foreign} what to show to the outside world.
Some of the most painful part of this elections are
1. Our Leaders have no respect for the wishes of the Nigeria populace.
2. Our leaders cannot be integrated with thier words (they lack integrity)
3. The higher percentage (Majority) of the Nigeria populace will serve the Minority for live. Those that are in power will continue thinking that oneday they will be able to satisfy thier unsatisfiable greed for wealth since they have access to the nation's wealth.
4. Nigeria have a very bleak future because the youths didn;t really understand that they are the future of the country,some has tasted the forbidden fruit they've shared in the greed of the current set of politicians.
I'm particularly griefed for the youth and I'm also praying for a change of heart for those i know.


Hi madam, I like what you are doing and i wanna let you know that you've inspired me a lot. I want you to check my blog on www.inspiratlad.blogspot.com
I will like to have your E-mail address and your mailing address if you don't mind

Anonymous said...

The elections now have come and gone. I however hope that the network crisis of tax holiday MTN would go, the incessant strikes of ASUU would hold off, the perennial pwer outages would deplete and history would not repeat herself through AUTHORITY STEALING.
I hope we are going on the way of positive change.. Fellow Nigerians, I do hope so.

Kehinde Akintobi,
BasicPrinciples
churchonthenet004@yahoo.co.uk