Delusions of Social Media Campaign by Macdonald Nwajagu

In 2008 Barack Hussein Obama took the world by storm when he in an unprecedented manner, won an election with the use of the conventional and social media. This feat sold a dummy to opposition parties in Nigeria that the soul of Nigeria would be won in the social media circle.

Ever since then opposition political parties have taken electioneering to the social media circle with the vain hope that the popularity in such medium would translate to a national acceptance. These parties should come to the realization that the dynamism of Nigeria’s Socio-Political frame poses a big challenge to the use of such means and the glaring truth is, ” such won’t work in Nigeria.”

 

The PDP would have none of that hence it has continued to consolidate its grip on the throat of the nation by embracing grassroot politicking. There is hardly any ward within the federation that PDP is not represented with dedicated foot soldiers. Little wonder it readily wins any election it participates. Grass root acceptance remains the strength of the ruling party.

The recent victory of the PDP in the FCT elections is a fore taste of what 2015 has to offer and speak volumes to the preparedness and cohesion of the opposition. Five (5) out of the six chairmanship positions was clinched by the PDP and it also won majority of the councillor-ship positions. There were tales of the inability of the
opposition parties to prevail on their candidates to shelve their personal political ambition for the general good of the party and it cost the opposition two of the chairmanship seats in FCT.

In Bwari Area Council for instance, the opposition would have clinched the chairmanship seat if the ACN
candidate had agreed to step down for the CPC scribe who many believe was more popular. PDP candidate defeated the CPC candidate with less than 100 votes.

As 2015 speedily approaches, it is pertinent I say this without any form of ambiguity, “Elections are won on the field not on pages of newspaper, micro-blogs and blogs.” The amount of comments and views on the social media do not state empirically the worth of a party’s acceptance. The advent of Social Media has afforded many young people a means of expression which has created a very shallow but widespread bandwagon effect. Many comment on matters in which their ignorance or sheer mischief is evident.

Opposition parties should therefore stop deluding themselves that the war to topple PDP would be won on the pages of newspapers and television programmes. I have repeatedly heard the cliche that the pen is mightier than the sword but I say unequivocally that it is only true in the realm of intellectual discourse. It is easy to sit within the confines of one’s comfort zone and start pontificating about elections issues while the real battle for the soul of the nation rages in field.

It is time politicians in the opposition parties go back to the trenches and strategise. This is the major difference between PDP and other parties. They have perfected the plans of electoral warfare, with dedicated foot soldiers that would fight to the death.

Oratory don’t win elections. Twitter followership means nothing when it come to electioneering and campaign across the length and breath of this nation. I hope the FCT debacle for the opposition parties would be a wake-up call.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.