As expected, the 2019 Federal House of Representatives election for Eti-Osa federal constituency has been won and lost. The election which was majorly contested by candidates of the Alliance for a New Nigeria, All Progressives Congress, Social Democratic Party and Peoples Democratic Party became the cynosure of all eyes due to the entrant of R&B star, Bankole Wellington of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP) into the race.
While Banky W has a long history of social activism, few expected him to actually contest for political office. I was confident he would put up a good show and trounce his opponents but I later changed that opinion when it became clearer the strategy employed by BankyW could not be enough to guarantee an electoral victory in a clime like Eti-Osa. As an observer, I actually predicted his electoral loss before the elections, a move that didn’t endear me to many.
However, it is important we analyze the inadequacies of his campaign which eventually denied him victory as a lesson to future contenders especially the youth. First, in my opinion, his campaign was elitist. There was a general consensus among people that Eti-Osa is an elite constituency. This isn’t true of Eti-Osa, or anywhere else in Lagos. I didn’t feel Banky put enough consideration into how his constituency would receive him and it affected his message and branding. Majority of his campaign materials were more visible at the elite parts of the constituency compared to the non-elitist parts.
Secondly, I believe his branding and visibility didn’t do enough. For an election, irrespective of the position being contested for, the unwritten rule is for the candidate to be seen and to be heard. BankyW’s campaign had no other face apart from him. Not even his campaign Director-General as is the usual practice and team members were known to the public. His campaign could have benefitted from diversity and representation. This was massively used by his opponent Babajide Obanikoro who got a chieftaincy title from the Hausa community in the constituency.
Another visibility error of his campaign was the absence of a known campaign office. The campaign office of BankyW according to findings was situated inside a corporate office of a car manufacturing company in Lagos. That meant he couldn’t brand the office space. I eventually learned the space was donated but it actually did not serve its purpose. The campaign office of a politician is expected to be known to the public and well branded. Its doors should be open almost 24hrs daily for people to come in and discuss and know more about the candidate from his team members. This will also enable him to talk to his people and hear from them. This should be corrected in future elections.
Still on branding and message, BankyW commercials were visible items on SoundCityTV a musical channel which to me was a wrong medium to sell his ideas. The content itself was not persuasive enough as it appears as more of an inspirational video than a political one which does not address the need of the constituents. These TV ads would have done better work on either Africa Magic Yoruba or TVC or even Radio Lagos or BondFM in English and local languages of his constituents cos these media houses actually connects to the people at the grassroots better than the music channels. The medium of delivery of any content is more important than the content itself at times.
The structure of the party was yet to be defined before the election. Who is the Lagos state chairman of the party that could have carried on in the absence of the National Chairman or its chairman in Eti-Osa? Absolutely no one. It is a known fact that party structure help sells a candidate better irrespective of the resources at the disposal of the candidate. I believe BankyW would have done better if he had chosen a known and better platform like the PDP, APC, ADP, ADC these are parties that are well structured all across the country.
MDP as a party represents an alternative for the youths but it’s still at its incubation stage and not structured enough to take on a big task like Eti-Osa federal constituency. BankyW has put up a good fight but the fight will be better won in future elections when these obvious errors are corrected.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija