By: Ik Ogbonna
I have been inaundated by friends why I’m not in support of the Labour Party candidate. I’m yet to support any other candidate as well, still watching the terrain. For now, I offer to help their MINISTRY sharing this idea drawn from my practical experience in politics including contesting election, holding government offices, my work as a PR practitioner and journalist and affinity with politicians over the years.
I have observed the current frenzy by mostly young Nigerians to have Mr. Obi become the our next president which is fine and within their democratic rights but for that dream to see the light of the day, they need to start taking critical steps outside social media to actualize that.
Here are a few steps in my personal consideration and experience can help.
- Get your PVC. This is of course number one on the must do list. There is no alternative unless you are below the voting age.
- Move from supporter to party member. Join Labour Party. Yes, become a part member. Go ask for your Ward Chairman, register with the ward, attend their meetings and encourage them. It is the party members that will are usually mobilized to work for the victory of the party, play crucial roles on election day and protect the votes of their candidates. There variety of assignments party members carry out on election day many I can’t say here please. It is only when you are identified as a trusted card carrying member of the party that such sensitive duties will be given to you. Why allow those vital and crucial assignments be given to people that can be bought over? Join and assist or supervise them, see to every detail of what transpires on election day. It’s the day you wear jeans trouser, with some cash at hand for LOGISTICS AND ENTERTAINMENT, the day you would spend hours without blinking. Get ready.
- Start physical campaign not just social media campaign. It is good to campaign on Social Media but there are millions of people who are not on Social Media. These are the people that really do the voting, waiting under rain and sun. They are not elites, they are ordinary people you ignore. They are the ones corrupt politicians buy their votes. They are blue collar workers who don’t give a damn about the ENGLISH YOU SPEAK. They see elections as their own Bazaar to get cash and gifts from politicians they won’t see again until the next election season. Seek them, make them your friends. Enlighten them in the language they speak and appreciate. They are the ones you ignore daily on your way to and fro work in your nice car and outfit. They are in your villages mostly, in slums in the city, they are in towns doing menial jobs. Many serve you as mechanics, security, even your domestic staff you maltreat. Start by showing them love now, before bringing up election and your chosen candidste. Come down from your high horse, mingle with them.
- Be tolerant of other people’s choices and opinion.
People support party and candidates for different reasons. It is their right to do so. To win them, try to be civil, PREACH TO THEM like Jehovah Witnesses. Acknowledge them for their choice and their right to support who they wish then show them the alternative you proffer in love. Be polite.
- Be wary of the religious and ethnic lines. This shouldn’t be a Christian vs Moslem or Igbo vs Fulani campaign. Don’t put fear in others, they will gangup against your candidate if you do. Mr. Peter Obi is known for his civility, unassuming nature, nationalistic tendencies, don’t tar his reputation and undermine him.
- Campaign on Issues not Innuendos. Use your candidates profile, his service records and personality backed with his program for Nigerians. Simple. You don’t make a point by tarring others with mud. Peter Obi is not a Saint he is human and also has his frailties.
- Step out on election day to vote. From my experience over the years, elites don’t vote on election days. They see it as holidays. While most youths use it for sports and to mingle in the neighborhood.
- Start where you are. To influence others, start from your neighborhood, colleagues, relatives, friends etc. Start where you are, leave social media a little.
Best of luck in your OBIdience.