#AnambraDecides: How Are Candidates Using Social Media To Convince Ndi Anambra?

By Elvis Anslem

“Regardless of who wins, an election should be a time for optimism and fresh approaches” – Gary Johnson.

It is that time of the democratic calendar again, at least for the people of Anambra state. It is the time when they get to make the very difficult – or easy – decision on who they let run the affairs of the state for the next four years. The drums are beating and the masquerades have come to dance. The political atmosphere in the state is buoyant. As usual, political parties have selected their qualified candidates who, it is thought, should have the required qualities to sway the electorate’s vote in their favour.

The ruling party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has current governor Mr Willie Obiano as its candidate. The campaign team of Mr Obiano has employed only the use of conventional campaign strategies and advertising. The way the social media aspect of the campaign is being run leaves so much to be desired. For one, the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the Obiano campaign are not being taken advantage of. A post/update every two days isn’t what the social media accounts of a gubernatorial candidate should be left at. The reliance on incumbency and testimonials of his achievements as governor of the state shouldn’t be the major campaign strategy being employed.

The party looking like the strongest opposition to the ruling party is the United Progressives Party (UPP). This is because of the calibre of the opponent they’ve settled on; Osita Chidoka. The former aviation minister flagged off his campaign on the 30th day of September, 2017. The campaign team of Mr Chidoka has been doing tremendously well with their use of both online and offline campaigns.

Mr Chidoka, a former Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps, set up campaign offices in all the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra state ahead of the November 18 governorship election. In the last two years, Osita has built a formidable ground game with over 20,000 campaign staff across 4,608 polling units in the state. The campaign has a 50-seat call centre from where volunteers make calls to registered voters across the state. With these numbers, one can see that Mr Chidoka’s offline campaign strategy is up there.

For the online side of his campaign, his campaign team’s presence on social media is doing his cause a lot of good. Vibrant Facebook and Twitter accounts have brought him closer to both the electorate in Anambra and individuals outside the state. This is corroborated by the fact that the campaign has received numerous donations using the ‘No godfather’ mantra through the use of social media channels. The Chidoka campaign is also leveraging on the fact that Mr Osita has been in and around government parastatals almost his entire adult life, and so he has a vast knowledge of how a government should be run. The Chidoka campaign has a great hold of their conventional campaign strategies and also a good digital campaign strategy. If elections were won based on digital campaigns, Osita Chidoka would be the front runner for the governor’s seat.

On to the People’s Democratic Party’s Oseloka Obaze. He’s got experience in government having been appointed as Secretary to the State Government of Anambra state from June 2012 till June 2015 by both former governor Peter Obi and incumbent Governor Willie Obiano. His campaign’s social media presence is good. The Oseloka Obaze page on Facebook is frequently updated with political messages. Oseloka Obaze is also active on his Twitter feed. On the overall, Oseloka’s online campaign is ‘okay’.

The All Progressives Congress candidature being held by Tony Nwoye, a medical doctor by profession, is also an opposition that shouldn’t be over looked. Nwoye is a former member of the PDP. He even ran under that platform for the governorship position in 2013 but is currently running for same position under the auspices of the APC. He has a ‘fairly’ active social media presence. His Facebook and Twitter accounts are ‘remembered’ from time to time.

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Elvis Anslem is a Content developer at Mundus Digital | Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of inquizimedia.com

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