Governance

The New Narrative Social Campaign.

By Century Favour | November  28, 2018

Hello there!

My! How time flies! Just in case you thought we did, we didn’t go off the radar, we’ve just been busy firing from all cylinders on an exciting project I can’t wait to share with you guys. By now, I reckon that most of you are coming to understand my inclinations and the interests that define my life’s work, ranging from innovation to strategy to people and influence to non-profit to sustainable development and to governance.

Typically, it’s the prevalent issues around us that inspires my articles and so two weeks ago, I got thinking about the upcoming general elections of 2019 and this remarkable idea came to mind.  You see, every time the election season comes upon us, there’s a specific dance that goes on between political parties, candidate choice and propaganda. While public opinion debate has found its place on the stages of social and traditional media, there is an unhealthy pattern surrounding the Nigerian election behaviour that calls for immediate redress.

In the last couple months since the 2019 elections drew closer, the conversations have hopped from the emergence of Atiku as PDP’s flagbearer to his choice of Peter Obi as running mate to Buhari’s lost and found WAEC certificate to Atiku’s ability to travel to the United States to any other inconsequential subject matter you can conceive, at least in the grand scheme of things. Where our sights should be focused on the salient issues of governance, we are more concerned with the sensational. We are majoring on the minor and minoring on the major.

Other than highlighting the issues that affect us as tools to criticize opposing sides, we are not really engaging these issues to explore solutions or engaging the political candidates on their agenda as regarding these issues. So, for example, person A or candidate A is saying, “Power is a prevalent issue, we need to fix power’ but if asked what really is the problem with power, no one knows. There is no comprehensive, relatable database or information portal that Nigerians can engage on the state of affairs regarding power, the economy, the health sector etc. as it affects you.

A notable percentage of Nigerians, on one hand, are not even interested in voting or supporting a party because they feel their interest or support will not produce any results that translate to change in their immediate reality or the plights they are suffering. As far as they are concerned, all governments or regimes or election cycles are the same, it’s only in the interest of the power brokers and not the grassroots. Does this sound familiar?

Civil society and NGOs, on the other hand, seem to be focused on advocating for voting and driving people to the polls. But when the purpose of a thing is not known, it will show in the results. We must examine the underlying reasons for misplaced voter enthusiasm and voter apathy.

Elections are too important a factor in our sustainable development for us to sit on the sidelines. This was how the desire to change the narrative was birthed. I teamed up with Do- Take Action under the I CISC (Create and Influence for Social Change) platform to drive this new narrative. 

 

How Do We Change The Narrative?

The question is, how do we go about changing the narrative? First, you must have an understanding before you can initiate change.

Understanding the Issues on the ballot

We can only achieve this by having a clear understanding of the issues. There is an urgent need for an informed society where citizens can hold leaders accountable for the power entrusted to them. If we don’t know what is wrong, we won’t know what to demand and will end up grasping at straws.

When the Nigerian citizen understands the prevalent issues and has a clear grasp of the contributory factors especially with regards to how it affects him/her, they will understand the value of their vote and have a clear idea of what to engage political candidates on.

The Action Plan

Tagged #EarnOurVote and #AsWeDeyVote campaign, my first task was to;

  • Outline the prevalent issues we want to engage and direct governance focus on.
  • Develop a resource toolkit that provides clarity on the issues for anyone to engage. This toolkit will include infographics, concise content, videos, images etc. backed by in-depth research.

The second task was to provide detailed, statistics-backed background report of each outlined issue since independence and the current state of affairs. For example, what has been invested so far in power and the number of plants in Nigeria. The research brief on each issue was designed to express the following;

  • The facts (where we are now)
  • The Backstory & the Arguments (what politicians are saying, what the ordinary citizens are saying etc).
  • Where we should be
  • How it affects you.

The resource toolkit was developed to fill the gap and achieve the overarching goal through these ways:

  1. Enable a concise understanding of the issues & how they matter to you.
  2. Equip voters with the requisite information to ask the right questions & secure commitments from aspirants that we can hold them accountable for.
  3. Mobilize a pod (community) of individuals/organizations who can join in on this campaign for engaging and promoting governance thus lending credibility to the citizens’ right to demand accountability as well as question government’s decision-making process and agenda.

 

Progress Report

Last week, I launched the campaign on Twitter. The campaign addressed 7 presidential candidates- Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili, Kingsley Muoghalu, Fela Durotoye, Donald Duke and Omoyele Sowore.                                                                                                    

They were engaged with personalised infographics on the 25 key challenges. These challenges were developed from a vox populi conducted by a team of volunteers at Do-Take action tagged the #VotersSpeak campaign and revolved around pertinent themes such as; The Economy, Power, Security, Education, Health, Corruption, Restructuring. Building on the stories the team of volunteers collated from our engagement with voters, I and my team came up with questions and expected commitments to engage their manifesto/policy plans to tackle these challenges.

I am excited to report that the project started gaining traction with over 20,000 impressions in just 24 hours! 

Going forward, as we engage these candidates, the plan is to ensure that on or before January 31st 2019, we have answers to all the questions listed and have secured the necessary commitments from them. We intend to use these answers/commitments to furnish voters with a strong understanding of your agenda, updating them on several digital, traditional and offline platforms.

Now, here’s where I need you. I would like to ask that you follow the conversation through the links below;

1. Oby Ezekwesili- Allied Congress Party Of Nigeria Presidential Candidate (ACPN)  
 

 

 

2. Muhammadu Buhari: Incumbent and Flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress Party (APC) 

https://twitter.com/CenturyFavour/status/1064710845685514241?s=19

 

3. Omoyele Sowore- Presidential Candidate For African Action Congress Party (AAC)
4. Moghalu Kingsley- Young Progressive Party (YPP) Presidential Candidate
5. Fela Durotoye- Presidential Candidate of Alliance For New Nigeria Party (ANN) 
6. Atiku Abubakar: Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

7. Donald Duke- Social Democratic Party (SDP) Candidate

Finally, I encourage you to retweet, share, tag your friends and followers and spread the word across all platforms.  Don’t forget to engage with these hashtags- #VotersSpeak #EarnOurVote #AsWeDeyVote

What do you think about the campaign? I’m interested in reading your thoughts in the comment section.