2019 Elections: Why there’s lull in political campaigns — Analysts

WITH barely 35 days to the commencement of the 2019 elections, political analysts are worried that the intensity of electioneering by political parties and candidates have been low as compared to the 2015 general elections.

In 2015, campaigns were intense even with only 26 registered political parties but this year, with over 90 parties participating, electioneering is still not in full swing.

There were regular party rallies, lots of posters, flyers, text messages, political advertisements and jingles on Television, Radio and the pages of Newspapers as well as the social media in 2015.

However, in the 2019 general elections, the nooks and crannies of the country had yet to be awash with campaigns by parties and their candidates.

These campaigns will be to form a strong coalition, gain popularity, market their party’s programmes and woo the electorate.

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Some of the popular parties, including the All Progressive Congress (APC), Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), KOWA Party and Social Democratic Party (SDP) that have flagged off their campaigns have not been going full swing.

Some of the party stalwarts and stakeholders who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gave diverse reasons for the low intensity of their campaigns.

While some of the parties claimed they had started campaigning since December 2018, others said they adopted the door-to-door campaign strategy rather than the usual town hall or regional, state and local government rallies.

Pastor Kayode Jacobs, Chairman, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Lagos State Chapter, told NAN that the party had yet to commence campaigning as it was still setting up strategies to win many positions in the coming elections.

Also, the governorship candidate of the Providence People’s Congress (PPC), Mrs Omolara Adesanya, said that the party embarked on a door-to-door campaign as a major strategy to reach out to the electorate.

However, some political analysts told NAN in Lagos that lack of funds and President Muhammadu Buhari ‘s refusal to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law were hindrances.

The analysts also told NAN that the use of social media, uncertainty of the electoral process and the renewed fight against corruption were some of the factors responsible for the low pre-election awareness campaigns.

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Mr Wale Ogunnade, a Constitutional Lawyer and convener, Voters Awareness Initiative, told NAN that the major reason for the lull in political campaigns was lack of funds and “free money” in circulation.

According to him, the President Buhari-led administration has put a check on politicians using public funds to finance campaigns.

“Before now, politicians use government funds or free government money and even secure bank loans to run their campaigns; we experienced that in 2015 but it is no longer business as usual with President Buhari ‘s Anti-Corruption fight.

“Nobody wants to be found wanting; even the big and popular parties are afraid of throwing money about and anyhow with the BVN policy in place, so, imagine what will happen among the upcoming or new parties.

“On Wednesday, President Buhari also told his ministers that he won’t allow government money to be used for his campaign.

“Since there is no money to buy votes or PVCs, it means that this year’s election is about the candidates.

“They should go and campaign, sell their programmes and if the people are convinced, they get their votes,’’ Ogunnade told NAN.

In his opinion, a Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Onyekachi Ubani, told NAN that lack of funds and uncertainty of the electoral process were the reasons for the low political campaigns.

“The uncertainty of the electoral process, especially with Mr President withholding assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, has left many parties wary.

“Many of the parties believed that not signing the Electoral Act amendment has left the electoral process open to all manners of loopholes that may mare the general elections.

“So, the parties and their candidates are cautious of spending money to run campaigns when they are not sure of winning the election,’’ Ubani said.

Contributing, a Professor of Political Science, Femi Otubanjo, told NAN that politicians had resorted to using the social media for their campaigns to sway voters to their side and not the usual political rallies.

Otubanjo said that the social media platforms were cheaper for campaigns than organising rallies or printing posters and flyers.

“Although the campaign rallies are gradually picking up but not with the kind of intensity we are used to; I believe that as time goes on, many parties will go full swing with their campaigns.

“But, another thing is that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Youtube, Instagram and the rest are veritable and cheaper tools for campaigns.

“Many parties have been advertising their parties and displaying their manifestos on the social media.

“This is because such platforms can also reach people in all nooks and crannies easier than before when the relevance of social media was less influential,’’ the political scientist told NAN.

  1. Jerom Chisom Paul says

    Please.. I am writing about myself now.. My real self and nothing but myself.. So help me God..
    I will NOT vote in Nigeria’s #2019_PRESIDENTIAL #elections!
    Please you that know how to speak English.. If you like call it boycott or abstinence or run away or default or dodge or whatever lexicon you wish.. As long as it means, I won’t ink my fingers to abate the madness, oppression, injustices, lopsidedness, bigotry, ethnocentrism and deviltry that beclouds the Nigerian state and created by politicians and their political parties..
    This is my personal decision and has nothing to do with any agitations or agitators (all names withheld).. Neither is this decision prompted by anyone’s instructions, living or dead other than my personal CONVINCTIONS..
    Just like I have muscled out reasons to vote in previous years, I have also established my own reasons this time to exercise my RIGHT of NOT VOTING..
    ~ The SYSTEM is flawed. Needless coming out every four years of my life to do tumbom tumbom with my Destiny. Gambling with options created by criminals. Who bestow sainthood on themselves when they need my vote.
    ~ To vote or not, is my right.. And I have chosen the one that satisfies me. I will not vote for the reasons of political CORRECTNESS then turn around and blame the world that they rigged me out and the caliphate installed their stooge.. Then continue in your madness.. I am done.
    ~ Those of you citing that UN will come and liberate you and they will parley with the politicians.. Ojukwu was in the political main stream and yet UN didn’t cloth him in the 67-70 war. But a cobbler that burnt himself on the street of Algeria changed the Destiny of the entire North Africa and the Arab world.. My single vote is that difference and I won’t cast it arbitrarily..
    ~ òdikwa Egwu how some of you sleep on the beds of shame, after you asked for RESTRUCTURE or DISMEMBERMENT and Nigeria never listened to any of the two.. Your brothers were killed for it. Then your pills of idiocy tells you that it’s the cards called PVC that the predators gave you that will unseat them.. The Spirit of those who listened to your initial positions and they died of it, have nothing to hunt but you..
    ~ I am an Igbo Man. The current see-saw is UNBALANCED against me. I have no equllibrum to the center.. I should get 1/6th of Nigeria but it is.. 15/109 senators, 5/36 states, 43/360 House of reps, 95 LGAs (vetoed by just Kano, Kastina and Sokoto = 100).. What majority will you ever achieve to pass any useful decision.. So continually electing people to go to Abuja and be spun around like goats is what I am no more part of..
    ~ I need not plant my trouble to tackle it.. I advocated for a youthful government and if the front line candidates with an average age of 80 is what you call youths.. Then woo unto you all..
    ~ I will not continue voting in a country that a single man is above the constitution. Where I have no powers to the man I stained my fingers with ink for. Where a senate is powerless, the reps are useless, the ministers are noise makers, the youths are jobless and lazy, 180 million people are fantastically corrupt of which over 40million are mad.. I can’t go to polls with such data.
    ~ I have gotten to a point in my life now that I can’t be blaming Nnamdi Azikiwe for his mistakes and then be doing the same Shit and expect a DIFFERENT result. The coming of Buhari was timely and was needed to expose to the abysmal how useless the Nigerian constitution is. It’s needless arguing with anyone who thinks voting is an exercise like playing on sand.. I have no arguments with you all. This is my personal decision, if 1+1=7 for you.. It’s correct.. Keep your results..
    ~ What result am I expecting from an unfair umpire.. Yes the collation officer is not the electoral Boss.. But football makes you understand that even the linesman affects decisions and the 4th official now is relevant through VAR. If they say some offices of INEC are useless.. Then relinquish them.
    ~ I have no cogent difference between the excuses that removed Jonathan, the Nigerian military coups and the excuse to remove Muhammadu Buhari. It’s always.. We vote in a Saint and vote out a devil.. Time to sort out what leads to that TRANSFIGURATION.
    NO more procrastination and postponing the evil days. I refuse to transfer these evils to the next generation.. We all die here or sort it out once and for all..
    ~ Remember, they need my vote and my participation to cement their crime.. If you and I, massively NOT VOTING makes no sense.. Then you and I massively voting will make no sense either.. If you think my abstinence is a vote for your opposition, then flush your Brain Or the system!..
    #I_Will_Not_Vote !
    COPY TO…
    All the (1)Okachamaras,(2) Ndi one Nigeria, (3)Efulefus, (4)Ndi ùchú, (5)ndi only PVC vs APC, (6)ndi keypad activist, (7)Belle first voters, (8)Sabi pass IPOB And every other group, (9)Ndi see as we de do am for kafanchan and (10)friends of my enemies!

  2. Mariam Nasiru says

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