APC, PDP And The Social Media War
Nigeria News takes a look at the social media war between APC and PDP.
The All Progressives Congress has been Lord of Social Media in Nigeria since the party’s birth. It inherited the mantle from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria. And, all through former President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, APC held the ace with a well-coordinated social media team that was very proactive in its outings.
APC followed up the work of its social media team with a quality Political Management work towards the 2015 general elections. Jonathan was late in getting a foreign Political Consultant. APC was the first to realise the importance of a Political Consultant in 2015’s critical general elections. APC got it right because the foreign consultants built on the work of local ones, especially the social media team, who had been doing a terrific job before the arrival of the Americans.
Today, what Brian McNair described in the first part of his book (An introduction to Political Communication) as “Politics in the age of mediation” is about to change in Nigeria. PDP has bought into the APC strategy. Its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan has a very dutiful ally in Ekiti State’s Lere Olayinka. Unfortunately for both, there is a serious challenge.
A lethargy on the part of PDP’s topmost echelon to marry its politics with media management could cost the party dearly towards 2019. The ‘legs’ (media of the party) is willing to move. But the body (political structure) remains in the mould of old, making the work of its media team difficult, from my perspective. If PDP should get its acts right, it might win the coming battle for the hearts and minds of Nigerians towards the 2019 general elections.
PDP’s response to the released Looters’ List is cool. But how about engaging quality civil society groups under the table to question many questions? Some of these civil society groups have done very well before now in their attempts to get facts using the Freedom of Information Act. Why not take it up from there? Till date, ONLY persons remaining in PDP are believed to be corrupt. Once you join the ruling party, a deodorant is automatically applied to your person. PDP can work under the table to get facts out to the Nigerian public. But that cannot happen without the party’s ‘body’ getting involved, instead of leaving everything in the hands of its media managers.
On the last note, only the politically naive will continue to criticise APC or the Lagos State Government for declaring a public holiday on Buhari’s visit. It was clearly a political game designed to kick-start campaigns in Lagos. PDP missed that part. And, one cannot blame the media team for that. They were also ‘captured’ by APC’s narratives. If PDP had been proactive enough to key into the protest against excessive taxation in Lagos, Buhari might have shelved his visit or the whole thing would have become very negative for APC and the Lagos State Govt.
Yes, there is the social media, which is an effective tool to disseminate information in this political era but the party that has the best experts will enjoy it better. It is the one that will catch the attention of the public more to launch its idea and propaganda.
This was what the APC used to shove PDP out of the power, which of course the present opposition party has failed to capitalize on as the country prepares for 2019 general election.