Wednesday, February 19, 2014
APC HIRES A CAMPAIGN TEAM, BUT NOT THE CANDIDATE.
Icheoku says the PDP and Nigerians should stop fretting over the announced hiring or retaining of services of United States of America's Davids Axelrod and Plough's owned AKPD Message and Media by the APC as Nigeria is a different political environment than the United States. First the people are different and their expectations from their governments are different and varied. Nigeria is vastly a primordial society where aside of lacking in practically every basic infrastructures, is peopled by a parochially diverse and divided population with clear fault lines of tribes, religion and regions. In the United States, infrastructures are optimally developed, hence politicians no longer campaign on providing such basic human necessities to the populace. Such are more of American citizens right than the privilege it is to the few well heeled and connected of the Nigerian society. In America, good access roads, uninterrupted electricity supply, clean water, health care and to an extent right to have a JOB is a given; hence no political candidate goes on reeling off how he would make those available if voted into power; admitted that promise of improvements thereon still makes a few headlines.
Also America is a highly diluted secular society where even Archbishops and governors are sent to prison if they break the law. President Clinton almost suffered the same fate following his impeachment for lying under oath over the Monica Lewinsky blue dress scandal-gate. So in America no Axelrod will be seen telling people to vote for somebody just because he goes to mosque or church; neither will a Plough be seen telling an American to vote for another person just because they are from the same tribe or region. It is also instructive that unlike the geo-political fault lines of Nigeria, there is no North, West or South or Southsouth, Southwest or Southeast regions to balance in determining where the presidential candidate MUST come from. Remember Bill Clinton and Al Gore are both from the South - two neighboring states of Arkansas and Tennessee. George Bush Jr and Dick Cheney are practically from the same regional Mountain date lines of Texas and Wyoming; while the present Barack Obama and Joe Biden are from literally the same Northeast coast. In America too, the youthful age of a president does not matter and as with Obama and Bush, their vice presidents are as old as their fathers yet they served and are serving with humility and honor. Tell that to Obasanjo and all those other old men of Nigeria who has refused to ether die or simply go away and they will tell you to go sit down, you this small boy. With this paradigm, now tell Icheoku how the two Davids will tailor their APC messaging in Nigeria to succeed in their current assignment or should Icheoku say engagement or rather a gun for hire mercenary job? All politics are local and Icheoku strongly believes this latest APC move is more of a show than result orientated.
Secondly, Americans are much more educated and politically more attuned than Nigerians. This influence is a big deal because in America, the people are very much aware and can easily lift the veils of political office seekers to see who is trying to hoodwink them; unlike in Nigeria, where someone like Bola Tinubu can single-handily impose candidates including his family members on the people and call it election and use them as conduits to siphon states resources. In America there is a process and political campaigns/elections are usually transparent and open and not subject to manipulation in the face of an alert people and a vibrant attack-dog like media watchdog, ready and always willing to torpedo any candidate who goes off the grid. In America, no thugs hijack ballot boxes too. Icheoku queries how many Nigerians own or watch television or even have time to follow politics as it should be or meant to be? How many Nigerians are interested in the bogus lies and promises their politicians make to them when they are busy trying to find food, water and a generator or gas for it to power their lives? Understanding politics and issue-based political campaign is quite different from the rice and vegetable-oil distribution bribery, called campaign, in Nigeria. Please let someone tell Icheoku that Bola Tinubu will listen when David Axelrod tells him not to so bribe voters in order to make his messaging contract koser and meaningful?
Thirdly, Americans have a media reach and network which is second to none known in the world. The people are also savvy enough to follow the politicking and can independently verify information about candidates for their votes without being coerced by party thugs and touts or prompted by their village heads or forced to vote in a particular way by the head of their market association at the threat of losing allotted stall. Information is power and were Bola Tinubu to be an American, duty of full disclosure would have made it mandatory for him to show his real birth certificate as well as the schools and colleges he attended before becoming eligible for any office. A dutiful press and media would also have sat on his head until he discloses in full details all these pertinent missing information about his pedigree or he will be forced to quit politics in shame as a fraud.
Also someone like Doyin Okupe cannot continue to be a presidential spokesman with allegations of the Benue State's contractual fraud running in billions still shadowing him. Nigeria media is practically non existent in the investigative journalism department and where sometimes they make attempt to follow up certain stories, their paymasters will force them to back down because they do not want to lose advertisement Naira. So what is the two Davids coming to tell Nigerians about APC and election when their message might only end up in Lagos, Abuja and in few other media connected municipalities and towns when majority of the people who will vote live and irk their living in near primitive and God forsaken places? In America, in addition to four network televisions and three cable networks that are nation wide, almost every city in every of the fifty states has several competing television stations, radios and newspapers disseminating information to the populace. All these media houses are independently owned and so there is no Bola Tinubu or any other politician forcing a publishing house or media house not to carry opposing viewpoints to an agenda-driven politicking.
Lastly Marketing 101 teaches us that to sell or market a product, there has to be first a product. MBA class also teaches that in order to hire a salesman, there has to be a product for him or her to sell to earn his/her commission. So in the United States, while the two Davids had a product and a good one for that matter in Barack Obama to sell, the Nigerian APC has not named or assigned a product to the Davids to sell in Nigeria. The APC seem to be putting the cart before the horse by hiring a marketer without first naming their candidate - the product to market to Nigerians. Recall that David Axelrod and David Plough were not hired to and did not market the entire Democratic Party but only and solely candidate Barack Obama. So who is the APC candidate that AKPD Messaging and Media are going to try to sell to the Nigerian electorates? Presently none exist and the politics of selecting one will definitely get messy, which alone is sufficient to sink the moribund ship of the party even before the 2015 proverbial date with history.
David Axelrod had a sell-able candidate in Barack Obama as Icheoku believes he could not have successfully so sold any other lesser mortal to the Americans. Barack Obama is a genius unto himself and needed only to be introduced and pushed minimally, which David Axelrod and company did well; resulting in the two term presidential election victories. Also almost all the minorities of America and few from the majority white poor and lowly, were united in their desire for a change and in seeing someone other than the typical rich white man they are used to in the White-house. So query:- what is the uniting force for Nigerians to vote for APC when the party has already been tagged a MUSLIM enclave of angry bigots and a front for Saudi Arabia and OIC? Icheoku asks what is the rallying point for Nigerians to vote for APC when the greedy Bola Tinubu and the despotic Muhammadu Buhari have both assumed the alter ego and faces of APC and any candidate would just be wearing the masks of these two despicable fellows? Icheoku maintains that not only will APC be pitched in a battle with all Nigerian non Muslims, they will also be fighting in war for survival with all ethnic minorities as well as the Igbos who are totally marginalized from the party.
So in the final analysis, David Axelrod will not perform magic or miracle of waking a dead Lazarus; neither will the duo raise a dead-on-arrival APC with whatever abracadabra political tactics they might bring with them from America. When all is said and done, 2015 is going to be a battle with core Hausa/Fulani Northwest and Northeast, three or four Yoruba Southwestern states voting APC pitched against Southeast Igbos, Southsouth, North-central (MiddleBelt) states of Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa and Nassarawa) and one or two Yoruba states including Edo voting for PDP. 2015 is not going to be against President Jonathan and whoever the APC anoints; no, it is going to be a battle against religions, age, regions and sections of the country. It is going to be a battle against the ideology of moving back to the statusquo of Hausa/Fulani domination or moving forward to a better and more inclusive Nigeria for all. Icheoku predicts the result - David Axelrod will not be able to deliver on his assignment for the APC which will lose big time. Like Mitt Romney, APC has been named, tagged and identified as anti-peoples Islamic party of bigots and it will be very difficult if not impossible for them to shed this stinky skunky cloak before the elections of 2015.
However, Icheoku is not by any means trying to diminish the political ingenuity of the two Davids - Axelrod and Plough, no; all we are saying is that the two countries, Nigeria and America, as well as their respective politics are different. Icheoku is also of the opinion that what worked successfully in the United States might not be able to replicate itself in Nigeria irrespective of the architects hatching the plans. The best surgeon still requires a good theatre to operate and for a seed to germinate necessary condition of moist, light etc must be present. David Axelrod and David Plough might be the best in their field, but the Nigeria political climate is not yet well developed nor conducive for their brand of political branding and salesmanship to successfully be effective. A good wine needs no bush. Barack Obama was a good product and was marketable to Americans; BUT would the APC provide the two Davids an Obama-like candidate to market to Nigerians? The jury is still out and will remain out till later part of the year. Finally, whereas in the United States, AKPD Messaging and Media had somebody they could and successfully marketed to Americans, APC is yet to tell Nigeria who the AKPD will be marketing on their behalf and until then, Icheoku like Baba Iyabo and millions of other Nigerians just "sidon dey laugh". NO SHAKING!
(Disclaimer:- Icheoku is not a member of the PDP nor does Icheoku support President Jonathan but Icheoku DOES NOT like the option being presented in the APC; hence the enemy of my enemy is my friend and any party BUT the APC is and should be a preferred option.)