Adopting the traditional mode of communication in mobilising support for Gov. Ikpeazu's victory in the Abia guber poll
By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
The stage is becoming hotter and the campaigns more intense. The social media are agog with lashes and counter lashes. The local government campaigns are rounded off with a grand finale at Gov. Ikpeazu's local government, Obingwa. The grand finale was a reverse of the long held scriptural position that a"a prophet is only without honour in his home town". It was a carnival of sort. All these indicate that the people are highly bent on reelecting Gov. Ikpeazu.
These steps need to be taken further. The aim of every campaign is to meet the target audience. Bulk of the population that will ensure Gov Ikpeazu's victory on Saturday and largely distributed in the rural communities and it is imperative to reach. Majority of them are not on Facebook, Twitter similar social media platforms.
Now, there is an urgent need to reach them, and which media of communication are to be used.Before now and up till date, the traditional mode of communication has been a veritable mean of reaching the greater segment of the population in developing world .This owes to the fact that ,from research, that majority of the population is concentrated in the rural setting. Research also reveals that campaign for government policies and programmes in the developing world are more effective when it enjoys more input from the traditional media .Traditional media refers to conventional means of mass communication practiced by various communities and cultures, or embodied in local custom or lore. Traditional folk media also represents the traditional way of life based on customs, beliefs and arts that make up a distinctive culture.
The stage is set and we don't call the social media lashes to cease, but our strategy must be adjusted to improve the low voter education in the rural communities .Over time, the vice of the village town or village gong man is usually heard in the early hours of the morning preceded by the sound of a gong. This time around the "Ogene" man is not going to announce important meetings, ceremonies, massages and imminent troubles, but the good tidings that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu should be reelected, and the theme of this message will be couched around performance and equity.
While the social media war rages, the open market which remains one of the most powerful and important institution in Nigeria, should be deployed to good use. Notwithstanding the fact that the market functions as the economic nerve center, it has become a beehive of all sorts of communication activities. The open market serves as a natural infrastructure for multi directional dissemination of news, opinions and rumours and is important for agitation, it provides a forum for adherents of synergetic religions to propagate their faith, politicians to solicit the votes of the common people, the open market also offers one of the few opportunities for communication to move from community to another.
As the social media war continues, the family, kindred, village and community women and men meetings are veritable fora to launch this laudable gospel that Gov. Ikpeazu should be allowed a second term just like the other divides of the state were allowed an uninterrupted second term. This campaign should be more intense in the Ukwa-Ngwa nation.
The Ukw-Ngwa nation has always respected equity by overwhelming supporting the reelection ambitions of other Abians from other divides.It is immoral, unjust and inequitable for the goal post to be adjusted at the middle of this game.
Traditional communication methods enjoy variety multiple advantages. It is cheaper than many other forms of communication,and it also feel more personal.
Gov Okezie Ikpeazu enjoys the support of millions of Abians, and it is our duty to mobilise them well and right.