Although the advent of the Internet and more sophisticated advertising methods, allied to cash-strapped political candidates, now appear to play major parts in time and effort candidates are willing to put into posters that could distract passersby and challenge or reinforce their beliefs, the old-fashioned method of pasting flexible posters and banners is still playing a prominent role in campaign teams’ decisions. From villages to towns to major cities, campaign posters have become a stubbornly prevalent sight in Nigeria today, with supporters of major political parties’ candidates making concerted efforts at outdoing themselves in slinging mucilage. It’s been estimated that over N850 million has been spent so far on campaign posters with additional N2 billion likely to go down before election starts in 27 days.
Apart from major role and occasional comic relief campaign posters play, their graphical illustration also passes crucial messages about the character of the individual who’s image is blaring from the posters. Candidates aspiring for various elective posts understand this, which is why they not only hire distinguished experts to design their campaign posters but also pay assiduous attention to the results themselves. But, as with the proverbial lame that didn’t arrive early, there exist a few politicians that haven’t gotten the memo.
‘Political Notes’ zeroed in on the Lagos West Senatorial District, one of the three senatorial districts in the economically-viable state of Lagos, and discovered that PDP’s candidate, Mr. Segun ‘Aeroland’ Adewale, is one of the few politicians who are still lagging behind at canvassing for votes through bills.
“And there are detrimental consequences for this,” said political analyst Yinka Olaewe.
Mr. Olaewe juxtaposed two different posters of Mr. Adewale that he’d seen and compared them with those of his major opponent, Hon. Solomon ‘YaYi’ Adeola. The result, he said, left him “chagrined.” “It was as if someone in Mr. Adewale’s camp is sabotaging his efforts or the candidate has given up because he sees no path to victory for himself.”
He also said Mr. Adewale’s posters make him look like candidates of political parties that have no name recognition and went further to compare how he looked like Ugandan guerrilla warlord, Joseph Kony, in one of his campaign posters.
“After looking at the picture, the only thing I could make of it was ‘Joseph Kony.’”
“The messages that accompany the posters are even worse,” he said. “They’re more boring than a box of rocks.”
Olaewe, a former lecturer at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, said even if Adewale doesn’t have a matching war chest with Adeola, he could still make maximum use of the little he has.
“Now, I understand money plays major role here, but it’s not always about how much you spend but how judicious.”
“Just take a sharp look at Adeola’s campaign posters and you’ll see utmost seriousness written all over him,” he added. “It’s not all about the money.”
He, however, said Mr. Adewale could still salvage whatever might be left of his chances by showing more seriousness before the start of the looming elections. “He’s a PDP candidate,” he said. “He’s not running on the platform of NSW party.”