Home News Electioneering via TV Reality show: A trend in campaign

Electioneering via TV Reality show: A trend in campaign


By Dele Bodunde

Political pundits opine that members of the public have, over the years, been inundated with stereotyped electioneering involving hooliganism and warped or archaic views on political matters.

They note that as the maxim goes that change is the only constant thing in the world, issues on politics including campaigns, are also changing.

Following the trend therefore, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), shares similar sentiments, insisting that there should be a paradigm shift, particularly in the media in that regard, as well.

Pursuant to this resolve, the guild, in partnership with Living Legends Foundation (LLF), evolved a new political campaign model, entitled: “Presidential TV Reality Show’’.

According to the guild, the initiative is in recognition of the need to add value to Nigeria’s political and electoral system.

The guild explains that the programme would advance the country’s democratic experiment, norms and culture by in ensuring credible elections, emergence of acceptable leadership and good governance.

NGE President Mr Femi Adesina said: “ Presidential TV Reality Show will help in entrenching internationally acceptable and acclaimed democratic culture, norms and values.’’

He stressed that the programme was an electoral initiative aimed at sensitising Nigerians to the need for embracing the right attitudes towards politics and elections.

He said that the initiative would as well change the attitudes of the electorate to political issues, reduce tension and minimise violence.

Beside this, the NGE President stressed that the initiative was designed to play a leading role in electioneering as a formidable political platform.

“It is intended to provide a unified campaign platform for political parties, governorship or presidential aspirants, to tell Nigerians their vision and programmes and the roadmap to achieving them,’’ he said.

In a statement signed by Adesina and Mr Frank Okechukwu, the Executive Director of LLF, the guild said: “The idea of Presidential TV Reality show is aimed at exploring the current high rating and patronage of such programmes across the world’’.

According to the statement, the programme will cut across gender and age to stress the need for various stakeholders to act in a civilised and democratic manner to ensure credible elections.

The guild also observed that although the critics had opined that the programme could be boring, it would be sandwiched with interesting side attractions, such as drama, comedy, music and stage performances by reputable and popular Nigerian actors.

“It will not be organised to promote party sloganeering, verbal attacks on political rivals and the entire odious toga that such events seem to be synonymous with.

“All contributions will have the same messages permeating the fabrics of the Nigerian society in non-partisan ways that will further bolster the unity and peaceful co-existence of the nation,’’ the guild said in the statement.

Stressing the importance of the programme further, Okechukwu said it would to reverse the voters’ apathy and discourage violence.

“Our desire to host an electoral event of this magnitude is to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the government towards the creation of an enabling environment for the 2015 general elections.

“The programme is borne out of patriotism and respect for the sanctity of life as co-partners with government in nation building,’’ he said.

Okechukwu opined that if many Nigerians were watching TV reality shows such as Big Brother Africa, West African Idol, the Gulder Ultimate Search and Multina Dance Hall, among others, watching Presidential TV Reality Show would be worthwhile.

He insisted that other reality programmes could not generate public interests such as the NGE-anchored Presidential TV Reality show would do.

He said that the programme would evaluate issues that concerned good governance of the nation, analyse them and offer solution.

Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Emmanuel Okara, Head, Entertainment and Social Life Desk of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Lagos, said that the programme would provoke innovations in political campaigns.

“It has the potential to be a hit programme, because it has the bits and pieces that the average Nigerians want, that is, politics infused with entertainment.

“You need to visit a newsstand any morning to know that the most topical issue in Nigeria, as we speak, is politics. The high level of political awareness is quite encouraging,’’ he said.

He, nonetheless, expressed the assurance that financing such a programme would not be a problem, noting that the advertisers knew where to put their money.

“A programme such as this will obviously be on prime time and that is what advertisers are always looking out for,’’ Okara said.

Corroborating this opinion, the NGE stated in a statement that as a strong platform for robust discussion among aspirants to the Presidency and other elective positions, the programme would attract enough audience.

“Presidential Reality Show will enhance a better awareness of political issues by the electorate, improve publicity and enlightenment drive that will have far-reaching good effects on the psyche of the electorate,’’ the guild said.

By and large, observers insist that if the programme is anchored by senior journalists such as the members of NGE, the public will be better informed on their civic responsibilities. (NANFeatures)

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