Irrelevant issues dominate 2023 election campaign – Report


The Centre for Research on Development of African Media and Society (CEREDEMS-Africa) and Positive Agenda Nigeria (PAN) have released a report of their two months of studying the 2023 election.

The monitors said the last eight weeks have been a mix of both positive and negative outcomes, as the “campaign landscape is dominated by issues that do not focus on the issues of national importance”.

Director of the project’s Communication and Public Engagement, Jamiu Folarin hinted that the experts and stakeholders would x-ray the report and outline insights expected to improve the election climate.

A joint statement by the organisations revealed that its analysts gathered a total of 4,366 relevant messages across social media (Twitter and Facebook) and traditional media (Television and newspapers).

They also collected data from platforms like YouTube, used by the politicians for dissemination of campaign speeches and advertorials about their plans.

“Our analysis of policy and campaign issues messages showed an abysmal performance of both the actors and supporters in addressing the germane issues and needs of national importance”, the observes .

“Our findings indicated that irrelevant issues outside of the key policy and campaign issues dominated the campaign sphere representing (60.22%) of the entire campaign messages in the last two months.

“Issues relating to economy, education and security were represented in the campaign discourse at 10.44%, 8.01%, and 7.51% respectively,” the report said.

CEREDEMS-Africa and PAN lamented that as the polls draw near, conversations regarding the campaign so far focused on candidates’ personality and competence disparagement at the expense of major issues.

They said, “acclaim strategy”, explained as the promotion of leadership qualities and competencies of parties and candidates to win, had the highest percentage of presence at 69.7% in the last.

This is followed by the “attacks strategy” and “defense strategy”. Both recorded the “lowest appearance on the campaign atmosphere”.

The report observed that parties and candidates disparage others without reference to leadership abilities, educational credentials, or track record of resource management.

It added that the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) as well as their supporters have, at different times, been “aggressive”.

Executive Director of CEREDEMS-Africa, Dr Muhammad Mustapha said the discussion of the report will offer experts to dissect the patterns of campaign strategies used by political stakeholders since late last year.

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