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HomeExecutive BriefLagos Governorship Race: A good product will sell itself

Lagos Governorship Race: A good product will sell itself

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By Eniola Mayowa

The above assertion is a belief system in marketing communication, or better yet, in sales and marketing. When a product is certified good by the regulatory authority and the consumers find it to be good when they interact with and experience the product, the expectation is that the product will continue to be an attraction for customers and the consumers will keep having a need for the product if other indices such as availability, pricing, and satisfaction are guaranteed.

On this note, I will anchor the current intrigues in the political space with the candidature of leading contenders to the seat of Lagos State Governor, which has become fierce as caution is being thrown to the wind in desperation for the juicy office.

Lagos State is considered one of the most viable states, if not the most viable state, in the country. It has enjoyed the status of the Federal Capital Territory, which has contributed greatly to the speedy development of the state with the presence of major facilities and infrastructures that gave it the advantage of a cosmopolitan city.

The status of the state as an urban enclave has also immensely made the formal FCT an attraction for many Nigerians across the country looking for greener pastures, in the same manner, that many leave the country in search of the Golden Fleece in other climes across the globe.

While Lagos can be described as a land of opportunity, it is also correct to say that the contribution of every resident of the center of excellence counted for the development recorded in the aquatic land of unequal hospitality.

Now, the state is on the threshold of history, like its counterparts across the nation. From Kaduna to Delta, Lagos to the Rivers, Kano to Ogun, Enugu to Oyo, and many other states, Nigerians will be electing governors who will have the responsibility to lead their states as the CEO in the next four years.

Different political parties have presented candidates; each desires to win the election rescheduled for March 18, 2023. The stakes are high! The scope of the office is quite attractive. Power is sweet, although the game can be daunting to overcome.

Lagos State seems to have become some kind of theater of war, going by the weapons being deployed to campaign for the leading candidates in the journey to occupy Alausa, the seat of government, from May 2023.

Fake news and ethnic bigotry have become the order of the day across party lines. Many who should be marking the day they came to Lagos now question the authenticity of those who have their origin in Lagos, the same Lagos that has become home for all for many decades.

The same Lagos, where everyone is provided with the opportunity to thrive through the contributions of all, where the natives have repeatedly claimed to have been shortchanged by a political juggernaut whose empire has been so entrenched, Is there anything wrong with political entrenchment? Maybe no! Is there anything wrong with a desire for change? The answer may be no! So why the war on both sides of the divide? Many of the supporters of the gladiators have thrown caution to the wind.

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Many are sacrificing relationships dating back many years for people who may not care if they exist in the next four years as governors. Many are spewing utterances that will come to be their albatross in years to come.

Many have deployed personal attacks, threats, and abuses in the game of power; they do not have direct benefits, and one can only wonder why some categories of people do what they do.

As I said in a number of forums, including meetings aimed at campaigning for a particular candidate, supporters should understand that whoever emerges as the governor will be governor for everyone, and hateful campaigns are unlikely to translate into votes rather than leading to sympathy votes.

It is worth noting that the current governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has huge advantages over the other leading candidates. Why? He has been tested.

He has the experience that others do not have. He has been handed the mandate by the people once. He is familiar with the terrain. He has the privilege of occupying the position that is the aspiration and dream of his opponents.

He is well-positioned to showcase his scorecard. What is Sanwo-Olu’s scorecard? I know of the bridge in Agege and some of the roads under construction. Those packaging his candidature will do well to project his achievements rather than contend with the opposition over a projected manifesto.

Let him tell Lagosians why he deserves a second term for what he did with his first mandate.

The interaction and experience of the people with his government should speak for him and guide voters to make informed decisions. It is pertinent to also reiterate that his first coming may not have met some “consumer” expectations, and I dare say that grandstanding will not cut it!

The arrogance of the office or the party he represents will not deliver the votes; hence, a review in the next few days before the election could be a game changer.

Having said that, it is in order for people to crave change. Indeed, change is constant in human existence, the reason we grow and move from one level to another in life.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and Olajide Adeniran have committed no crime by having aspirations and desire to be the next governor of Lagos State. As citizens of Nigeria and Lagosians, they have the same rights as other contestants to deploy working strategies in their favor.

It is within their space to point voters to their unique selling points to bring about the fulfillment of their aspirations.

As for Babajide Sanwo-Olu, let the product sell itself.

  • Mayowa is the Managing Director of Stepcraft Nigeria Ltd, a marketing communication firm based in Lagos
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