• Monday, April 15, 2024
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How ingenious campaign, ‘O to ge’ concept created change in Kwara senatorial election

Bukola Saraki

That Senator Bukola Saraki lost in the last election is no longer news. Perhaps, what could be of interest in the entire saga, is the unseen hands in “O to ge” that emerged and how the campaign was conceived to achieve the unthinkable which it did.

The campaign conceived and executed by Lagos agency, The Hook Creative Agency, a partnership of four young musketeers, has recorded massive traction as did their “Disgusting Ad” of last year.

Premised on the knowledge that election cannot be won on a campaign of calumny, lousy talks, and name-calling, neither do these unseat a sitting president or any other elected official for that matter.

The Lekki based agency is an unusual set-up with Akinwale Muse who functions as Director, Business Development & Strategy while the trio of Toheeb Balogun, Sam Ochonma,  Adebayo Owoshina are Creative Directors.

Like the Obama Change campaign, the shoestring budget but highly strategic “Oto ge” campaign, reflects an idea movement as against the commonplace rabble-rousing campaigns, Akinwale hinted.

Most often, political campaign handlers are reactionary instead of being proactive and single-minded in their campaigns, noting that situations like this often confer on the incumbent unfounded air of superiority and unmerited unfair advantage over the challenger, Balogun interjected

Going into the background of the campaign, the Strategy Director explained that the political hegemony of the state has always resided or is seen as the property of one family. The late Saraki Patriarch,  Olusola Saraki was the state’s kingmaker and a Senator of the Federal Republic. He presided over the hallowed chamber twice 1979 – 83 (though aborted).  His son, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was a 2-term governor of Kwara State between 2003 -2011 courtesy the Sarakis’ political dominance in Kwara.

For the uncharted in history, he added, when no Saraki is interested or available to take up a position, the family firms out such to whoever it pleases. Such were the interregna of Mohammed Lawal 1999 and 2003 and Abdulfatah Ahmed 2011 -2015 both spent a term.

The brief for the strategic communication, Ochonma noted, was followed by a detailed research and reputation audits to uncover the missing links and fix the yawning communications gap.

Thus an image and environmental audits yielded a harvest of disillusionment, a sense of servitude and bondage, a source familiar with the business revealed. Therefore, the campaign was premised on the basis that for the last 34 years has been with one family deciding the fate of all. “We want this no more, enough is enough”.

To achieve optimal effect and secure immediate buy-in by the vast rural community, the communication consultants distilled “Enough is Enough” to Yoruba dialect – “O to ge”, a shorter, sharper, more direct and impactful slang that sits beautifully with the people, addresses the person of the usurper, his class and the issue at hand.   Like a wildfire, “O to ge” became the buzzword and the most important line in Kwara politics, Balogun added.

While lamenting that Kwarans may have been complacent in the past, he noted that progressive minds in the state were fed up with the system as initial campaign revealed.  Hence, the “O to ge” concept was berthed to speak the people’s mind and address the situation.

Speaking in a statement on the ‘O to ge” narrative, Bolaji Okusaga, CEO, Precise Communications & Design, disclosed that he had the privilege of working closely with the  Hook Creative Agency guys who came up with what he calls an “ingenious slogan” – Otoo ge! Enough is enough.

“They are young men who did thorough research on the squalor and abject poverty which is the lot of the people of Kwara State”, Okusaga said.

Abdulrahaman AbdulRazaq, the APC Governorship Aspirant for the 2019 elections in the State contracted the young egg-heads team at Lekki, Lagos based, The Hook Creative Agency as Communication Consultant for his election campaign.  However, the sheer brilliance of the concept, currency in style, tone and design endeared it to the party structure in the state. The materials were adopted for the senatorial contests in the state and it recorded its first casualty in the incumbent Senate President .

The governorship election slated for March 9th will be another defining moment in Kwara to confirm the “O to ge” ideas for social change campaign efficacy as the electorates  will file out in their numbers to elect their governor and fill other relevant elective offices in the state. Meanwhile, the concept is being adopted in other states.  GNI campaign in Ogun state has changed gear to run on  “Otooge na nibi” in anticipation of next Saturday, March 9th election.

Like the Arab spring, and Nigeria’s “MKO is our man o” and Obama’s “Change”,  The Hook’s “O to ge” is set to be another social phenomenon that leads a people to a defining socio-political awareness and defining decision.

Daniel Obi