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Atiku, Obi, Tinubu: Story of crowd and clowns

By Kunle Awosiyan

They say only the crowd in the churches and mosques are not rented. That those at the campaign rallies are rented and may not vote for the candidates who rented them.
These are the words of the looming losers. The best way to console themselves against their impending defeat is to go the way of religion, one of the two ways to speak to the emotion of weak people. The second way is through ethnicity.
And now that Muslims and Christians, Pagans, and Atheists are mingling to chorus support for their candidates, the religious bigots are confused that the February election may not favour them.
It remains just one line for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to cross and get to the presidential villa, Abuja as the next Nigeria’s CEO.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has also recorded a bit of physical presence of the crowd at his rallies. Perhaps he had rented them too, according to the social media bullies.
The candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has most of his supporters online. Perhaps he had rented them too, their capacity to turn the number to votes will judge. But truth be told, Obi’s rallies are scanty.
According to them, Tinubu had rented the delegates who voted for him at his party’s primary; he is hiring the crowd at his various rallies now. With their assertion, Tinubu must be on his way to rent the voters to win the coming election. The last straw.
But they have forgotten that any clown can gather crowds on social media platforms. Skit gathers more traction than intellectual pieces online nowadays, perhaps because professors do not even have time to like or comment on comedy that will hardly change government policy or the positions of politicians and their supporters.
Let me digress a bit to “Online Business” as a purveyor to drive this piece. I have seen great organic content online with very light traffic because Search Engine Optimisation is very weak. I have also seen fake stories and unintelligent skits with heavy traffic because the SEO is very strong.
A popular social media influencer can help you drive the worst content to gather the highest traction. It is the traction that is converted to money. Digital marketers know much about this. Advertisers run after traction with less emphasis on the quality of content.
Content is only beneficial to a developer when it turns to money. However many online contents cannot make “shishi” because they are “Inorganic”. They are temporary and will fade with time.
Now, about clowns on social media platforms whose contents are inorganic, it is becoming clearer that they are fading away even when the election has not been conducted. Why? The organic, (physical) presence of real voters at the APC rallies is a source of worry that is daily nailing them and making them unreal.
But I love one thing about the digitisation of our election with BVAS. However, it must be noted that BVAS only records physical voters not online voters because the social media trolls are regarded as inorganic materials, contents that will not transform to real votes, in other words, real money as the case may be, between election and business.
Next month election will be decided and it will favour the candidate who can convert his rented crowd or clowns to physical votes. Our democracy will grow and be better off only when people can vote online and offline.
For now, the clowns online are in the gestation period and until they have grown to convert their traction to votes, winning an election is a mirage.
By Kunle Awosiyan is a journalist based in Lagos

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