DAYS TO POLL: LA Still The Man To Beat
By Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
In modern politics, web popularity has in many instances in many countries of the world proved truly indicative of the physical world of votes.
And generally Kaduna online users are both large in numbers and a more web savvy bunch than others. Specifically, over 80% of those between the ages of 16 and 45 in the Kaduna Central zone has Internet access, and about 61% of them participate actively in online political debates.
Verifiably, the demographics of likely swing votes in this zone would be largely made up of young men and women in this bracket.
Therefore, the candidate with more signs of web dominance, and voter demographics largely consisting of young voters is likely to win, if in the end, web popularity correlates to popularity in the physical world.
Putting this to test while measuring the ongoing heated political race in Kaduna Central, an Internet Popularity survey was conducted as a positive reinforcement to provide insight into which senatorial candidate is more popular between Shehu Sani, Uba Sani and Lawal Adamu Usman (Mr LA).
As a result, an interesting discovery was made by looking at social profiles like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, as well as online activities like YouTube video views, and positive versus negative postings.
By this amazing discovery, all social media factors point to a particular candidate to win – Mr LA of the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to the survey, as from the last eight months, Mr LA has maintained a steady lead with more likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter and Instagram, and the least amount of negative postings on WhatsApp and other chat groups.
It follows that while the young men and women in this age bracket have a greater web presence which contributes to the PDP candidate’s online popularity, they are as well expected to have the ability to surpass the lower presence of seniors in actual votes at the polls.
LA, the dominant figure in all the criteria, has a lot working in his favour as evidenced in the phenomenal growth of his followership across the seven local government areas that make up the Kaduna central constituency.
First, elders, youths, and women groups have stepped up support for him in a manner never seen in the state’s political history.
The state’s political elites have also closed ranks in his favour, except those whose sycophancy and personal ambition remain tied to the continuation of decay and destruction of the state and its people.
Similarly, from Giwa to Chikun, Christians and Muslims endeared to the LA Movement have closed the religious divide, awakened by the burden of the shared legacy of the Nasir Elrufai’s APC administration in the deteriorating standards of living as friends and families of government fleece the poor of resources to develop.
In Kajuru and Chikun particularly, all the ethnic nationalities have pledged support for LA and vowed to defy those who seek to drive a wedge between them, conscious that all tribes have suffered the effects of insecurity, poverty and poor governance under Elrufai.
All the tribes of Chikun and Kajuru have therefore vowed not to run away from each other into the damaging arms of selfish political and religious merchants who make capital out of people’s weaknesses.
With this buildup, it is literally impossible for any sane politician to stay unrattled after seeing the thousands of young people who followed LA on his campaign trails, pledging to him their unquestioning support and loyalty with full faith that he will address their hopes and aspirations.
It is in particular, impossible to ignore the picture of the tens of thousands who turned up in Birnin Gwari and Giwa defying the threats of kidnapping and bandit bullets, to register their faith and support for LA.
It is not possible to forget adolescents and children who defied the scorching sun and fast-moving vehicles on the streets of Igabi, Kaduna North and South to catch a glimpse of a man they had been brought up to believe has interest in their collective future.
It is impossible to ignore the unprecedented response of communities in Kajuru and Chikun to the LA pull, responses which defied decades of entrenched sentiments that had fed the fiction that there are two Kadunas, the Kaduna of the non-Hausa, and the Kaduna of the Hausa; the Kaduna of Muslims and the Kaduna of Christians.
As the people prepare to troop out to offer a verdict over their future in the next few days therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that the LA campaign represents the high point in activities that lay the foundations of the collapse of the current citadel of poor governance, indifference, insensitivity and unprecedented plunder that is the Elrufai administration.
And by the end of the polls, they will certainly troop out again to celebrate an end of poor governance; to leadership that run away from responsibility, and to leaders who remember the people only when they need voters.
ABDUL-AZEEZ IS HEAD OF MEDIA DIRECTORATE, LA CAMPAIGN
DAYS TO POLL: LA Still The Man To Beat