YERWA EXPRESS NEWS | AUGUST 29, 2017
YERWA EXPRESS NEWS correspondents last week came up with a list of eleven likely persons to succeed Kashim Shettima in 2019. When the analysis was up, our IT Department added a new dimension to it. It added polls to it to give readers the privilege to also vote for candidates of their choice.
The poll has rated the likelihood of some of the candidates to succeed Shettima very high. Of the eleven, the three most highly rated persons polled over 60 % of the total votes.
One thing was obvious, many did not see it as being about who succeeds Shettima, it is seen as one about who becomes next Borno governor--in which case, a different and broader poll is required.
Engr. Kabiru Wanori took the lead with 25% of the total votes. Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum polled 20% and Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, 19%.
One thing is clear, the polls went in favor of those with a very good social media following, which is increasingly becoming a true reflection of public opinion worldwide.
Here in Borno, it is the reason the state governor, Kashim Shettima, has an assistant on new media, supported with a fully equipped team.
The reality of it is that, ten years ago, social media was a no-go area except for elites. But this is no more the case.
7,490 persons participated in the polls. About 20,000 persons visited the site. About 80% of these connected to the site from social media. A day after the polls ended, we recorded additional 12,767 visits--we are still counting--and a large percentage of them followed a social media link.
Wanori, Ndume, are not just visible figures in social media; they are keen users--whereas Zulum is an exception. Zulum's last activity on his Facebook page was two months ago.
Elections don't hold in the internet. True. But e-voting will soon overtake; and when it does, nobody should be blamed for the consequences of relying on analog followers. Technology companies are doing more and more to bring their services to as close as possible to all classes of people in the society and with the commitment and speed, it is high time indignant persons who really have interest in politics, even business, education, etcetera to start investing in it.
The average performers, Sen. Abu Kyari, Mohammed Kyari Dikwa and Adamu Lawan Zaufanjimba, the polls is a wake-up call to start grassroot mobilization. For instance, Dikwa has never officially declared interest in electoral office. A public servant, all the hullabaloo about him do not come directly from him. As was previously noted, in his case, many see the potential in him. Thus, should he declare interest, it seems the rating will be higher, meaning he will do little to earn what is likely to be a massive support.
For the last four, more work, it seems, needs to be done if the aspirations are truly there--just as more of the ratings and polls are required to determine public opinion about them. For instance, Usman Zannah who had just 1% of the total votes is more popular on social media than Prof. Zulum--it is on him and the other persons to therefore find out how it happened. There are factors, more than social media presence, or social media following, of the effect of the real-life activities of the candidates, their reputation, competence and whatnot that affect such ratings! They really, it seems, need to go back to the drawing board and do more.
While further polls and surveys will hold, this will for the meantime give stakeholders and politicians a sense of direction about the candidates.
For the first three, this, if they are really interested in succeeding Shettima, is a call to more commitment, mobilization and hard work.