OSUN 2022: PAN Sets to Enhance Peaceful Campaign Environment Through Monitoring of Stakeholders

Positive Agenda Nigeria (PAN) has announced its readiness to begin monitoring and evaluation of political actors and their supporters in Osun State using robust research and dissemination strategies, as political parties and candidates begin their campaigns across towns and cities in the state for the 2022 governorship election.

Dr Adebiyi Rasheed, the team leader for the non-governmental organisation, stated this in a statement ahead of the project’s commencement on May 7, 2022. He hinted that the organisation has previously monitored the activity of political parties, candidates and their supporters across a variety of platforms during the 2018 governorship election campaign.

Dr Adebiyi noted that the outcomes of the 2018 project showed that the campaign atmosphere could be typified into two – physical and virtual environments. The physical environment covers all those physical channels through which people could receive the campaign messages. The virtual environment relates with online campaign messages on websites and social media handles of the contenders.

“The first phase of the physical was generally peaceful and calm with the parties trying to frame their candidates as the best for the job.  Emphasis was laid on qualification, competence and experience of the candidates. The messages on the billboards and posters were portraying candidates as the best hands for the job ahead. So, in the initial analysis, the physical environment was used in a very responsible manner.

However, as the campaign hot up and the day of the election approached, campaigns especially on radio and television became somewhat aggressive with the 5 major parties making references to their different candidates in certain language and tone. We felt the campaign discourse should have been dominated by statistics-driven policies and ideas of the parties and major issues such as the rising debt profile of the state, backlog of salaries owed civil servants and pensioners as well as sustaining the infrastructural development strides of the outgoing government.”

These were some of the outcomes and occurrences in 2018, according to Dr. Adebiyi. According to him, the team, which includes academic and independent researchers, has established a new technique and template for publishing the results of daily, weekly and bi-weekly monitoring and evaluation of the actors. Dr. Adebiyi stated that the overall expected result, similar to the 2018 initiative, is to improve peaceful campaign environment in order to ensure a successful election in the state.

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