Emilokan – A Dubious But Very Brilliant PR Strategy

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This was going to be a very tough campaign. It would have needed the most brilliant PR strategist in the land cos this was a very ‘dirty’ candidate.


A lot was staked against him. His dubious educational qualifications, his colourful relationships with the law both internationally and local, his overbearing influence over Lagos, his deposition of Ambode and much more importantly the poor performance of the incumbent who he almost single-handedly imposed.


So how do you sell such a tainted product to a hostile market? This was very near impossible, and no amount of Bullion vans can deliver this mandate if the strategy was not right.


Those of us who understand PR and strategy watched from afar. I have posited that he shouldn’t be sold as anti-corrupt.  That would have been too hard to swallow.


No visible source of income, the Bullion Van driving into his house and his quip,’ is it your money? All made the Anti-corruption tag very difficult to hang.


So I devised that we sell him as dirty as he is. Since Nigeria was not the Vatican and we were not seeking to elect the Pope.


Let’s say that Nigeria is a jungle and that it’s only the Lion of Bourdillon that understands the jungle and can rule it.


This didn’t sell. So from afar and on hindsight, I can now see very clearly the three-pronged strategy that was used and, I must say, risky but very brilliant.


So I see the arrowhead strategy.  This involved building a team of battle-tested hound dogs who will take no prisoners.


FFK, Keyamo, Onanuga, Omatsola, and Alake forming the crux of this. I hear that FFK’s directorate had as many as 200 brilliant young minds.


These ones used the media to tear down all opposition. With releases, interviews, and social media, they attacked and wounded people.


FFK was instructed to fight Dino to a standstill, and he did that credibly well.


Targets like Reno were identified and mauled. Even Chief Obasanjo wasn’t spared.


This team was vicious and used bulldog tactics to maim and maul.


This threw fear into the media world. Arise TV crew and Thisday were fair targets. Rueben Abati and Rufai were singled out for humiliation and derision.


They came at both of them shamelessly. Abati’s pic in detention was brandished, and Shaka Momodu was attacked.


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Shaka fought back. Shaka at the tail end dropped a retaliatory bomb that had no answer.


Rufai fought back, but you could see that Abati was weary. He had been weakened as the bite had left him.


The second strategy used to sell Asiwaju was positioning. He understood the electoral map and didn’t waste his time.


Spent 70% of his time in the North.  It was clear he had annoyed the Christian south and, as such, didn’t have the time or energy to go and be begging the big influential GOs that litter Lagos Ibadan Expressway.


He went straight to the NW and NE. That was where most of the work was done. He only appeared in the SE and Akwa Ibom like once.


They didn’t have the numbers, and this is not the time to eat afang.


The results of the elections justified this. He lost Lagos and most of the SS, but the North gave him the dubious presidency.


His PR strategist was careful to show him as a Muslim, even though he flunked the Islamic prayers, but a lot of underground work was done by his daughter, especially on the Emirs wives and children.  The soft target.


I was privy to a phone call in Abuja where his daughter had called in to secure a meeting with the wives of an influential Emir. I also saw a list of 49 of such. This was where Asiwaju won the North.  simple


The third and most effective strategy was what I will call the – mumu strategy.


This was a very risky bit, but then again, it had to be done.


This portrayed him as a sick and weak man who was peeing on himself and being forgetful and gaffe-prone.


It started with the Emilokan cry. This was a brash and self-centred call to action. It threw up a contradiction cos when u shout Emilokan, it portrays strength and confidence


But then again, when u look at who is shouting emilokan, u see a frail and sick man who can not even walk without falling.


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This achieved the purpose of keeping him on the front burner. In politics, u must keep people talking about you positively and negatively, all aimed at keeping u on everybody’s lips.


Emilokan was the war cry of the campaigns. Everybody talked about it both supporters and opposition.


Even foreign media and Govts, this was brilliant. Emilokan was in everybody’s mouth, and by extension, Tinubu was deepening his public prominence with the phrase


Then the gaffes. I think they were also deliberate and brilliant. 


People were shouting Agbado and Corn for weeks. 50m in the Army and all the gaffes that he gave us regularly.


By this time, the conversation was no longer on Obi, whose campaign was also gaining ground.


Obi was campaigning on integrity, a new way of doing things, and simplicity. He was walking around in black and simple shoes, which resonated


Atiku was lost. A ghost, but Asiwaju’s gaffes and Emilokan got even the obedient talking about it.


Now the funny thing is that as the obedients were doing skits and laughing at emilokan, they were invariably making him more popular.  Keeping him in the public space and making him the topic of discussion on all platforms


Who can forget the Pyrates gyrating with the song Emilokan on the streets or Dino singing … baba wey hand dey shake, dey shout Emilokan…


The fools were simply working for Asiwaju, not knowing. Kai.


Invariably, the obidients were working for Asiwaju without their knowledge.


Now, did he deserve this dubious victory, I will say his strategists deserved it cos they fought a good and very brilliant battle


As a strategist myself, I doff my heart but as a Nigerian, I will say God punish them cos they took advantage of our weekend system and exploited it very wickedly to deliver a dubious victory using very brilliant strategies that would forever taunt us.


Kai. Wicked



 Duke of Shomolu

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