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The study provides the writers perception of effect of political advertising on electorates’ choice of candidate during the 2015 governorship election in delta state, nigeria. The study was motivated by the tense political atmosphere that pervaded the political landscape in the state prior to the gubernatorial election. To solicit votes or win the support of the electorate, candidates used political advertising among other strategies to sell their personality and party manifestoes. Political advertising of the PDP’S Ifeanyi Okowa in that election was studied. Key results showed how political advertisement are use by politicians, an understanding of the message of political to voters, how political advertising contribute to election success and the theoretical framework for political advertising. Amongst other findings the author observed that attack ads/negative campaigning advertisement was prevalent and and from empirical reviews it was
discovered that political advertising contributes to elections success.
Keywords: Political Advertising, Voters’ Choice, Candidate, Political Marketing, Unique Selling Proposition
1.1 Background to the study
The nomination and election of candidates into various political offices are important in party politics and representative democracy. In every political party, such nominations are made at national and state conventions preceding the presidential, gubernatorial, and other local elections (Achor and Moguluwa, 2012).
Prior to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria and indeed delta State, political parties through keenly contested or ‘stage managed’ primaries produced candidates who vied for various political offices. Securing a party’s candidature is a hurdle that must be passed using intra-party connections, personal contacts, and aspirant’s credentials or achievements. After securing a party’s candidacy, the candidate and the political party have an uphill task to winning during general elections (Achor, 2011). Irrespective of the level of political campaign, the electorate (voters) is the target. They buy the political product if the product meets their needs; they are also the recipients of political messages that solicit their support or vote.
Olalenkan (2003) posited Development in today’s world has made the business of governance very complicated and filled with great challenges for people seeking political powers. Attempts to meet the challenges effectively led to the birth of political public relation and it is virtually impossible to practice it without fully understanding the political system. Power distribution is key in politics Ezeukwu (1998:284) states “the mutual relations of control among public office holders themselves relate to the two doctrine of separation of powers and checks and balances operating in nations democracy”.
Nigeria Fourth Republic started in May 29 when the Militray Head of State gen. Abusalam Abubakar handed over power to civil president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Then the political development was regarded as nascent democracy which has been natured for sixteen years. Just as the Federal Government, the state governmenthave governors who spearhead the state. Delta state us one of the states in south – south geo-political zone that was created by Rtd Gen. Babagida in August 27th 1991. Asaba became the state capital and Chief Felix Ibru became the first Executive Governor in same year. Delta State is one of the most political state in Nigeria with 25 local government areas. The state also known as “the heart beat” of the nation has produced prominent politician like Chief E.A. Clark, Chief Felix Ibru, Prof. Eric Opia. In 1999 witnessed the emerging of Chief James Ibori as the second Executive Governor of Delta State. Chief Ibori became a national politician while a governor when he proposed and push for resource control, an agitation that was not become by the chief Obasanjo. In 2007, Chief James Ibori handed over state power to Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Udauaghan. Just at the wake of 2015 general Elections the political environment was regarded as an open field for political campaign and election victory. Ti was by this time many political Stalwats came out to test their acceptability by the electorate. Being a PDP state, many people believed that the PDP will have a free day in the election. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa entered into the world of politics in the year 1991 when he served first as secretary, Ika North East Local government Area and later as Chairman Ika North East Local Government Council, until 1993. Before the return of democracy in 1999, he served in capacities which include Delta North coordinators of the Grassroot democratic Movement (GDM), Delta North Coordinator of James Ibori Campaign Organization (1998) and secretary of the Transition committee which ushered in the James Ibori Administration in 1999. Dr. Okowa enjoyed 8 unbroken years of service in the James Ibori-led administration.
During the period, he excellently excelled in serving as Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resource (July 1999 to April 2011), Commissioner for Water Resource Development (April 2001 to May 2003). Dr. Okowa resigned to contest in 2007 Peoples Democratic Party Gubernatorial Primary where he came out second. He was consequently appointed as the secretary to the Delta State Government by the newly sworn-in Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. He resigned to content for ht Delta North Senatorial District Election which he won. On the 8th of December, 2014 he emerged the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party in the state’s gubernatorial Primaries with a landslide of 406 voters. He won 21 local government of delta state to be declared the governor of Delta state. Chief Ogboru Great came on board in state political environment in 2003 when he contested for gubernatorial election under the platform of Action against Chief James Ibori. He came all out to threaten the popularity of Chief James Ibori, however, he was defeated. At the wake of 2007, Chief great Ogboru surfaced as the governorship candidate of DPP, a new political party in Nigeria especially in Delta State.
The second coming was forceful and he became a big threat to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan victory but he lost the election and headed to electoral tribunal and the victory of dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan was cut short in 2010, November. Great Oboru lost the re-run election to Dr. Emmanuel, effort to turn the victory to his favour in the court proof abortive. In preparation for 2015 general election Chief became the flag bearer for labour party for governorship election. He won four local government areas out of the 25 Local Governments in the state. Chief Otega Emerhor is a known business man who in 2013 contested his first political post for Delta central; senatorial seat, a void left by late senator Ewherido. He contested the governorship election under APC but fail to win a local government.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Even though it has been generally accepted that advertisement persuade the behaviour of people to have favourable attitude towards a person, product and service, many marketing professionals and politicians underscore the impact of political advertisement of the behavioural attitude of the Nigeria electorate in 2015 general elections. Also, must electorates have viewed that political advertising is manipulative and takes the pattern of propaganda. They concluded that political advertising does not sell political parties or candidates. Therefore, they pay no interest to watch or listen to these advertisements. The essence of this study is to investigate the impact political advertising on the Nigeria electorate.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study will have the following as the objectives;
1. To find out the how political advertisement is use by politicians.
2. To understand if the message of political advertising persuade the voters.
3. To determine if political advertising contribute to election success.
4. To determine the theoretical framework.
1.4 Research Questions
1. How do politicians use political advertising?
2. What message in political advertising persuades the electorate?
3. Do political advertising contribute to election success or not?
4. What is the theoretical framework?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study is purposeful to mass media to know how impact is political advertising on the voting behaviour of the people a way to attract more political advertisement as advertising revenue means of making profit. It is also be benefiting to the public figures and politicians on how to project their parties and candidates to the electorate in order to win the minds of the people.
1.6 Scope of study
The study covers the impact of political advertising on Delta State electorates. It also cover the audience of two selected town which representing the two senatorial constituency where the three aspirant comes out. There are Kwale-Delta North and Abraka Delta central.
1.7 Definition of terms
Advertising: This is the art to influence people through persuasive message to have a favourable attitude toward the sponsor/product being advertized.
Electorate: These are individuals that vote during election, they are the mass that advertising is directed to.
Impact: This is the level of influence of a thing on people. The intensity of advert on the people.
Election: The periodic selection through voting of government personalities.
Campaign: The act soliciting of votes through awareness creation.
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