The 2023 campaign season is flaring with a certain fire blazing the sense of political marketing. The ‘Big Boys’ in politics are beginning to stand to be counted, and this is the case of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu when he unveiled an uncommon campaign tagged ‘Greater Lagos Rising.’
The raving train for the Governor’s second term campaign formally glided off the rail to a robust start recently in Lagos as the team throttled on the pedal of ‘A Greater Lagos Rising.’ The campaign took a multidimensional pattern comprising campaign marketing stunts on land, sea, air, and everywhere possible.
Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, are the gubernatorial candidate and running mate on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the March 11th, 2023 governorship election.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Mr Gboyega Akosile (right); member of the Independent Campaign Group for re-election of Governor Sanwo-Olu, Rtd AIG Hakeem Odumosu (3rd right); Director General, Lagos APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council, Sen Ganiyu Solomon (5th right); followed by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso; his counterpart for Housing, Mr Moruf Adinderu Fatai; APC Lagos Publicity Secretary, Hon Seye Oladejo; Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Sam Egube and others, during the media activation of Lagos State APC Gubernatorial campaign flag off at Radisson Blu Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, on Wednesday, 30 November 2022.
The campaign unveiled with the traction of a carnival riveted at midnight with the deployment of an array of assets, among which are digital banners, A-Frames, Static Billboards, Digital Billboards, Gantries, Branded BRT Buses, and Ventricular to strategic locations in the state.
The campaign focus which shifted at about 4 am from the air to the sea emphasised the place of Lagos as a State of aquatic splendour. Many Nigerians were enthralled by the sheer spectacle which the unveiled campaign created with a Laser Branding of the Lagos Lagoon along the Third Mainland Bridge. A higher level of gaze and amazement to onlooking Lagosians was the display of about 1,000 energetic young people in Campaign Mascots who took strategic locations in the State to alert Lagosians about the break of the re-election campaign of the Numbers One and Two Citizens of the State. They were found not only on the Third Mainland Bridge, but also at Oshodi, Lekki, Ikorodu, Ojota, and Abule Egba.
At dawn the campaign took another shape with the ‘Sea Show’ featuring hundreds of Lagos citizens in the riverine communities that rolled out branded canoes to commemorate the start of the re-election campaign of Governor Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy. This show was accompanied by a multi-dimensional Road Show comprising Power Bikers, Activation Rigs, and Mobile Advertising Vans that also commenced from Ikeja through Ikorodu Road to Lagos Island. And by 1 pm, the campaign jingles hit the airwaves through major radio stations.
A highpoint of the event was the media conference to unveil the Brand Campaign which took place in Ikeja, the state capital. Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso urged Lagosians to brace up for “an exciting campaign season like never seen before! A government that has delivered on its promises, we have many reasons to campaign boldly”.
On the rationale for A GREATER LAGOS RISING! as the campaign theme, the Commissioner recalled how Lagos managed and navigated through the challenges of the first three years of the Sanwo-Olu administration, which anchored its campaign thrust on GREATER LAGOS! while seeking to be elected in 2019. The records of the administration propelled the Governor and his Deputy to put their hats in the ring again, the commissioner said.
Expanding on the storied journey of the triumph of the human spirit over challenges as typified by Governor Sanwo-Olu, Omotoso announced: “With all sense of humility, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has sent us here to say, ‘I am running on records. Get ready for more”!
Just a month in office, the administration had faced its litmus test with Lagos witnessing torrential rainfall which impacted negatively on the state of roads, causing traffic snarls and attendant hardship on the citizens. The response of the Sanwo-Olu administration was to launch the #FixingLagosRoads Campaign, an intensive road rehabilitation campaign. Then came the tragic pipeline explosion at NNPC in Ijagemo, as a result of the activities of pipeline vandals. Governor Sanwo-Olu mobilised help for the helpless.
There was also the commercial motorcycle (okada) menace, which got critics railing at the government. But Governor Sanwo-Olu rode the storm. “The move was a containment strategy to keep their activities manageable for the already over-stretched security agencies. Again, respite came the way of the citizens who applauded the bold move by the Sanwo-Olu administration”, the commissioner reminisced.
He recalled the setback that the Covid-19 pandemic could have caused to Lagos but for a courageous and brave Governor and Deputy Governor. In the end, Lagos emerged as the global example for the medical world on how to fight the pandemic.
#ENDSARS also almost grounded the state with critical infrastructure massively destroyed. But the Lagos of Sanwo-Olu came out stronger. “Within a few weeks, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu launched the Rebuild Lagos initiative aimed at rebuilding all that was destroyed during the protest.”
He said that A GREATER LAGOS RISING! is not only appropriate for a state that achieved so much in spite of all odds, but also a “thematic continuum of what we promised in 2019”.
“We promised our people A GREATER LAGOS. What do we see around us? Abundant evidence of a new city rising from the womb of time. We do not make a false claim of having reached the zenith of our journey. Our contextual usage of the word is as an adjective that suggests an upward slop, an increase, and an upward movement. These are the signs discerning minds can see all around the City of Lagos today,” the Commissioner said.