By Tomi Adedeji
A lot has been said and written for and against the interview granted to Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo popularly known as D’banj by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17, 2011. But recently, I came across a write up available here in which the writer Kunle Durojaiye laboriously sought to justify the strategic intent by the campaign handlers of Mr. President.
To simplify Kunle’s thoughts, an acceptable brand like D’banj will help sell the brand Goodluck to the general masses vis-a-vis by association. In other words, the otherwise ‘ignorant’ majority will accept whatever D’banj dishes out to them and therein is the blunder.
One of the first things I learnt as an advertising practitioner is that your audience is not as dumb as you think they are. Intelligence is not about one’s level ofeducation and as such, to think that the masses will be swayed by the personalityof D’banj in accepting GEJ without questioning is nothing but a crass attempt at political wizardry.
More than before, the awareness among Nigerian youths irrespective of their socio economic stratification is arguably at an all time high.
In my opinion, the whole charade has not really added much value to both parties concerned except that D’banj must be smiling to the bank. While Mr Jonathanavoided interviews and debates with more ‘serious minded’ young people, his comedy show with D’banj only strengthens the tag of incompetence that has so far hung over him like the sword of Damocles. On the other hand, the performance of D’banj as the host was also not much to cheer about. In fact,one writer coined another word from the whole charade (D’banjing: nodding inagreement when you really don’t understand what’s being said).
The interview only gave the President’s opponents more ammunition with which to justify their claims of ‘clueless, a la Bakare’ against him, while Mr DapoOyebanjo had someway managed to pitch himself against the very people whom he sort to represent. I bet he never heard these words “Never mess with politics, it is messy”.
On the moral level, to think that our yesterdays’ revolutionaries will be bought by the oppressors today as is the case with D’banj is sad. While it is an accepted norm world over for showbiz personalities to lend their voices to social issues,profiteering by partisanship while attempting to speak for the oppressed majority is nothing but moral bankruptcy, I’m sure Gani must be turning in his grave.
The handlers of Mr. President need to do more than this. Being elected the president of the most populous black nation on earth deserves more than a timeout with an ‘endowed entertainer’ or any BB punching, chewing gum munching celebrity for that matter. We need intellectual discourses not comedy shows.
Ali Baba is doing enough or do they want to kick Basket mouth out of business?
Brands that have stood the test of time are those that have consistently delivered on their promise to the people. The people determine the success or lack thereof of any brand on the long run. A brand that doesn’t answer to the needs of the people but the pandering of the highest bidder will soon go into oblivion; history is replete with several examples. A word is enough for D’banj.