By Othello B. Garblah
Just weeks before the National Elections Commission (NEC) can announce the opening of candidates’ nominations for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections due in October, political parties
here appear to be running out of campaign strategies.
Printing of opponent’s t-shirts just to divide it amongst party members to wear at one’s program, pretending to be disgruntled members from said party who have come to pledge their loyalty
and support to one’s camp has been on the increase and is now losing impacts
Thus, for the most part, political parties appear to be relying on endorsements and pledges of support as means of gaining popularity rather than carving tangible workable plans that will attract voters
in real numbers at their directions.
The incumbent is not clear of this gimmick as well. Local officials announcing their endorsement of the re-election bid of President George Weah is no news at all. Simply because these local officials
are already serving at the will and pleasure of Mr. Weah. By President Weah losing the 2023 election means they will all be put out of jobs. So, they have no other option but to endorse his second term bid, and doing so should not be big headline news.
In politics, announcing big names as crossing carpets to one’s camp is good, and it helps boost the morale of political camps, but in Liberia where most big names come with excess baggage, that
strategy seems to make little or no impact. In addition, videos of individuals claiming to be hired assassins by certain key figures from opposition camps to assassinate members of the incumbent regime are also in circulation.
These kinds of cheap propaganda are just demonstrations of how some parties here have run out of ideas. This is also in addition to paying for gossip spewed by media mercenaries.
This brings me to a point – a few days ago, a certain “Prophet Key”, which this author normally doesn’t follow because of his style of presentation spewed out lots of fabrications on his “show” describing it as privileged and leaked information about a particular presidential candidate’s interaction with some influential journalists.
In parts of his presentation, “Prophet Key” claimed that this writer and two other journalists had been offered bribes in the amount of US25,000 each to endorse the candidacy of Collaborating Political
Party (CPP) Standard Bearer Alexander Cummings during a meeting.
“Prophet Key” further went on to say that both this writer and the other two journalists declined the offer on grounds that they were supporting the candidacy of incumbent President George Weah. The
so-called “Prophet Key” went on to support his falsehood with other false claims which made him more witless than he had ever sounded on any of his shows.
Now, firstly, there has never been a meeting involving this writer and the other two journalists mentioned by “Prophet Key” and Mr. Cummings; not even a group meeting where these journalists including several others have had to meet with Mr. Cummings where in he comes soliciting support before making an offer of US25,000.
But here’s the catch, whoever sponsored that presentation of the so-called “Prophet Key” show that day, thought it was a very good strategy to either garner the ruling party’s attention or make the ruling party looks popular among these journalists.
The element of these journalists refusing the alleged bribe offered by Mr. Cummings was intended to
cleverly vindicate them to avoid any backlash after the message had been propagated.
However, these kinds of propagandas can only resonate in an unsophisticated political environment.
Today, Liberian voters appear to have come of age. Certain propaganda just doesn’t hold water, so when it includes some individuals who have over the years tried to protect their images then it creates more doubts.
This 2023 election has one of the highest stakes of any election ever held in our country. Therefore, politicians need to go beyond the usual and come up with tangible messages rather than cheap