At the risk of seeming self applauds, it is safe to remember that failure to seldom sound one’s trumpet risk seeing it suffer rust. It is against this backdrop that I note that though the 2019 Kogi State governorship election has come and gone, its story cannot be complete without mentioning the positive roles and impacts the Yahaya Bello Media Center (YBMC) under the leadership of yours truly.
YBMC, without doubt, played a sterling roles on the election and has continued to carry out its role as a propagating medium of the activities of the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello. This is a role to which the entire membership of the centre have dedicated themselves.
YBMC is an offshoot of the Buhari New Media Centre (BNMC) coordinated in the state by myself. It was created to project the image of President Mohammadu Buhari in the 2019 Presidential election while also identifying fake news and propaganda with a view to correcting them.
Its activities were not limited to the pages of social and electronic media; it has its presence in the conventional media up to the streets, door to door.
The Kogi state chapter of the Buhari New Media Centre set the pace for every other state chapters all around the country with young men and women who were determined and driven by passion for a better Nigeria and Kogi State.
At the tail end of 2019 when the Kogi state governorship election was in the offing, the present deputy governor who was then chief of staff to the Governor, had, in his wisdom, having identified the outstanding performance of the Buhari New Media Centre (BNMC) in Kogi state, requested for the collapse of the structure of the Buhari New Media Centre (BNMC) for the governorship elections, and repeat the same sterling performance we delivered during the presidential election. This we did with all pleasure and without wasting time.
The Yahaya Bello Media Centre (YBMC) was formed and our mandate included, and not limited to; Projecting the works of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello through the social, electronic, print media and on the streets of all Local Government Areas of Kogi state. To this end, logistical arrangements were fine-tune for this onerous project.
Furthermore, the Yahaya Bello Media Centre (YBMC) comprises of seventy – three (73) enterprising young men and women drawn from the 21 Local government areas of the state. Three (3) persons per Local Government , while 4 from: Lokoja, Okene, Ankpa and Dekina respectively. We further broke down the team into the executive, the content development team and the general team.
The formation was preceded by a three (3) days training workshop where members were drilled and tutored by academicians and professionals of repute on the use of social media, political psychology, content management and many more.
The content development group swung into action and started the production of contents for its online campaign across all social media platforms; electronic prints and print media, especially The Graphic Newspaper. When the group stormed the social media, for the very first time in the history of Kogi state, the state and governor Yahaya Bello trended positively on all social media platforms, especially twitter for over four days consecutively. We countered fake news and propaganda with facts and figures. We matched the opposition with contents, it was indeed very tough, seventy three (73) men stood their ground, projected good over evil and in the end, emerged victorious. We won with our soldiers and followers and received accolades from within and outside the state.
When the time for campaign proper came, YBMC hit the streets of Kogi state; moving from one Local Government to the other, in uncharted, dangerous roads, difficult terrains, in the morning, late at nights, in the sun and even in the rain. Our modus operandi was to visit any APC campaign ground, a day earlier to do our door to door campaign, return to Lokoja same day to prepare for the campaign proper the next day. We often arrived all campaign centers hours before commencement to do another round of door to door campaign where we shared contents and gift items.
Then came the election. It was hectic, it was tiring but fun. New friendships were formed, new aspirations were developed and the spirit of EBIGO was entrenched fully within the team.
During the election proper, the Yahaya Bello Media Centre (YBMC) set up its situation room which worked with the state and party situation room, cross referencing data across board throughout the polls. YBMC members were on their toes, sending in situation report from the field till victory was achieved.
After the the victory, unlike every other team, the Yahaya Bello Media Centre (YBMC) remained as one indivisible team that continued to project and promote the policies, image and good works of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. It remained committed to a course; Kogi state. It is also presently the only team, that is making tremendous impact in the sensitization of Kogi state residents against the dreadful Corona Cirus – Covid-19.
I want to use this opportunity to thank my team, you are the best team and I pray your selflessness is rewarded now or in the nearest future. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of your preparation, hard work, and learning from past failures.
I want to use this medium to thank most respectfully and profusely, His Excellency the deputy governor, Chief Edward David Onoja, who deemed it fit to put the team together and sponsored the teams project.
May we all reap the reward of our hard work. Long live, Kogi State.
– Williams Charles Oluwatoyin
DG, Yahaya Bello Media Centre