The #WeGoVote campaign— our civic engagement idea to get more people active in the electoral process—reached over 100,000 people across our various social platforms in the build-up and during the 2019 Nigerian general elections, and gave us a lot of reasons to do even more to impact people positively with visual communication. In the build-up to the elections, it was impossible to miss the everyday conversations of cynicism and doubt. Many people were not enthusiastic about voting, for several reasons of doubt and disbelief. We begged to differ. We thought it all only gets worse when we all abandon the polls altogether and we decided to do something about it—with compelling posters. We focused on reaching the vast population of young people between the age of 18-45 (the largest voting bloc in the country) with messages that could inspire, engender a rallying point and represent the various issues militating against civic participation in Nigeria.
We started with research into understanding the major reasons why a lot of Nigerians do not vote. The results revolved around distrust for the electoral system, the prevalence of vote buying, patriotism, love for country, an absence of faith in the government and the major contesting candidates etc. While we understood that we cannot deny the existence of the issues, we focused on building a community of people who would play their part, in spite of the many issues plaguing the system.
“We may have a lot of issues, but voting is still the only way to effect leadership change and make your voice count in the political process as a democratic country; hence we go vote.”
As of 2018, Nigeria had a population of over 92 million internet users and the figure is projected to grow to over 187 million internet users in 2023. This means that with a large percentage of the population with access to enough technology to connect with and participate in democracy, we can access them on their square screens. We used our social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and shared across WhatsApp stories of team members and different partners.
It was featured on the election programme of the Oyo State Broadcasting Corporation TV station, Olorisupagirl.com, @livewithlynda, the official handle of the Governor of Ondo State – @rotimiakeredolu and a host of other platforms.
Throughout the election period, the digital flyers were shared by a good number of people who could relate with the core messages on them. It became an easy way to express the way they felt and a badge that carefully showed the school of thought that they identified within our quest for a better Nigeria.
The use of colour, imagery, local parlance like “Gbe Body e” and Nigeria is in serious pains— “Sifia pains” was to help people engage with the issues we were trying to communicate at first glance. There was a deliberate effort to keep all designs simple, basic enough to understand and detailed enough to inspire. The aim was to connect with and then convert our audience into an army of believers on the need to participate in the process. In the end, with over 20 designs tailored to different issues around the electoral process, we were able to play our part in encouraging more people to vote during the elections. The beautiful thing is that some of the designs are with timeless messages that can consistently tell the stories until we get it right. As long as we know that elections remain the only way for us to elect and select our leaders, #WeGoVote.
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