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Banky’s ballot problem


Modern Democratic Party (MDP) candidate US-Nigerian musician Olubankole Wellington popularly known as Banky W. raises a clenched fist during a campaign rally at Ajah in Lagos, on January 27, 2019. – Banky W. was born in the United States to Nigerian parents — an engineer father and church pastor mother. Banky W. hopes to win a seat in the House of Representatives for the Modern Democratic Party (MDP), which was only created last year. The party’s platform includes introducing free and compulsory primary education in a country where an estimated 13 million children do not go to school and the creation of vocational training centres to equip people with employable skills. (Photo by FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR / AFP)

Banky Wellington, otherwise known as Banky W, the singer gone actor gone politician whose declaration to run for office in the House of Representatives for Eti-Osa shocked everyone, recently announced this morning that there will be a problem with the upcoming voting ballots-his logo won’t be on it.

Banky W represents the newly formed Modern Democratic Party (MDP) whose logo features a ladder with the abbreviation MDP on each rung in ascending order.

His Instagram post which has gone viral declared that the logo on the upcoming ballots will be wrong. He didn’t go into further detail about the cause of the misprint, but stated instead:

“We have tried every possible option to see if the ballot papers can be reprinted, but that is unfortunately not possible. So we move on. No sense crying over spilt milk. The good news is WE ARE ON THE BALLOT. You will see ‘Modern Democratic party’ on the ballot with this new logo. We will not be deterred by any obstacle. We will not be discouraged. We will focus on the finish line and forge ahead. No weakness. No regrets.”

But will the changed logo affect his chances? The Guardian took to the streets of Eti-Osa to find out.

The problem is in the logo!

“Without the logo, they will miss it.” Segun Akindele, a vulcanizer and father of two told The Guardian. “The logo is important, it makes you stand out. You can’t mix up APC and PDP logos, they’re very distinctive, they both stand out. You need a logo or people won’t care.”

Of the 23 people interviewed, 19 admitted they voted by logo rather than written word. 10 said it would change the vote. None of them knew what the new logo was.

“I vote by what’s written,” Morayo, a guard for Silverbird Cinemas Galleria said. “But other people that can’t read use the logos. For the people that can read and write they can do what they want, but illiterate people won’t know who he is.”

For some like Chinelo Amadi, a schoolteacher and Tofunwa Bakare, a university student, the high levels of illiteracy don’t matter.

“The logo doesn’t change anything. They’re voting for the individual. For me, it’s not about the party but the person. The two parties we have now APC and PDP, we’ve voted party by party and nothing has changed, this term has taught us to vote for people, not for parties. Even if he doesn’t win it’s a good start for him.”

“If they truly care about him they will look up the new logo and they will vote for him.”
But Leonard Nlah, a financial analyst, argued it would isolate the working class who are unable to afford data plans to find out what the new logo is:

“If it’s only online, no one has money again, so they won’t know.”

When learning that Banky W was mass-producing new material with the new logo on it, he argued there were still holes in this plan:

“That will just confuse people, they will think he has changed his party.”

Miriam, a hawker, says the votes shouldn’t be affected because the voting registry staff will help: “If I no sabi read I will call person say aunty come help me, I no sabi oh. She go tell me who I gon vote for, I go tell her Banky W and she will show me where to match it.”

But Abimbola Popoola argues that regardless of help, the lack of a logo could still prove disastrous: “The way the voting system works we don’t have too much of time to make a decision. We’re in the hot sun, we’re on the road, there are people behind us so we just vote for the first person we see sometimes. If the logo is wrong, no one will have time to look.”

With the elections in less than three weeks Banky W is mass producing new posters and signs featuring the new logo, but to the people of Eti-Osa, it seems the damage is done.

Legally, Banky has ground to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission, Bunmi Popoola-Mordi, Head of Law for Total Oil Company and law consultant for The Guardian, states. The likelihood of such a suit seems imminent as it’s also been revealed that Banky W’s name has also been misspelt on the ballot. Coincidence or sabotage? Either way Banky’s in for a rough election.

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