16 December 2010 13 Comments

Ambassador Buba Marwa: An example of a strong political brand

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


Buba marwaAmbassador Buba MarwaAround five ‘o’ clock yesterday evening, I tuned in to our national television station and was fascinated by a live programme the station was broadcasting at the time. The programme was the declaration of Ambassador Buba Marwa’s  intention to run for the Governorship of his home state-Adamawa in Northern Nigeria.

Buba Marwa as we all know caught his professional training as a soldier. He was born in Kaduna but had his education in the north as well as the west. He was born to a family of retired soldier. As it was common with most ‘barrack boys’, Buba Marwa followed the opposite route. He took his education seriously topping his class in most of his courses. He produced an Army dictionary which is still regarded as ‘Wikipedia of army language’ till date.

In term of experience, he had served as military attaché to Nigeria Embassy in New York as well as United Nations. Having performed excellently in these positions, he was recalled to serve as Military Administrator of both Borno and Lagos states. As an administrator of these states, he turned around the fortune of the states. He enhanced the security operatives in both states so much that ‘gangsterism’, armed robbery almost became non-existent.

He was able to transform health care, transport and housing systems in the states. His populist approach almost made him a ‘David’ in the midst of the ‘goliaths-Military rulers’ of his time. In 2007, Buba Marwa ran for the presidential position under the platform of Peoples’ Democratic Party. This, he lost to Late Musa Yar Adua. At the end, Marwa was appointed as Nigerian High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa overseeing two other kingdoms. As a brand, he brought necessary changes to Nigerian image and diplomacy. In term of academic qualifications, Marwa holds two Masters’ degree asides from other certifications, awards, recognitions among others. As a political brand, Marwa has built his political structures and weights as a strong brand through thick and thins. Here are some of the ways he successfully built the brand

Trust: he is trusted not because of his oratory power but because he has demonstrated his ability to touch and impact lives. Trust is an essential ingredient in any political brand building. Trust is scarce in politics. Politicians are known to be great in speech but low or nil in delivery. Buba Marwa openly catalogued his pedigree of how he made promises and delivered on them.

Clear vision: despite lack of clear propaganda and vision of his political platform-PDP, Buba Marwa itemized his manifestoes declaring that if he is eventually voted in, there will be free Health care, Enhance electricity supply,infrasructural development, free education as well as job creation. PDP, which is marwa’s political platforms till dates has not made any meaningful impact because of clear philosophy and most of the politicians who used the platform to assume their positions do not show and demonstrated efforts of knowing where they are going.

Experience and track records: Buba Marwa’s experience and track records shows he does not come behind in terms of experience and academic qualifications. He had been recognized in different parts of the country. Marwa’s endowment and foundation has touched different people from every part of the nation. Marwa is a completely detribalized citizen. He retired from Army as a Brigadier General with impeccable track records. Though he was rumoured to be a favoured son of a former Military leader whose image, actions and antecedents are still hunting his political career.

Intellectual Contributions: As a brilliant student, Buba Marwa took first positions in most of his courses. When he was in the Army, he authored a book that is still being regarded as a classic till date. Most world leaders who had made any meaningful contribution always have a book that is authored by them. Most of these books are product of their thoughts. While this piece is not a promotional item, I am of the opinion that strong political brands like John F Kennedy, Obama,Chief obafemi Awolowo, late Anthony Enahoro(who passed on yesterday), Mandela among others stood out because of the some of these identified issues.

Issue based politics as against ‘do -or- die’ approach : As it is common with most Nigerian politicians who see position as a do or die affairs, Marwa demonstrated his humility and a  wish to respect wish of the people by constantly affirmed ‘if voted to office’. What a fine breed political icon.

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