Research Scores Osun Under Oyetola Low On Communication, Civic Engagement

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Within the last one year that the Osun Government was inaugurated, her communication with people of the state has not been properly planned and coordinated by the government’s media team.

In a new data-based report released by Positive Agenda Nigeria (PAN), an
independent research-oriented non-governmental organisation in the state, “the closed culture of interaction existed” between the government and the people “throughout the last one year.”

The over 30-page report is titled “Changing Civic Engagement: Creating Better Processes for a Broad, Balanced and Connected Public Communication in Osun State.”

“Over 3% (of the sampled citizens) indicated that they received information on security, health, infrastructure, industrial development, workers’ welfare and employment opportunities combined.

“Radio (73.80%) and Television (43.70%) were the two dominant broadcast media used for the dissemination of the government and governor’s activities. We also discovered newspapers (online and offline- 12.69%) and government official website (7.89) and social media (Twitter and Facebook) as the media employed” by the government in 2019.

“Our analysis reveals that the newspapers used 509 words in the headlines of the 63 published stories.

This generated 3,841 and 2,612 cumulative engagement and impression score respectively.”

“It is obvious that closed culture of interaction existed throughout the one year.

When there is such interaction, government and the officials give room for rumour. It also contributes to less social credibility. We investigated this further by examining the number of comments and replies the posts and tweets had.

A total of 2,405 comments and 4,285 replies were found on Facebook and Twitter respectively. On monthly basis, we discovered low social proof for the government and the governor in November, 2018.

The public started having interest in commenting and replying to the posts in December, 2018 and tweets in January, 2019. It is clear that the proofs maintained irregular trends from May, 2019 till October, 2019.”

Although our findings revealed that some of the governor’s programmes and
implementation were communicated to the people, the media team of the governor still lagged behind in content production, content dissemination and monitoring of the government and the governor’s public image in 2019.

Our one-year monitoring of Governor Oyetola’s official Facebook page, Twitter handle and Osun website indicates
that a lot of strategic moves are required of Mr Governor’s media team if the popularity index of Alhaji Oyetola is to rise.

“In terms of appearance (in images), government officials were more presented (42.1%) than the citizens (4.4%). In what appears as a disconnection with the citizens while discussing policies and issues, our analysis shows that citizens (99.1%) and community’s efforts (99.5%) towards the growth and development of the State were not emphasized in the messages. Government’s efforts were more stressed (26.2%).”

Aside the monitoring of the government’s digital infrastructure and other technologically-driven designs, PAN’s research team also interacted with journalists and Public Relations
practitioners in the state.

Citizens in the headquarters of the 9 Federal constituencies in Osun were also sampled. Scientific analyses of newspaper reports about Governor Oyetola were not left out in our research consideration.

A part of the report also notes:
“With these stories and those posted and tweeted on the identified social media, we asked the citizens in the headquarters of the 9 Federal Constituencies about their level of satisfaction with the information received during the one-year period of our analysis.

Analysis indicates that 23.40% of the citizens sampled in Ede, the headquarters of Ede South/Ede North/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency were not satisfied, followed by those in Osogbo/Olorunda/Orolu/Irepodun Federal Constituency (12.70%).

“Over 9% of the samples in Ila/Odo-Otin/Boluwaduro Federal Constituency were equally not satisfied with the information received between November 2018 and October 2019.

The high level of satisfaction was only recorded in Iwo (18.10%), Ife (16.90%) and Oriade/Obokun (13.30%). When we examined the satisfaction within the satisfied option, we found that the percentage of the citizens in Ife who indicated that they were highly satisfied (16.90%) was close to what was obtained under the satisfied option (14.30%).”

On what PAN stands for, one of its co-conveners, Rasheed Adebiyi hinted, “The Positive Agenda Nigeria is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to focusing on good governance through government-citizen interaction.

The organisation deploys evidence-based advocacy for a robust communication between elected representatives and citizens.

Thus, this study is a follow-up to the work done during the 2018 Osun governorship election where we monitored the campaign atmosphere on both physical and virtual spaces where candidates engaged the citizens to see the quality of campaign promises.”

We strongly believe that the face of government-citizen communication in Osun through open governance on digital space will improve if our recommendations are objectively.




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