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B Side, Communities

PoliThinks: Afinifere, Ọhaneze, Arẹwa, PANDEF, and the Endorsement Deals

  Political trading is on in Nigeria. It is the season of endorsements and counter endorsements by groups and individuals. Candidates use such endorsements to legitimize their candidacy of the…

  • eniola
  • 10th November 2022


Political trading is on in Nigeria. It is the season of endorsements and counter endorsements by groups and individuals. Candidates use such endorsements to legitimize their candidacy of the various elective positions they are contesting for. The number of contestants who are lining up behind several big-name individuals and socio-cultural groups are growing by the day. In September, 2022, Afinefere, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, under the leadership of Pa Ayo Adebanjo, endorsed the presidential ambition of Labour Party’s Peter Obi. A few weeks after that endorsement, the same Afenifere, under another leader – Chief Reuben Fasoranti prayed for the Presidential candidate of the APC, which people have interpreted as a declaration of support for the candidacy of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. These confusing takes on who to endorse in the run up to the elections, and the widespread attention it has gained shows how groups like Afenufere can shape.

Other socio-cultural groups like Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Pan Niger-Delta Forum (PANDEF) have in previous times endorsed candidates for various elective offices in the country. For example, in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, Ohanaeze Ndigbo endorsed the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar , and so did other groups endorse their preferred candidates.

these endorsements by socio-cultural groups worth? Well, to understand that, let’s understand what these organizations were set up for. On the website of the Afenifere renewal group (a splinter organization from the main Afenifere), the stated goals of the group include restructuring of the country, regional integration, net migration into the South West and Awoism – the welfarist political philosophy of the former Premier of the old Western region – Chief Obafemi Awolowo. On the other hand, the Ohaneze Ndigbo describes itself on its website as a “non-partisan, non-sectarian pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation designed to provide a platform where Ndigbo, within and outside Nigeria, may come together for the purpose of nurturing better understanding and harmonious relations amongst themselves, with other ethnic groups in Nigeria, and with all communities wherever they reside.” In the same vein, the ACF was set up “to establish unity of Northern leaders, working through elected officials to achieve progress in the Arewa area within the democratic framework.”
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These three socio-cultural organizations (and others like them) aim at uniting their people towards some established common goals. Interestingly, one of the ways they want to attain such goals is through political participations and playing very active roles in the democratic process. This is the reason why almost all the socio-cultural groups are aligning behind the candidates they think will help them advance their cause.





It remains to be seen the extent to which the declaration of support by these groups for any presidential candidate will influence the votes for such candidate by the ethnic group such groups represent. Speculations abound about the buying of endorsements by candidates to boost their acceptance. They do this largely for acceptability and voter influence. Imagine a popular Igbo candidate being endorsed by some prominent northern groups, or a popular Hausa/Fulani presidential candidate being endorsed by Igbo and Yoruba groups. Such endorsements in a country where ethnic suspicion is rife may serve as a signaling effect to rivals, of a wide acceptance and serve to douse the feelings of any possible sinister plot against them by members of other groups.




These socio-cultural organizations can serve as a vehicle for unity in the country – given its complexity – and help to accommodate the differences that abound if they act as a balance to the extremities that some leaders may be prone to, especially if their interests are aligned to the national interests. Sadly, these groups seem not to get their acts right and fail to present a holistic front in many instances. For example, while the ACF is more aligned to the more conservative nature of northern Nigeria, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is more desirous of a more progressive north which can reap the fruit of its many years of leading Nigeria. On the other hand, while the South-West of Nigeria, an area covered by Afenifere may collectively espouse the philosophies of Awolowo as previously highlighted, some politically influential individuals in the zone may run on personal agendas. Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been trying hard to give a single voice to the Igbos who are largely republican in nature, and sometimes speak at variance with the political leaders of the South East region.




So, the endorsement “deals” the country desires at the moment from these socio-cultural groups is not one based on money, ego, tribe, religion, but one based on national interest, values and progress.

To gain an audience and promote their music, musicians need to find the right digital streaming  platforms to distribute their music to. Some of the popular platforms include Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Deezer, and more recently Audiomack. Audiomack is a popular, youth-driven music streaming platform that has gained a significant following in Africa in recent years. The platform, which was founded in 2012, offers a wide range of features that is quickly making it a go-to destination for both musicians and music lovers across the continent.


In the summer of 2020, Audiomack, which has its headquarters in New York, opened shop in Lagos, ensuring they have boots on the ground ready to help in permeating our local market. Around the time of the launch, David Phonte, Audiomack’s co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer said “Nigeria is the sixth biggest country in the world. And when you look at majority English speaking countries, [Nigeria is] second after the United States. Since most of the artists we have are English speaking, it makes practical sense to see Nigeria as a growth opportunity both for Audiomack and all of the artists who upload their music to the platform.” 


Phonte and the Audiomack team were aware that they were entering a somewhat saturated market. At the time, platforms like Apple Music, Deezer, UduX, Boomplay were already operating in the market. They however knew they had a product that would cater to a large crop of music listeners and artists who didn’t have the financial resources to use those other platforms. 



One of the key factors that has helped Audiomack stand out from the competition since its launch here in Nigeria and the continent is its focus on underground and independent artists. While other mega streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music tend to focus on mainstream, commercial artists, Audiomack has made a name for itself by showcasing the work of up-and-coming and independent artists. This has helped the platform attract a dedicated audience of music fans who are looking for fresh, new talent to discover.




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A post shared by Audiomack (@audiomack)


In addition to supporting independent artists, Audiomack also offers a range of features that make it easy for users to discover new music. The platform’s advanced search and discovery tools allow users to find music based on their preferred genres, moods, and more. Audiomack also regularly updates its playlists with the latest and hottest tracks, which helps users stay up-to-date on the latest trends in music.


Another factor that has contributed to Audiomack’s popularity is its user-friendly interface. The platform is intuitive and easy to use, which makes it accessible to users of all ages and technical skill levels. Audiomack also offers a range of customization options, such as the ability to create personalized playlists and follow specific artists, which allows users to tailor their listening experience to their preferences.


In addition to its music streaming and download capabilities, Audiomack also offers a range of social features that allow users to connect with each other and share their favourite tracks. Users can comment on and like tracks, as well as follow their favourite artists and other users to stay up-to-date on their activity.



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A post shared by Audiomack (@audiomack)


Perhaps Audiomack’s biggest selling point is that it’s free. The platform provides free upload and stats for artists, podcasters, radio hosts, and creators of all types. For the users, it is also free. Similar to Soundcloud which was hugely popular in the mid 2010’s, anyone can upload music and anyone can listen for free. While other major platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube Music and Deezer require a monthly subscription fee, Audiomack is completely free to use. 


These aforementioned qualities have made Audiomack become increasingly popular, raking in new users by the day. Its popularity is likely to continue to grow in the coming years as it continues to focus on independent and emerging artists, and it offers advanced music discovery tools, user-friendly interface, engaging social features and a high-quality listening experience.