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Brands - December 29, 2019

SOWORE- Turning a product into a brand 

Omoyele Sowore

By Lolu Akinwunmi

In my early marketing days, a brand was defined as a product + name. Very elementary and of course unsustainable today. And so soap+ name=a brand like Lux. Car+name= a brand like Rolls Royce etc. A product was what was manufactured. A brand was sold to consumers. Elementary. Like the management of the Sowore matter by the government.

I am reluctant to comment on this because it’s still a matter in court and if I cross the line, my comments become sub judice. So I will be wary. And yet I must speak.

Sowore and Dasuki were released by the government yesterday. Many claim because of the intervention of the American government. We don’t know and to me this is moot.

My comments are limited to Sowore.

In my opinion the government could have handled his matter better. Let me say why, and I think quite a few people agree:

1. Who’s Sowore? Or more like who was Sowore? A straggling “politician” who made more noise than impact and still imagines he’s still a student union leader doing Aluta all over the place. What better proof than a Presidential candidate basing his economic recovery plan on the sale and export of marijuana! He received few votes (33.000) as a Presidential candidate; a tiny beep on the radar.

2. Known generally as a rabble rouser who likes to be in the news so that his controversial Sahara can always report him and his activities. He’s known more as the publisher of this online news magazine than anything else. There are rumours of unsavory practices but I hate rumours.

3. With the connivance of Femi Falana his lawyer, Sowore devised a plan to become popular by urging a “revolution” against the PMB government after he lost in the last presidential election. For this the government clamped him down, charged him to court etc. The rest of it we know.

4. The government has created a brand out of a product. All the government needed to do was to ignore his so called call for a revolution. He would have burned out. He doesn’t have the following, the doctrinal message, the impact, the capacity to rouse anyone to a revolution. He doesn’t appear to have the intellect either. All the government needed to do was sit down and wonder how a Sowore would cause a revolution in Nigeria. How???? If he was that popular he would have attracted more votes. Heck he brought in a miserly 33, 990 votes. Now how could this kind of candidate cause a revolution if our government people were thinking strategically?

5. Sadly the same group of people who always overreact did in his matter and chased after a gnat with a sledge hammer. We all watched in utter shock, horror and unbelief as the government in a series of forced and unforced errors and misadventures turned a small local matter into an international one. They win all prizes for clumsiness. Let’s not talk about the communication from Lai Muhammed and co. Such naivety.

Today a brand Sowore has been created. A platform has also been created for him. Global media is talking about him and quoting him. You keep wondering how the legal and law enforcement people could play into this man’s hands! At best he would have ended up like a Femi Fani-Kayode (who actually has said and declared worse than whatever Sowore did) if they ignored him. Plenty of hot air but no impact. An efulefu.

The pending trial should be swift and fair. If he has committed, serious lawyers in government should handle the matter. No bumbling. No errors. Quick dispatch. If he’s guilty the law should take its course no matter what the US says. If not he should be let off. If he absconds all the better. He can no longer run as a candidate if he’s a fugitive. Sowore cannot become a veritable threat to this government as long as we practise party politics.

Finally the entire matter proved one thing: POWER WITHOUT STRATEGY AND CONTROL WILL NEVER WORK. This government in many areas needs strategists. Raw power isn’t enough; brain power works better.

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