Candidates in the October 7, 2018 presidential election are competing in the quantity, styles and attractiveness of gadgets all designed to woo electors.
It is difficult to walk for a kilometre in the capital city, Yaounde since September 22, 2018 when the campaign for the October 7, 2018 presidential election was officially launched without seeing scores of people wearing T-Shirts bearing President Paul Biya’s effigy and campaign messages. He is not only the Head of State but more importantly the candidate of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement.
To add to the T-Shirts are caps, mufflers, watches, umbrellas, headscarf and campaign fabrics sown in all attractive styles. When one moves from one neighbourhood to another in Yaounde where door-to-door campaign teams are using every method to woo electors, one discovers people wearing and displaying most of the gadgets. It is easy to know a neighbourhood where the campaign caravan had passed judging from the number of people who wear the gadgets either because they are followers of President Paul Biya, or they just want to get new dresses, umbrellas, caps or watches.
Rally grounds of President Paul Biya are veritable venues for the demonstration of the candidate’s strength through the gadgets on display. Candidates in the October 2018 presidential poll have spent billions of FCFA to produce distinctive campaign gadgets, a powerful tool in cajoling electors besides their manifestos presented during rallies as well as radio and television programmes and debates.
The gadgets bear the colours of the party the candidate represents in the election. Akere Muna, candidate of the Popular Front for Development unveiled his attractive orange gadgets when he officially launched campaigns during a convention at the Yaounde Conference Centre on September 22, 2018. Before the official launching of the election campaign Joshua Osih, the candidate of the leading opposition party, Social Democratic Front had even produced T-shirts and other gadgets bearing his effigy and campaign slogan that were worn during pre-campaign meetings. Professor Maurice Kamto, candidate of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) campaigned at the Yaounde Omnisport Stadium on Sunday, September 30, 2018. Besides the messages delivered, the distinctive signs of his presence were gadgets such as T-shirts, caps, whistles and hand flags one of the Republic of Cameroon and another for his party. As the second week of campaign is unfolding, the gadgets of many opposition candidates are hardly seen out of the localities where they have campaigned. They distribute the gadgets as they go considering that almost all of them have embarked on leading campaign caravans to as many parts of the country as possible. Keeping aside the campaign van, Serge Espoir Matomba on PURS is noticed through his campaign T-shirts and caps. That is the same case with Cabril Libii of UNIVERS, Frankline Ndifor Afanwi of Cameroon National Citizens Movement (CNCM). Campaign teams of the Cameroon Democratic Union (CDU) candidate, Adamou Ndam Njoya also comb the field and distribute T-shirts.