Rico takes campaign online

The Caretaker Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i, has launched a social media campaign in his bid for re-election to the seat of Aana Alofi 4.

A Facebook page bearing his name was opened earlier this year with mostly Samoan language posts.

In an initial greeting to supporters, Afamasaga notes that we are nearing the end of the election campaign and that his officially-designated “Public Figure” Facebook page is a reflection of the work he has done over the past five years.

“Talofa all. It’s nearing the end of election term 2016-2021. Like anything that comes to an end, I like to reflect back or like some would say throwback to a journey filled with a mixture of interesting feelings,” the greeting begins. 

“Why don’t you join me as I walk down memory lane?” 

Afamasaga’s posts explore his ideas on leadership; commemorate the official opening of the Satapuala water supply system in February; revisits the delivery of 50 water tanks to his district; a road opening in Faleatiu, and the promotion of rugby.

He is president of the Aana Chiefs Rugby Club which includes players from Faleasiu to Falelatai.

One of the most engaging of Afamasaga’s posts pictures him in farmer’s work clothes, standing alongside Satapuala villagers during an environmental cleanup of the coconut rhinoceros beetle (manu 'ai niu).

“Leaders lead by example,” he writes. 

“Here is a throwback of our Satapuala leaders taking the lead in helping get rid of coconut rhinoceros beetles (manu 'ai niu) that is a pest for our Satapuala coconuts. Leaders lead.”

In a 3 March post, the A’ana Chiefs thanked Afamasaga for his support of and service to their rugby club and the youth in their district over the years.

As of 11 March, 2021, the caretaker Minister’s page had 1,124 followers.

A message sent to the caretaker minister on Thursday, seeking comments about his use of the internet for campaigning purposes did not receive a reply.

Four other candidates are contesting the seat for A’ana Alofi 4: Tamanana Uelese Tasolo, Taufono Ifi Sapini, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster and Toleafoa Pili Asiata.

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