By Friday Olokor
As a journalist, and indeed a professional journalist, I believe that the battle for the political soul of 2019 general elections have just commenced. Although the defection of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) increased the political temperature of the country, the entry of KOLA OLOGBONDIYAN as PDP National Publicity Secretary could be a tonic for the party. But I have only one fear for Kola Ologbo’ which I will explain here later…
I have read through the press statements issued by BOLAJI ABDULLAHI of the APC and Ologbondiyan of PDP and have some observations to make. They both have backgrounds in THISDAY Journalism with good track records. One had given me a subtle threat in the past when he said, ‘I mentored your boss and employed him in THISDAY’, after an ‘offensive’ report.
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A. “Indeed, the PDP has once again displayed itself to the generality of Nigerians that it is a party with corruption deeply rooted in its DNA. Again, it is tragic that the PDP, which used to pride itself as ‘the biggest political party in Africa’, has now been reduced to a regional party. By frustrating the South-West’s chairmanship candidates, it is unfortunate that the PDP has decided to punish the South-West for not voting for the party in 2015.” – Bolaji Abdullahi
B. “Which impunity could be higher than APC violating its constitution? It is strange that APC could be moralising on the principles of social justice whereas its actions against Nigerians are a complete departure from the norms.
“It is important for this spokesman of a failed party and his pack of incompetent members to reminisce on the needless pains and suffering they have inflicted on Nigerians rather than being jittery over the successful outcome of the PDP’s elective national convention. We must therefore remind the APC that the era of deceit, trickery and scaremongering, which has been the hallmarks of their government, is gone and Nigerians are just waiting to kick them out come 2019.” – Kola Ologbondiyan
Distinguished colleagues, read through and give your judgments. While one addressed issues using epic language in line with the spirit of true nationalism, the diction of the other was rustic, pedestrian or as Chinua Achebe would put it “language of IS and WAS.” Abdullahi danced around issues when he tried to appeal to Yoruba sentiment because PDP denied the South West chairmanship of the party. He’s therefore appealing to aggrieved PDP members to join APC. This is a political statement because he’s most likely to join PDP before June 2018.
Political pundits have argued that parties and politicians have always failed because of many factors, including imposition of candidates and refusal to adhere to the principles of internal democracy and rule of law. And this is APC’s weakness or better put would be its HUBRIS.
It’s ones belief that political parties in Nigeria should be governed by election and not imposition or selection. Merit shouldn’t be sacrificed on the altar of godfatherism or personal interests. Rather, it is the interest of the party that should override other personal or political interests.
Unlike Bolaji Abdullahi who was said to have been selected and compensated by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, because there was no job, Kola Ologbondiyan tested his popularity on the battlefield, even though the hands and voice of Jacobean (David) Mark can’t be ruled out.
Who knows? APC could be missing Timi Frank! One APC apologist said, “Senator Dino Melaye, who didn’t study Journalism but Geography would could have done better if he had not been in the Senate.”
Despite the propaganda and failed promises of change he sold to Nigeria, on behalf of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, did excellently well. Nigerians can call him names or malign him; he isn’t a journalist, but he did well for the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and APC.
Now, back to Kola…
Congratulations on your election as the PDP National Publicity Secretary. But please, don’t make or repeat mistakes of the past. Journalists covering the PDP are waiting for you. Don’t underrate them; don’t collect any dime or commission for any advertisement placement, Radio Jingle or TV slot. I can’t be too sure if you did such in Senate. PDP is not under my jurisdiction and so have no interest. As I write, I’m still on my bed in Jos, Plateau State because of cold. But that is the advice!
You’re lucky that two of the three vicious musketeers have left reporting PDP and ‘defected’ to Senate, either by promotion, redeployment, lobby or appointment. But be careful as their cronies are still there. If you want to practice an unblemished PR and succeed, you can contact a former Chief Press Secretary to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and now the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Markson
Unconfirmed reports have alleged that the previous National Publicity Secretaries of APC and PDP (may be between 2014 – 2015) indulged in such acts. (It’s neither Lai Mohammed nor Olisa Metuh); the spokespersons didn’t even pay for some of these adverts. When these politicians won elections and assumed new portfolios, that was the end. Ask my good friends, Onyebuchi Ezeigbo of THISDAY and Olabode Adegoke of BLUEPRINT. Till today, they are still down with debts incurred through advert placement in their Newspapers. I’m sure Emmanuel Ogbeche and Fred Itua know what I’m saying…
*Olokor, a Nigerian journalist, sent this piece on his wall on Facebook