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PDP and its “state of the states” publicity tour

Source: pointblanknews.com
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By Sufuyan Ojeifo
National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa

Metuh, announced on Sunday plans by the Party to immediately undertake a

nationwide tour to enable a team from the Publicity Directorate of the

Party visit all projects executed by the Governments of the Party at the

Federal, State and Local levels since 1999.
He rationalized the tour at a press conference in Abuja during which he

harped on the imperativeness of adequately publicizing to the entire world

key achievements that the PDP Government has recorded in its 15 years of

being in the saddled.  Since the ultimate objective of the tour is to

showcase the achievements of the PDP Government, the enterprise should be

seen as a welcome development by party members who are concerned about the

under-reporting of the Party, its Government and achievements.

Against the backdrop of the popular axiom that “if one does not blow ones

trumpet, nobody will do it for one,” the PDP Publicity Directorate Tour,

which has already begun, as of the time of penning this article, should

have taken place long before now.  But like it is said, “it is better late

than never.”
For those who may not quite understand the shape of the tour and how it is

different from the Good Governance Tour embarked upon by a team led by the

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, in earlier part of this

administration, the PDP Publicist said: “While the Good Governance Tour

focused on the projects executed by the Federal Government under the

current dispensation, the PDP Publicity Tour focuses on all projects

executed by PDP elected or appointed officials at the federal, state,

local government and ward levels since 1999.”
This, no doubt, is an ambitious enterprise.  It is a huge task in which

the Publicity Directorate Tour Team must invest quality time and sharp

focus.  It must muster the capacity to articulate, in lucid language and

strategies through the various media, what the concrete achievements are,

what the development situation is in the different sectors and States and

what the situation was before the PDP Government stepped in the saddle.

The ability of the Team to paint a composite representation of the

governance and development narratives across the state as well as situate

the role and/or involvement of the PDP Government in the bigger

development and transformation picture will define the success and/or

otherwise of the Tour and/or the assessments derivable from it.

As the nation approaches another general election in 2015, the recurring

question has always been: what has the PDP Government achieved?  Some even

introduce an element of mischief into it, aimed at eroding the political

footing of the PDP, by asking what the Party has done since 1999 to

deserve being in power beyond May 29, 2015.
They seem to give the impression that, beyond Metuh's celebratory

declaration that the PDP has, for 15 years, continued to be the custodian

of the sacred mandate freely given by Nigerians, there are no ample

democracy dividends to match the number of years and the huge amount of

money that had been spent, through budgetary allocations, for capital

development.
But Metuh, at the press conference, dismissed their claims, describing

them as flawed.  He said that in 15 years, the PDP Government has

“strictly and vigorous applied itself to delivering on the mandate of not

only establishing a free and democratic society in which the powers and

actions of government are lawful; but also creating a dynamic economy

where the welfare and prosperity of the people are guaranteed through

sound policies and rapid infrastructure development in all the sectors of

the economy.”
He said the opposition parties had always played politics with the

performance of the ruling PDP.  Read him: “However, while millions of

Nigerians continue to enjoy the evident benefits of having the PDP in

power, and demonstrating their satisfaction through their votes in

successive elections, the opposition has mounted a negative campaign,

asking what the PDP has done in the last 15 years.”

The PDP Publicity Directorate Tour, according to Metuh, is a unique way of

responding to the shenanigans of the opposition parties.  According to

him, “In the next couple of months, the Publicity Directorate will embark

on a comprehensive nationwide PDP Performance Tour to visit and publicize

all projects executed by all PDP elected and appointed officials at the

federal, state and local government levels in all sectors of the economy

since 1999, including constituency projects and interventions using

special bodies such as NDDC, PTDF, SURE-P, etc.”
The rationale for this expansive scope of focus seems unassailable within

the context of this claim: “indeed, there is no state, local government or

ward in Nigeria that has not been positively affected by projects executed

by PDP governments at federal, state and local government levels.  Such

projects abound in non-PDP states and many Nigerians erroneously give

credit to the opposition, which they eagerly accept.”

It will certainly excite members of the PDP who have been worried about

the negative profiling of their Party by the opposition over the years to

know what the PDP Publicity Directorate Tour Team intends to “recover” the

projects executed by the PDP Government and return the credit to the

Party.  Interestingly, attention is being paid to such states as Edo,

Rivers, Nasarawa, Kano, Kwara and Sokoto, among others, where opposition

parties controlling the mechanics of government are now laying claims to

the projects executed by PDP Government.
The Tour Team will stretch itself to the limits by also keeping a tab on

constituency projects by federal and state lawmakers, which were mobilized

by the PDP-led Federal Government.  Overall, the tour is expected to

entail a comprehensive sector-by-sector appraisal of the performance of

the PDP Government in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and the

successes recorded in transforming the lives of citizens in the last 15

years of democracy.
Perhaps, what will be missing during the period of the tour are the

brickbats that have for a long time characterized relationship between the

PDP and the opposition.  The PDP Publicity Directorate, as understood,

would no longer focus on replying to the opposition diatribes and,

perhaps, propaganda.  How then does the PDP intend to rebut possible

falsehood against it by the opposition?  “Our answer to such is that we

meet at the polls,” Metuh said.  Well, it is difficult to place a bet on

Metuh's words as far responding to the opposition is concerned.  What is

likely to happen is that he may find it necessarily at some point to put

the lie to the opposition's claims.
Indeed, Nigerians, especially the opposition elements, are keeping their

fingers crossed as the PDP Tour Team embarks on the enterprise to, in

Metuh's words, “catalogue our collective successes under the PDP-led

administration.”
As the PDP Tour Team begins to celebrate the key achievements of the PDP

Government nationwide, in spite of very serious security challenges facing

the Jonathan administration, especially the insurgency in the north, a

veritable platform to sell (not necessarily to campaign for 2015 election)

the ruling Party on the basis of its achievements in the last 15 years

would have been created.  How does this enterprise serve the electoral

interest of the ruling Party as against the opposition parties' interest? 

Only time will tell.
Ojeifo, journalist/publisher, wrote from Abuja.
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