By Cletus Nwanganga
In the last few weeks, the PDP Publicity Directorate has been on tours of states across the nation to showcase the achievements of PDP elected and appointed officers in the past 15 years as a way, not only to showcase the party’s achievements but also to stimulate more action for the benefit of Nigerians.
Already, the team has visited Jigawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Abia states where it highlighted the achievements of successive PDP governments including constituency projects and interventions by special agencies of the Federal Government.
It is against this background that the criticisms and personal attacks in the media against the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and the tour by some elements in Abia state became completely unnecessary.
Of particular note is an article by one Amadi Onuoha published in Tuesday, October 28, 2014 edition of The Sun Newspapers on the same day a similar article by Willie Ikpeazu appeared in the New Telegraph, a sister newspaper of The Sun.
Reading through these articles, it is easy to notice that the writers, out on a hatchet job, hurriedly built on narrow interests, carried on with wrong postulations and ended up misplacing issues while attempting to mischievously put words into Chief Metuh’s mouth.
To begin with, those who monitored the team’s activities in Abia state can attest that the PDP National Publicity Secretary was focused on his mission to highlight the successes of the PDP in Abia and never made comparison between the incumbent government and the previous administration.
In fact, those following the tours since its commencement know that the team had never dwelt on comparisons even in Jigawa state where the PDP transformed the state after it took over from another party.
The previous administration in Abia state was a PDP government and there was no way the party system would go into comparison when it was showcasing 15 years of the PDP in the state and in the country.
The fact was that in Abia, while appreciating the achievements of the Governor Theodore Orji-led government, the Publicity Secretary listed some outstanding projects in various parts of the state and wondered why they were not given adequate mention in the media. He noted that there must be a case of conspiracy to underplay the achievements and portray the government as non-performing for selfish reasons.
The credibility of the Abia tour and Metuh’s intentions were underscored by his position on the deplorable state of federal roads in the South East. Speaking with journalists after the tours, the PDP spokesman was bold to admit that although some of the federal roads in the region are under reconstruction, there must be an urgent intervention by the Federal Ministry of Works to give the people a sense of belonging.
Though all informed minds in Abia believe that there is room for improvement in the state, we find nothing offensive in Metuh’s statement as the two writers want Nigerians to believe. This is especially as his visit not only drew attention to the state of our roads but also showed the progress made in Abia as a means of promoting the state and opening it up to the world as an investment destination.
Ikpeazu and Onuoha are particularly angry with Metuh because according to them, the PDP spokesman described Abia as the ‘Dubai of Africa’. This is not only childish but also betrays the writers’ ill will towards the state. In any case, some of us have taken time to read through the Thisday report of October 21, 2014 upon which they based their attack and we did not see anywhere Metuh was quoted to have said so.
Instead, Thisday clearly reported that upon the arrival of the tour team at the New Ubani Modern Market in Umuahia, the “shout of Abia is Dubai of Africa” rent the air.
The question is; was Metuh the one shouting? Ikpeazu and Onuoha should vent their anger on the traders who now enjoy space, security and amenities at the market and not on the PDP Publicity Secretary whose genuine efforts to bring the state to the limelight for the good of all is highly commendable.
It is indeed laughable that the articles attempted to question Metuh’s credentials and competence as PDP’s National Publicity Secretary. The fact is that these hired hands must have either lost touch with reality or are simply blinded by avarice.
In fact, it is not hard to decipher an agenda to cause confusion and weaken the PDP by targeting its publicity machinery as it prepares for the 2015 general election. The mischievous suggestion that Metuh was at loggerheads with the PDP National Chairman and the mention of Chyna Iwuanyanwu as being schemed out in the race for the Publicity Secretary betrays this failed plot.
It is incontrovertible that since his emergence in a keenly contested election, Metuh has repositioned the PDP Publicity to effectively project the image, ideals and achievements of his party, while matching the propaganda machinery of the opposition.
Political watchers are aware that since its formation, the PDP has never been confronted with a highly organized and ambitious opposition with formidable propaganda machinery like the APC, which capitalized on the internal crisis within the PDP at a time.
To the admiration of party members and supporters, the PDP spokesman vigorously applied his intellectual temerity to put the opposition under check with a combination of positive attitude, far-reaching innovations and persuasive messages on the positives of the PDP as the only true national and democratic party while profiling the APC as an undemocratic party out to destroy the unity of the nation.
Before the emergence of Metuh, the PDP publicity was largely a reactionary organ to the misinformation by the opposition but the situation at the moment, which is verifiable, is that the ruling party has subdued the opposition to the extent that its voracious spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has been overwhelmed and is hardly heard. This is the reality on the ground.
All informed Nigerians know that since the formation of the party, the current PDP image-maker is the most active, most vibrant and most productive in sustaining the popularity of the PDP, putting the party and its candidates in good stead for the forthcoming elections.
If Metuh were not good, why would the opposition hire foreign media consultants and spend hundreds of millions of naira to oil their propaganda machinery against his person and office? The fact that the PDP National Publicity Secretary has elevated the bar in party image making with his innovations and compelling personality is a point, which most Nigerian, even those in the opposition have come to accept.
Nwanganga wrote in from Aba