by Jude Ndukwe
Come August 17, 2016, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the most popular and most populous political party in Africa, would be holding its national convention where it is expected that a new set of the party’s national working committee members would be elected to stir the ship of the opposition party back to its glory days.
This task would no doubt be a daunting one as the party’s loss of power at the federal level including a significant number of states has dealt a blow to the party to the extent that it is still recovering from that defeat.
One year after that loss, Nigerians are regretting their choice at the 2015 polls, lamenting that the ruling party sold a dummy to them which they bought hook, line and sinker without asking questions.
However, considering the massive and aggressive campaigns of the current ruling party then which centred mostly on sophistry, calumny and hate, oiled with enormous wealth from certain self-acclaimed godfathers and governors, the people might not bear the entire blame as the voice of the PDP publicity machinery was equally drowned in the run up to the election until Chief Femi Fani-Kayode was drafted into the fray.
Combining the rare qualities of fearlessness, oratory and historical facts spoken with panache, the publicity machinery of PDP was brought back to full throttle as Chief Femi Fani-Kayode gave the APC a run for their money. This gave the PDP some leverage and made the election tighter than expected.
As the party goes in search of a new set of national working committee members at the August convention, one position that would attract very huge attention after the Chairmanship position is office of the National Publicity Secretary (NPS). This is because the NPS performs the dual function of being the face of the party when one is searching for its image, and the megaphone of the party when one is searching for its voice.
With the experience of the last general elections, Nigerians now know that the strength of a political party lies in its publicity machinery. The publicity strength of a party has the capacity to make or mar the party depending on who heads this all important office.
It is for these reasons that party faithful throughout the federation went agog when Prince Deji Adeyanju, the current Head of PDP New Media, picked his nomination form for the office of National Publicity Secretary on Monday, August 8, 2016, at the party’s temporary office in Abuja.
A focused youth by all standards, Deji is a vibrant and principled party loyalist who has taken many risks and flaks for standing by the party even at its most critical point of need. As a social media influencer, Deji has led the army of PDP battle-hardened followers online in dictating narratives of the national political landscape, exposing the several mendacious tales of the ruling party with facts and figures painstakingly obtained and meticulously dished out for the proper guidance of the good people of our great country and also for historical references.
What most people do not know about this unassuming fellow is that most of the pro-PDP and pro-people hashtags (#) that have trended everywhere and the many more exposing the current ruling party for who they are and their ills originated from him. The serenity surrounding him, the confidence he exudes, his humility and ability to manage people from diverse backgrounds all over the federation working with him, managing their egos and motivating everyone to get the job done is what has made him the cynosure of all eyes. All these he has done and has continued to do selflessly, absolutely free of charge and at no cost to the party. Rather, Deji commits his own little resources to the cause of the party and one can never catch him complain about this.
It would be a mistake to think that the strength of the Kogi-born prince lies only in the social media. He is equally an avid writer who has had several of his essays appear in reputable newspapers and blogs; an author, and a well sought after political analyst who has appeared on several national TV stations defending the PDP. His connections and the respect he commands in all aspects of the media has put him in a vantage stead far and above any other contestant for that exalted but demanding office.
It is therefore not a surprise that this man who can be said to be the face of a rebranded PDP that is attractive once again to the Nigerian people has been physically assaulted several times and maligned by members of the ruling party. Even in the face of extreme provocation and physical assault against his person, Deji’s message to his friends, supporters and followers has always been “calm down”, a phrase which he freely uses to douse issues before they become crises, yet, he is undaunted, never relenting, speaking with the boldness of a lion, conveying his message with the audacity of an angel and defending the party with the finesse of a worthy General.
At a time like this when the federal government is clamping down on vocal members of the opposition into silence, the party needs a man like Deji who epitomizes the new breed politician who has paved way for his own greatness by continuously paying respect to the elders. The need to ensure that PDP does not play into the hands of this draconian government cannot be overemphasized. Any attempt to recycle anyone who had held prominent positions in the past or anyone who has no track record in boldly and openly defending the cause of the party especially under this regime would mean a death knell to PDP.
Olisa Metuh spoke, he was incarcerated, Doyin Okupe wrote, he was arrested, Ben Murray-Bruce tweeted, his business was attacked and the misfortune of silence fell on PDP thereafter. Many who could not stand the heat have cowardly defected to the rival party. Some have done so because of a “pot of porridge” or because of the crumbs that fall from their new-found master’s table.
But Deji will never do any of these. A man with very wide contact at the highest levels, he has turned down overtures with mouth-watering offers to defect but he would rather remain in PDP to continue to defend and promote the party while standing with the common masses of the nation in these trying times ensuring that in him, everyone has a voice.
This is why PDP needs a man with a clean slate to be its National Publicity Secretary, a man without blemish or spot. Prince Deji Adeyanju fits that bill.
It is for this reason that all lovers of PDP and all those who do not like the current state of our economic calamity, political retrogression, social dysfunction, electoral anomie and comedy of errors of all kinds that have plagued our great nation under the current federal government should support Deji and vote for him on the day of the convention. Nigerians trust that PDP will do this right thing!
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Jude Ndukwe can be reached via Email: [email protected]; Twitter: @stjudendukwe
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