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Friday, June 14, 2024

Why I rejected Lai Mohammed’s propagandist approach – PDP Spokesperson



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By Favour Goodness

Outgoing National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kola Ologbondiyan has said the usage of propaganda, name calling and abusive languages is not best way to be an effective spokesman, especially for the image of an opposition political party.

Ologbondiyan who gave a pass mark to the outgoing National Working Committee (NWC) members led by Prince Uche Secondus and Elder Yemi Akinwonmi said that as spokesman of the PDP, he doesn’t need to adopt the propagandist approach employed by current Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was the spokesman of the APC when the party was in opposition.

He said rather than propaganda and name calling, the PDP employed the use of constructive criticisms and presented true facts about President Muhammadu Buhari and APC to Nigerians. This according to him, changed the earlier perception Nigerians had about the president and the APC.

According to him “I think strategy differs. Like I said, when we came into office in 2017, we had a president whose perception in the eyes of Nigerians was a noble man with integrity. We have a president who Nigerians believe so hugely in when it comes to deliverables of democracy dividends. However, we had a duty to showcase the other side of this president to Nigerians”.

“We had a duty to show the fact that he was more clueless than his predecessor, President Goodluck Jonathan; to demonstrate to Nigerians that he has no ideas about governance and that him and his party have no business presiding over the affairs of the country. We didn’t need propaganda to put that before Nigerians because it was clear as time proceeded. For us, our approach was to engage the Buhari administration, the personality of the president in constructive criticisms”.

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“At the close of the election in 2019, it was crystal clear that our mission was achieved. It is a fact that during our tenure, we were able to take the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives from APC to PDP. It is also a fact that a number of senators and Reps members left the APC and teamed up with the PDP. I do not see that as a mark of failure. I see that as good successes recorded by the PDP. Like I said earlier, when we came into office, we had about 11 states and under the Secondus-led NWC, we moved this number to 17 states”.

“Before we came in, our party was tagged a party of Ghana-Must-Go where somebody who is not a moneybag cannot win nomination in our party. We put that to the dustbin of history. People contested election, won their primaries and became candidates across the federation”.

“ In the history of the party under this leadership, we have committed Nigerians who took charge of the affairs of the party and so far, nobody had been able to accuse them of bribery or demanding gratification before they got tickets. So for us, it goes beyond the issue of Lai Mohammed was tagging the PDP but we didn’t tag the APC”.

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While asking the party to rally round the incoming NWC led by Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Ologbondiyan said the PDP should cultivate the habit of amplifying whatever the leadership of the party has said the way the APC leaders supported Lai Mohammed as opposition spokesman.

“I wish Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the incoming National Publicity Secretary the very best in office. However, I believe that until we begin an echo system of the position of the party, I do not see how we can move”.

“By echo system, let me say this. When Lai Mohammed was doing the propaganda job for APC, whatever he says, any statement issued by him is unquestionable. APC will carry their vuvuzelas, microphones and other sound amplifiers to broadcast whatever Lai Mohammed has said. That is not the situation in the PDP”.

“Nobody echoes whatever the party is saying. How many of our leaders speak to issues concerning this government? How many of our leaders speak to issues concerning the APC? Even when you find space in the print or broadcast media and ask leaders to come and speak, they usually declined because who wants to go to jail?

“We operate in a system that is very vicious, vexatious and one that is hostile. So, PDP leaders were trying to protect themselves and their interests. That wasn’t what happened in 2014 when the APC was in opposition”.

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