By Jude Ndukwe
As Africa’s largest and Nigeria’s most popular party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, holds its convention on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the coast is getting clearer as political calculations, electioneering, alignments, realignments, endorsements etc reach fever pitch.
The determination of the PDP to ensure a hitch and crisis-free convention has led the party to leave all positions as open as possible even when zoning has been adopted as a guide. With this development, a lot of aspirants are beginning to show greater interest in serving as the party’s National Working Committee members. This is a welcome development!
However, while leaving its door open for almost all and sundry to contest at the convention, the party must ensure that only those who have shown unflinching loyalty, uncommon commitment and well documented sacrifice are voted for especially for the offices of Chairman and National Publicity Secretary as these would serve as the face and image of the party. Such face and image are not only good for the party; they are very useful to the extent that they help to shape the narratives and perceptions the people have of the party.
The fact that the face and image of every organization is very important to its success cannot be overemphasized. This is why even blue chip corporate organizations compete vigorously among themselves to have the faces of popular entertainers grace their brands as they build their images around such people. It is believed that every organization including the PDP is as good as its image maker.
This is where the candidacy of Prince Deji Adeyanju perfectly fits the bill. He is one man who can perfectly mould public opinions, shape perceptions and invent narratives as he wills. It is not a matter of what or how he can do it, the fact is that he has always done it and has continued to do it.
Deji has not only been consistent in doing this, he has done it at great expense to his life, personal comfort and resources. His ability to manage people and resources is extra-ordinary. This he has proven as PDP’s Director of New Media. Despite the biting hunger in the land, the Kogi-born prince has been able to keep the focus of millions of supporters of the party in the new media and given them reasons why PDP will always remain the best party even if they are no more in power at the federal level, hence, the reason a lot of youths and elders alike have kept faith with the party till today.
His well published essays and appearances on flagship political TV programmes are uncompromising and fearless. At a time when many essayists, social media influencers, political analysts, authors, bloggers, etc are withdrawing into their cocoons for fear of being harassed, intimidated, arrested and or persecuted, Deji’s voice has only grown louder in condemnation of the ruling government penchant for tyranny and economic olodoism. His consistency in doing this while also promoting the PDP at all times is legendary. If he could do these without being a member of the party’s NWC, one can only wonder what he would achieve for the party when he becomes one.
It is therefore worrisome that a majority of all others who have rushed to pick nomination forms for the party’s National Publicity Secretary have little or no record to show of how they have helped to hold the party together in the shock that followed its loss of power for the first time at the federal level. A lot of them went into hibernation mode and maintained undignified silence while soldiers were working alongside our governors and other courageous stakeholders to keep the party going and in the consciousness of the people.
Many of such soldiers like Deji have suffered physical attacks, calumny, blackmail, libel, slander etc just because they would not back down from defending and promoting the PDP and from comprehensively opposing the ruling party and their battery of aggressive security agents being used as political weapons of silencing the opposition.
For almost all the elections conducted by the current INEC, Deji has had his team on ground in almost every polling unit in all the states concerned sending in real time results online that made it almost always impossible for the other parties to rig the PDP out. How he is always able to mobilize such number of men and women without resources from the party is always amazing, and the results always show.
Delegates to the convention will do well to ensure that those who lost their PDP voices before now should not be made champions of a fight they ran away from. Doing this would not only be the height of injustice but would also expose the PDP to a set of lily-livered men who may surrender the party or sell it to the ruling party out of fear arising from intimidation and harassment.
Apart from being armchair office holders in the party, those other contestants to this very sensitive office will do well to show the world one thing or one statement they have made concerning the party and or the nation since the general elections.
The position of the party now does not warrant the election of those who are only eyeing the perks and privileges of office including the comfort of well-padded swivel armchairs; it calls for men and women imbued with nobility, built with steel and who thunder with meaning; men and women who are not moved by what the party can offer them but continue to ingenuously devise ways and means they can offer themselves selflessly and unconditionally to the party.
In as much as everyone has an inalienable right to contest for whatever position they wish to contest for, let those that would be elected be those who have been tested and trusted. Among the many contestants for the office of National Publicity Secretary, the Prince has been tested. Deji is trusted. Adeyanju should be delivered at the convention; not only for PDP’s sake but also in the interest of the nation as we all need a virile and unrelenting opposition to save Nigeria from her worsening hemorrhage. He who the cap fits, let them wear it. This cap perfectly fits Deji Adeyanju!
[email protected]; Twitter: @stjudendukwe