NewsReel 3/11/14 - That Carping On PDP Performance Tour of Abia State

[ Masterweb Reports: Nwachukwu Ngige reports ] - Metuh and PDP Rating of Abia by Onuoha Amadi and Metuh; a bull in Abia shop by Willie Ikpeazu in the Sun and New Telegraph newspapers respectively are one of the same kind . Their disgust as well as bad blood for the administration in Abia State was hardly hidden through the length and breadth of the their acerbic and heavily subjective commentaries; therefore their hatchet exercise in deconstructing the PDP Performance Tour of Abia State. Why should Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP bring the legitimacy of the party in acknowledgement of the efforts of Gov. T.A Orji whom we are working hard to undermine?I had Onuoha and Amadi murmur. For daring to make the world see a different picture of Abia away from their lurid paintings, I heard them shout at the top of their voices at Metuh , " crucifice eis"- crucify him! Their tales, full of venom, were artfully edited to fit a pre-conceived whim but alas, a huge failure for whatever reason it was meant to serve. The level of bile, venom and irresponsible character assassination compacted in that small space is repulsive to decent readership. I do not therefore wish to associate with, by replying to such uncivilized tantrums especially of Ikpeazu but will take point by point, the major issues raised in the essay.


First is that heckle at Metuh's performance as the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, the flank from which Ikpeazu opened his attack on his credibility. This matter, notwithstanding the wild and tenuous thesis of comparison he took the readers to, speaks for its self. I have spent fifteen years in the service of the PDP as a media strategist and know that the performance of successive publicity secretaries of our great party would be measured against the extant milieu . I don't even want to dabble into the unnecessary assessment of the would-have-been impact of an unsuccessful aspirant to that office. It should however reckon that the PDP in its sixteen years history has never faced as formidable an opposition as obtains at present. With their varying levels of successes therefore, Metuh has definitely proved a match to the challenges of his tenure. Last week, even before Ikepazu came up with his lame yardstick, I had cause to state in a piece published in Leadership and New Telegraph newspapers that under Metuh, " the PDP became resilient, gave the lead and acquired an agenda setting knack, the lack of which was the reason for a disabled media proactivity . Power of anticipation and deep capacity for prompt situational diagnosis ably authorized Metuh's analytical accuracy, fearless interpretation and correct prediction of topical trends. "


Therefore, the debilitating effects of this media strategy has many times, affronted and forced the opposition's relentless torrents of missiles off target . It has on several points, turned the APC strategists back to the drawing board, retracting and frenetically explaining themselves out of the tight corner that PDP's interpretation of their utterances and body language forced them . Need I say that for the first time in the history of democracy in Nigeria, the opposition has been forced by the media fire power of the ruling party to engage foreign media consultants. That not withstanding, the APC continues to reel from punches delivered pivotally on its door step. What then conceives Ikpeazu's yardstick for competence? Wilfred, each time the APC accused PDP of incompetence, Metuh simply replied, " yes, we are yet to get to the destination but we have certainly moved away from the tethers of backwaters." He didn't stop there, he constantly would draw attention in a lest-we-forget style, the achievements of the PDP led federal government. He then draws comparison with the goings-on in the opposition camp and invite Nigerians to draw their conclusion. The messianic claims of the APC and the exposure of its clique dictatorship by Metuh could only come from practitioner's mastery. And so also is the inference from the APC's words and body language on insurgency that elicited the Janjaweed appellation. The misrule in the states controlled by the APC was objectively x-rayed against its drumbeat of incompetence of the PDP administration. And then, the restoration in the national consciousness, of the core values of the PDP, all in a style of acceptable standard of public relations practice seamlessly rubbishes Willie Ikpeazu's ill conceived measure of Metuh's competence?


Sure, the reason we were in Abia is simple. Metuh is the driver of the PDP Performance Publicity train that had before Abia, been to Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, and Bayelsa states. I must add that Abia was of particular interest because of questions commentators have raised on the stewardship of Governor T.A Orji. In deed, friends on PDP Facebook page did specifically request for his achievements. Like many, some of us on the tour were already deceived by the pervasive accusation of non-performance against the governor until we got to Umuahia. I left a post on my Facebook page thus; " I have spent the last 24 hours in Abia and contrary to opinions in certain quarters , Abia is not stinking. " I reckoned bias, mischief and prejudgement in the reporting of the state. Though Metuh never at any time during the trip termed Abia the " Dubai or mentioned the former governor of the state, he acknowledged that the picture on the ground does not reflect the allegations of incompetence against the governor . His very words is that Abia is gravely under reported and that it fits into a paradigm of deliberate media sabotage. His view is that the modest achievements of the governor needed to be commended while grey arrears constructively critiqued.


By and large, the Abia e-library, first in the south east, the ultra modern workers secretariat, the 5000 capacity conference centre; biggest in the South East, the new government house, are not just buildings but ultility devoted to uplifting the capital to the modern and in tandem with the philosophy and psychology of total development. There is no where in Nigeria or in the world that such edifices are detached from varying exemplar of development . Of course, we saw a modern transport system , part of over 2000 taxi cars given out free under a social welfare scheme . We saw climbing housing estates, and well equipped hospitals.


No doubt, Onuoha Amadi was right when he wrote that " good governance has three legs: economic, political and administrative," but betrayed his bias when he denied the spirit and letters of that definition to rub off on his assessment of T.A Orji. The restoration of security of lives and property in Aba alone is of such great importance that it should form the basis of any economic and political evaluation. The place of security prompted the National Chairman of APGA, Victor Umeh last week into concluding that the seven months old government of Willie Obiano in restoring security in Anambra, has surpassed all the achievements of Peter Obi in eight years! This was done in Abia, yet Onuoha and the gang count it as nothing. That the same government has been able to bring the once fractious Abia political class to synergy is another feat that all variants in definition of progress should also be central to. Beyond the structural edifices which the rabidly unconstructive proposition by Ikpeazu sneered at, it is unimaginable that market development in a commercial state like Abia is insignificant and that the state of the art diagnostic centres at Umuahia , Amachara and the State Univeristy Teaching Hospital Aba has nothing to do with the socio-economic development of the state. A little digression here may serve better understanding. While the PDP Performance Tour was at the modern comprehensive hospital, Yenagoa, our tour guide, told us the MRI facility there was the only in the region. In Umuahia Diagnostic Centre contrarily, we saw not just 2 MRI machines but also five dialysis facilities relieving the pains of patients in conditions. Ikpeazu, biko, I beg you, look for another yarn to spin on your Abia State. Anyway, while addressing a world press conference on Sunday , September 21, 2014 to usher in the PDP Performance Publicity Tour, Metuh declared " henceforth, we shall answer our critics with our achievements as a party in custody of the sacred mandate of the people. We will bring the records to the limelight and allow the objective judgment of history to take its course." In Abia , I think this has succeeded.


Nwachukwu Ngige ( Email: x ), a journalist, is the Head of Social Media at the National Secretariat of the PDP.


*Photo Caption - PDP logo

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