‘We defended Jonathan with all sincerity’ (2)
Femi Fani-Kayode, Head of the Directorate of Media and Publicity of the PDP Campaign Organisation, in a chat with the media, reacted to claims by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on why it lost the elections. Azimazi Jimoh Reports
The attack of Governor Ayodele Fayose on the person of the President-elect before the election was said to be one of the things that worked against the PDP at the March 28 election. Could this be true? That is arrant nonsense and those in the NWC that said so are liars, cowards and turncoats.
They are traitors and they are working for the enemy. Did these so-called party leaders complain when the APC and Lai Mohammed attacked Jonathan every day? I find it strange that they are prepared to accept the personal attacks on their own candidate as being acceptable, yet they complain when we attack the candidate of the other side.
Whose side are these people really on? Fayose was not the only one that focused his attention on Buhari. Many of us did because Buhari was the issue for us and everything about him became relevant.
In the same vein, for the APC, Jonathan was the issue and they focused their guns on him. We did not complain and cry about it like little children but instead we returned fire and responded forcefully.
We have no apology for that and we believe that we spoke nothing but the truth and we backed up our assertions with facts and figures. We didn’t just talk but we did our research.
We were effective and devastating and that is all that matters to me. We have nothing against Buhari but we had a job to do and we did it as best as we could.
Those that lacked the guts, the finesse and the capacity to do the job should stop whining and instead they should try and learn from those of us that are capable of doing it and that are prepared to do it for the sake of our President, our party and our country.
I think it is unfortunate that some members of the NWC should be pointing fingers and making accusations and counter allegations against senior party leaders after we lost the elections.
They are more to blame for our defeat than anyone else. After losing the elections the right and proper thing to do is for us to do some serious soul-searching, look within, indulge in a period of sober reflection and serious introspection, maintain some sense of self-respect and dignity, refuse to defect to the other side and desist from giving the other side ammunition to fight us with in the future.
This is something that those voices in the NWC that are making noise and looking for trouble need to learn before it is too late.
It is because they refuse to learn these lessons and because they seek to silence every voice of dissent so that they can remain in office for another two years that so many people despise them and want them out.
I think it is all the more worrisome when those few voices in the NWC make very serious allegations against key senior party members in the PCO and against a few of the governors, the Ministers and the President’s aides all of whom who had risked there lives and everything for the campaign and who worked so hard for the President.
That is my view about that. Same thing is also being said about the role of the First Lady. Again, this is arrant nonsense. It is nothing but rubbish.
It is the same identifiable individuals in the NWC that are spreading that repulsive falsehood and we all know who they are. Those that say so are nothing but ingrates, traitors and malcontents who are not worthy of holding their positions on the NWC.
We were effective and devastating and that is all that matters to me. We have nothing against Buhari but we had a job to do and we did it as best as we could. Those that lacked the guts, the finesse and the capacity to do the job should stop whining and instead they should try and learn from those of us that are capable of doing it and that are prepared to do it for the sake of our President, our party and our country. I think it is unfortunate that some members of the NWC should be pointing fingers and making accusations and counter allegations against senior party leaders after we lost the elections.
The truth is that the First Lady was one of the most forceful, credible and powerful voices during the course of the campaign and she did an excellent job for her husband and our candidate.
She did not hide in the kitchen but instead, like the true and loyal wife that she is; she jumped into the fray and fought for her husband. Why should anyone complain about that? This was especially important because the President was under serious hostile fire from the enemy.
She did very well indeed and I take this opportunity to commend her courage. That woman is a lioness and I honestly believe that she enhanced the fortunes of the President during the course of what was the most bitter and keenly contested election in the history of Nigeria.
Without her strong contributions and without her lending her strong voice to our cause things would have been far worse. Those that say otherwise do not know what they are talking about.
I know because I was one of those that were deep in the trenches and in the fray. When things looked bad it was the First Lady that encouraged us and inspired us more than anyone else.
Fayose was another person that worked so hard for the party and the President. The same can be said about governors Mimiko of Ondo, Orji of Abia, Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, the late Oronto Douglas, Dr. Doyin Okupe and a number of others. I commend them all and I wish them well.
Chief Tony Anenih, Sen. Ahmadu Alli, Nenadi Usman, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Governor Peter Obi, Hon. Minister Turaki, Aliyu Modibbo, Senator Amanga, the Director of Women Affairs of the PCO, the Director of Youth of the PCO and so many other key members of the Presidential Campaign Organisation were other powerful and credible voices that worked so hard for the President during the campaign.
Members of my Directorate, the Directorate of Media and Publicity, every single one of them and all the other directorates, also did an exceptionally good job. We risked our lives, we fought a good fight and we fought to the end.
Our heads may have been bloodied during the fight but they are not bowed.
We stood up for our President and our party courageously, unlike those few voices in the NWC who are now using their positions to try to malign us, discredit our efforts, rubbish our personalities, criminalize us and destroy our party.
Instead of leading the party, these few individuals in the NWC were busy doing deals with the APC secretly. We in the PCO were not like others that were collecting monies from all the various PDP aspirants in the states and promising them the party’s nomination and ticket.
This led to a lot of problems within the party because in the end they did not give those aspirants what they asked for and what they promised. Consequently many of those aspirants rebelled and worked against us during the elections.
We in the PCO were not like others that were too cowardly to speak the truth and to face the APC head on and tell them precisely what they were.
I am very proud of the efforts of every single member of the organization. Most importantly, the President himself commended us and he was very proud of our efforts too. So if anybody else is complaining about our efforts, that is their own problem and they can go and jump in the lagoon.
I really do not give a damn about them or their thoughts. What is important to us now is to try to rebuild our party and to ensure that we have credible, legitimate, genuine and strong leadership that is prepared to take the in-coming APC government head on and keep them on their toes.
We need a new and fresh leadership that is made up of bright, young, strong and intellectually inclined minds and that are tolerant of dissenting views and differing opinions.
We need a new leadership that is open, kind, fair-minded and accommodating and in order to achieve that I must add my voice to that of a number of governors and other key stakeholders and leaders in our party who have said that the party’s National Working Committee must go. Sadly the NWC has become a clog in the wheel of progress.
They have much to learn from what the leadership of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democratic Party did in the U.K. just a couple of weeks ago when they resigned a few hours after losing the election to the conservatives. They resigned with honor and no one had to ask them to go or call for their resignation.
They did the right and proper thing because they are well-educated people who have honor. Sadly the NWC members lack both education and honor otherwise they would have resigned by now.
They are ignorant of the fact that when people lead a party into defeat they must resign to make way for others. And when people tell them to resign they threaten them with suspension or expulsion from the party forgetting that there is life outside politics.
Not only have they refused to take the path of honor by resigning but they are also throwing bricks at those of us who raised the PDP flag and fought a good fight.
Honestly it is sad and unbelievable. In any other country these people would have been lambasted morning, day and night for their sheer effrontery and ingratitude and for their inability to provide strong and decisive leadership.
Yet here we just pamper and manage them and shy away from telling them the bitter truth. I have a whole file on it, which we compiled during the campaign.
Two members of the NWC specifically were actually working for the APC and were on their payroll. Their job was to destroy our fortunes, pass on our secrets, create discord in our ranks and undermine the efforts of the PCO in the media campaign. That is just one shocker and there are plenty more.
The time to talk is not now though that time will come. You will be shocked by what we know about these people and their sordid efforts to stop Jonathan and betray their own party. We do not have to say too much publicly at this point but at the appropriate time we shall do so.
I have every right to defend myself, my Directorate and members of the PCO, when the illiterate, the malevolent, the misinformed, the mischievous, the treacherous, the cowardly, the disloyal and the misguided cast aspersions on our character and seek to rubbish our efforts. Let me also say this.
When they accuse us of a campaign of hate was it the PCO of President Goodluck Jonathan that went all over the North just before the elections and told all those worshiping in the mosques that to vote for President Jonathan will be a vote for an infidel? That is what you call a hate campaign and we did not indulge in that.
It was the APC that indulged in that the Friday before the presidential election. Was it the PCO that kept on speaking about President Jonathan and his family in derogative terms and insulting him from morning day and night? The answer is no. CONCLUDED