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Where Are the President's Men?

As APC continues its relentless onslaught on Goodluck Jonathan and his administration, there is this telling near-silence from the ranks of PDP and others that bear the most duty and possess the best information and wherewithal to defend him. It is profound enough for one to wager that if they are too cowed to defend the President, chances are that they are also lacking the will and fighting spirit to go on the offensive against the President’s tormentors in a season of rank partisan politics.

The only occasional forays you see comprise the spontaneous gusts from Doyin Okupe, and then the few reactionary press releases from Olisa Metuh, the PDP National Publicity Secretary. There might be a few others here and there but nothing yet comes close to counteracting or rebutting the barrage of mean-spirited attacks hauled daily at Jonathan and the institutions he commands. There is no day you open the newspapers or venture into social media without being hit with this barrage of serial attacks on the President’s person and policies, issuing from the APC and those that despise Jonathan. Conversely, you hardly see anything from the PDP or administration hawks geared to telling Nigerians their own story. If they believe that their few paid cliche-laden advertorials will cut it, they are dead wrong because Nigerians don’t trust advertorials, especially of the political kind. They form their opinions from articles, features and news which content, true or false, get vested in their minds when not contradicted. We don’t hear about the quantum leaps in the construction of the Lokoja-Abuja expressway; we don’t hear about the humongous success that has become of Nigerian railways since Jonathan; we don’t hear about the many civil/ infrastructural works completed and ongoing; we don’t hear about jobs created, the Abuja light rail, and the many new tertiary institutions, almajiri education, airport projects, etc. We don’t hear anything, not even some explanations of why some few things have defied solution.

And on the hot-bottom issue of terrorism, you don’t see much hay being made of the string of successes regularly recorded by Nigerian military against terrorists, plus the many attacks our gallant but harried security services continue to nip in the bud by the day. What we hear are failed missions, continually celebrated and played-up to down the collective spirit of well-meaning Nigerians, and there is no counter-point. No strong play and celebration of our fellows that fell in the line of duty. Instead, you read annoying traducers egging Nigerian military to go on suicide mission in Chibok, like the Americans did in Yemen recently. They figure that such mission will be bloody and bound to fail; and once that happens, it will then be played up for maximum negative effect. Daily, on the web and hard copy, we read pieces baying blood and we remain silent. It has become so pathetic that an undefended Nigerian military has done the unusual of taking to social media to respond to the hate and lies consistently being spread against it. You can imagine the toll on morale; yet, civilian political leadership gives the military no media rearguard, no soft landing. Sad.

Why are we not hearing from the Minsters and other political appointees? Why are they not telling Nigerians the details of what Jonathan has achieved? Do they believe that every Nigerian is supposed to sniff out Jonathan’s achievements and travails, or are we supposed to know without being informed about the milestones and the details? Why are administration and party points-men keeping silent while the record of what they have done is being mercilessly distorted? And where is the famous PDP grassroots appeal? Yet, in the suburbs, in rural Nigeria, in the wards where the votes are, all you see is APC swagger sans challenge.

After conquering mainstream media, APC has now moved pronto to social media and is fast besting PDP there too. Don’t they know that apart from city folks, Nigerians in rural areas mostly and firstly access social media for news through their phones and androids? This is the single factor most responsible for the looming new high on Buhari. Or doesn’t the PDP know that there’s such a new high, even though nurtured on unchecked propaganda and false hopes. Bayelsa (and Rivers), have you forsaken thy son? Your complacence is so open and notorious, such that those that despise Jonathan for his roots are now convinced that he is Igbo, just because it is Igbos that appear most to have taken up the case for Jonathan.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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