Metuh, PDP and national issues



Leke Adelere

‘Nobody gives what he doesn’t have’. This sage aptly describes the antecedents of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, OlisahMetuh. This is a critical moment for the ruling party as it grapples with the barrage of criticisms within and outside the party. In such a situation, the party should be armed with individuals who can assess the situation and respond appropriately and not an infatuation response as it is presently handled by Metuh. The party needs positive image making and laundering strategy not the trial and error Metuh is deploying at fighting everyone, especially the so-called common enemy, the opposition. A good public relations practitioner knows very well that, his main job is to maintain and promote cordial relationship with the various publics.

In journalism, I was taught to leave out if in doubt. PDP hierarchy should please call Metuh to order. When one is dealing with the public on behalf of a mega party like PDP, it is not all the issues he should respond to. Metuh has inflicted serious injury to the party’s image and rating in the last one year. He has even caused more harm and damage to the reputation of the party than before the emergence of the incumbent. His predecessors, John Odey and Ahmed Rufai Alkali, were better and mature in handling the affairs and image of the party. Metuh’s poor handling of PDP’s publicity has contributed immensely to the crisis of the former National Chairman, BamangaTukur. As a result of his poor knowledge of how the media and public relations stunts work, he damaged the reputation of the party and PDP is still paying dearly for it.
. Yes, media will clamour for advertisements, especially from the ruling party perceived to have enormous money, but can withstand every comment in the media or at the public domain?  There are times when silence is golden

National Security Adviser, NSA, to the President, AlhajiSamboDasuki, hinted on security strategy aimed at combating terrorism. But Metuh seemed to counter this when he said, “We accepted the reality of terrorism as a global phenomenon. However, the peculiar trend of the Nigerian version…summarises a well-considered agenda of national destabilization for a purely selfish political cause. We pointedly finger the opposition’’.
Metuh referred to the statement made by one of the politicians in 2011 at the eve of general election that, the nation will be made ungovernable for President Jonathan if the ruling party rigged itself in. This statement did link the opposition with the terrorists group, but for Metuh to justify his appointment as PDP scribe, the opposition politicians have a link with the terrorists. This is a topical and national issue that no one of Metuh’s standing should be playing politics or toy with. If Lai Mohammed of APC can do it as a lawyer, why can’t Metuh do it and even better? Unfortunately, Metuh always goofed. He doesn’t weigh the pros and cons of his responses.

There was also the desperation of Metuh to defend the alleged missing $20 billion NNPC fund. One, Metuh is not the Public Affairs Manager of NNPC. By the way, NNPC has said they are reconciling their accounts and at the appropriate time, they will get back to the public on the missing fund but Metuh is busy defending the corporation he knows nothing about apart from being the national publicity Secretary of the ruling party. Does being a party scribe amount to being the minister of information? He went as far as advertising what NNPC did with the supposedly missing fund in the dailies. He said that the oil revenue was used to achieve Okirika Jetty, NNPC pipeline network, Kerosene direct sales and off-loading of petroleum products at Atlas Cove Depot projects.

This is arrant nonsense and out of place. What a spurious response. I hope Metuh knows that, being a learned lawyer does not amount to knowing everything under the sun. Since things seem to be upside down in the party at the moment, it will do the party good to swap Metuh to head the Legal Department of the party and get another capable hand to handle its public affairs issues. Or if Metuh is hell bent to do what he knows nothing about at all, the party can enroll him for a three months course at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism for him to learn certain aspects of public relations, publicity and a bit of journalism.

Adelere wrote from 41, Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja

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