PDP Needs Experienced, Vibrant Image Maker – Adedoyin

Chief Sola Adedoyin, an administrator and former staff of LEADERSHIP Newspapers, a Special Adviser to the immediate past Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, and former Vice Chairman of Ejumu LG Council, from Kogi State, has been in the centre of politics in the country at various levels, especially in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Speaking during his recent home coming visit to the Corporate Headquarters of LEADERSHIP Group in Abuja, Adedoyin made it known that he was vying for the position of PDP’s National Publicity Secretary at the convention. He spoke to our reporter, Abah Adah

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Do you think you can cope with the demands of the office?

I have been in PDP for some time now. In view of the fact that the position of the National Publicity Secretary of the party has been thrown open for contest at the next national convention of the party coming up on August17, 2016, in Pot-Harcourt, I will run for that office. I believe that I am very qualified having being a student union activist, president of the student union of my university, having worked in the media and as executive member of the National Association of the Nigerian Students (NANS). So I have been in politics right from the outset. The problem now in PDP is that we are no longer in government. And therefore we need somebody that is fearless, bold, aggressive and replete with ideas that will help rebuild the image of the party. That is why, as one who is very passionate about the party and has been following it, I have decided to run for the post of National Publicity Secretary. I hold a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Ilorin, and have worked in several places. I have worked with Church Gate Group of Companies; as Vice Chairman, Ejimu LGA, and also at the state level as I have mentioned before. And have been a practicing politician for some time now. So I want to rebuild and rebrand the party. I want to be the new face of PDP.

Nigerians think PDP is not playing the role of opposition it was expected to. What do you think you can do to address this and refocus the party?

I think the major problem we have in PDP now is the present factionalisation of the party. So, rather than the party playing the major opposition role, there is in-fighting. But as the publicity secretary I, in collaboration with my colleagues, put in place strategies and actions that will bring about reconciliation of all party members. You would have heard that there are several cases in court which are affecting the party negatively. We know we are a party in opposition. And that is why we want to hold this convention so that after it, when a new and legal national executive has emerged, then we now begin to play the role of a viable and vibrant opposition in Nigeria. We need to rebuild the party and return to power in 2019. And if we need to do that, we need to put the right people in the right position.

So, with the level of internal crisis in PDP, do you think you can make any meaningful impact capable of restoring the party to glory in the next election?

One thing you should understand is that there is no organisation that does not have one form of conflict or the other at one time or the other. Even the APC who are now in government have their own problems. It is the ability to come back and resolve such issues for the common good of the party that matters. I think it is important. And I feel that with my level of experience, we can reach out more to those that are aggrieved and bring everybody to the negotiating table even we might not be able to meet the demands of any group or anybody. But if we come together and we are able meet 50 or 60 per cent of the demands, then you can say that the party has been fair. So, essentially, that is what I intend to do, because whether you like it or not, every individual is important in politics. And that is why we strongly believe that with me in charge of the publicity wing of the party, I will play a major role towards reconciliation of all aggrieved members.

What are the steps you intend to take in reaching out to your members?

Yes, the reaching out process will be done through the media. We are going to employ a holistic approach. We will use the print, electronic and any other kind of medium you can think of to reach out to members. Especially the print; we are going to bring every newspaper in the country to be part of that agenda. There is no way we can reach the people without the print media because when PDP was in government, it was easy to use the government media; and now that we are in opposition, the party no longer has that kind of clout.We will be very active in the print media. We are trying to reach out to newspaper houses to see how we can reach an agreement so that our views and activities can be properly propagated, and in doing so we have to get some other people to reach out to regional and local or community newspapers, even the one that can get to the people in their languages, to enable us capture a good audience. I believe that whatever additional effort we can make with the electronic and social media will yield the desired result of rebranding PDP.

As an image maker of the PDP, if given the chance, do you think the Party can hold sway in the next elections?

Yes, by the grace of God, we are winning the next election. PDP is one of the largest political parties in Africa. We only made a great mistake that cost us the last election. That is, we did not field our presidential candidate from the North, in breach of the party’s zoning formula, leaving the opposition party with free unmerited votes from that region. The difference in the votes was just about 2.5 million. Whereas, if we had retained our governors, Kwankwaso, Wammako and others in the region, we would have been able to cover up and even be ahead. Kano alone can give us up to 2 million votes, not to talk of others yet. So, we lost all the votes to APC due to non-adherence to the zoning arrangement. The PDP members of Northern extraction felt they no longer had a stake in the process. But this time, we have come to rebuild and rebrand the party; we have realised and corrected our mistake by zoning the presidency to the North in the next election. No one from any part of the South is eligible to contest that election.

Do you think the crisis in the party can be resolved in time?

You see, the problem in PDP is basically at the national level, not state. At the state level, the structures are already on ground and working. We have started our INEC recognised campaign at the state level already. One peculiar thing about PDP is that it already has its structures in place everywhere; all that is left to be done is picking them and repositioning them so that they can swing into action.

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