Why PDP lost 2015 election and the necessity for an Online Directorate -

Why PDP lost 2015 election and the necessity for an Online Directorate
In this present age, the coming of Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, online news sites, and local fora like Nairaland have made two way communication easier, effective, and capturing wider reach within the shortest possible time, which has made communication via Social Media cheap and profitable for any organisation, whether political or non-political.
Te Online Media is majorly run and dictated by young technological savvy people in the world today, including Nigeria, and has become a great tool for political participation worldwide. Unlike other parts of the world that are already in terms with engaging social media personalities and other young people in the running of government, party and other political associations’ affairs, same cannot be said of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and other major political organisations in Nigeria at all level, which is unacceptable.

Long before now, there have been agitations for recognition of the Online Media wing of the party by adopting the Online Directorate, which should be run and managed by loyalists and influencers of the party with strong connection with other young people across the Internet. This Directorate as envisioned would be consulted, informed and take part in every decision making processes of the party, given at least 20 per cent in appointments within the party, and a tool for attracting and recruiting more young people into the party. With young people being part of the system of the party, it creates avenue for them to master the art and science of politics from the elders, as well as achieve the generational shift in leadership.

Following agitations, the immediate-past National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisah Metuh, in January 2016, in his capacity, created the offices of “Social Media” and “Strategy” Directors, and appointed Prince Deji Adeyanju and Prince Henry Nwazuruahu Shield respectively to occupy both “offices”. As pleasing as the sound of both titles, they were simply as good as “calling those things which be not as though they were” as written in the book of Romans 4:17 of the Bible. Both offices were “created” without any functional directorate nor defined terms of engagement. Neither Deji nor Shield was given appointment letter, funding, nor any staff. Nobody reports to them neither do they report to anybody. No office space provided for them neither does anyone cares.
They were neither part of the decision making organ of the party nor considered in the scheme of things within the party’s information department. In fact, both offices were chieftaincy titles that carry no weight nor real recognition. They were simply as good as “calling those things which be not as though they were” as stated earlier. Though most of us hailed the ‘appointments’ as we saw it as a good step in the right direction, it later got to us that we were only flowing in our own wishful thoughts. As my Warri friend will say, “Na wash”. With the exit of Metuh, both titles officially exited the scene just like the title of “Coordinating Minister of the Economy” that was created by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and exited immediately Jonathan left the scene.

Unfortunately, the leadership at all level though continue to pay lip-service with the rhetoric of restructuring the party to accommodate young people who are over 90 per cent movers of the Online Community, the party’s leadership has never lived up to its words. The party’s leadership expects the online community to stick to, defend the party’s decisions and support the leadership at all levels and party candidates for election, even without involving members of this same online wing in the affairs of the party, nor recognise them in appointments and other privileges.
The online community was never consulted during the formation of members of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee, neither were they consulted by the Senator Alimodu Sheriff’s faction. In fact, no single position was reserved for members of this group by either factions, neither were they consulted nor shortlisted among committee members in the May 21 Portharcourt and Abuja Conventions. Only a few ‘youth’ with ‘connection’ would later lobby their names in without the knowledge of the majority.

The part’s leadership again maintained its resolve to eternally abandon the online community by neglecting them while compiling the Party’s Governorship Campaign Organisation list for Edo state September 10 election (as usual, few people with connection went to beg to be added in a supplementary list that has no value). Just on (July 19) the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led Committee released a list of 88 member Convention Committee list WITHOUT consulting with the online community nor included this group in the list. It maintained the “old fox” system according to a co-comrade. Despite the neglect, the party still expects young people to continue to tow this futureless path. I don’t think this is fair.

Having used our resources and intellects to stand for the party, defend her ideals and still continue to do so, the only fair treatment we deserve is to be included in the scheme of things within the party, and to a large extent Nigeria.
An Online Directorate of the party at the National, Geopolitical and States level is needed especially at this period of time to properly position and redefine the party as well as engage the youths in being part of party and nation building.
There is no alternative to this demand because politics is a very serious business that needs the input of the best brains, whose contributions will benefit both the party and the society. Any party or political association that insists on following the path of neglecting the online community from which it immensely benefits from is unserious and has no business remaining in the system.
Also, any individual or group that continues to accept being neglected despite contribution to a party’s growth should have a rethink. Finally, I shall conclude by quoting the words of Mr Sent ell Barnes, the Country Director of International Republican Institute, “The PDP lost 2015 election because it refused to recognise the power of social media, and its failure to harmonize communication channels.”

May God Bless Us All and Bless Nigeria
Inioribo Tamunotonye wrote from Abuja, with motivation from members of PDP Online Support Group.


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