My Plan To De-Market APC — Lere Olayinka
Lere Olayinka, Special Assistant to Governor Ayodele Fayose on Public Communication and New Media, is one of the serious contenders for the post of the National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party. In an interview, he affirmed that his mission as National Publicity Secretary of the PDP would be to de-market the ruling All Progressive Congress. He speaks on his plans and strategies.
By Rotimi Omoyela
Why do you want to be the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party?
I’m a committed member of the PDP. I have never belonged to any other party since I joined party politics. Again, I will say that I have paid my dues in terms of projecting the PDP, in Ekiti State, Southwest and Nigeria as a whole. Most importantly, the leader of the party in this state, Dr. Ayodele Fayose is interested in me becoming the National Publicity Secretary of the party.
How would you assess the present Publicity Secretary of your party, Chief Olisa Metuh performance?
I’m a forward looking person, I don’t dwell on the past, I don’t go about condemning and castigating people, the environment in which Mr. A operated last week, may be different from which Mr. B is operating now and the environment in which Mr. C will operate tomorrow might be different. So the strategy that worked yesterday would obviously be different from the one that might be applied tomorrow. I’m not saying those who have handled the media in the past have not done their best, in the political environment they operated, they did their best, I’m willing to pick up from where they stopped.
Do you think you have what it takes to be Publicity Secretary of a Political Party?
I’m a journalist and have been in this job for 19 years. I started active journalism since my days in the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, I have practiced as a publisher, as a reporter, I have been involved in broadcast journalism, print journalism and even social media journalism.
The Peoples Democratic Party as at now appeared to be riddled with crisis and internal strife, what image do you intend to give a party of this nature?
Politics is about conflict and conflict resolution when you have an organisation with varieties of interest there will always be conflicts. Unfortunately, we allowed minor crises to balloon into a major issue. Like every other political party, we have our share of crises in the PDP, and it is normal in politics, because of the divergent interests. The APC that is the ruling party today has its share of crises because of the divergent interests in that party. You must be aware of what is going on within the APC, and it has not been consumed by the crisis, PDP too will not be consumed by its crisis.
Some say that the consensus arrangement used in the last congresses in Ekiti State is akin to imposition?
I can tell you that there was no imposition of anyone. Don’t get it wrong. Consensus is never an imposition; they are not the same thing. Consensus is a mechanism put in place to discourage acrimony and rancour among contenders for a particular position.
It’s an arrangement put in place to encourage contestants to step down for each other and allow the best candidate who is properly fit for a position to emerge, but in a situation where nobody wants to step down, we can call for the outright election to settle the matter.
What are your other plans for the projection of the image of your party?
Political communication is simple, you tell the people what your party is capable of doing, you tell the people what your party would have done differently, by making the people see that if our party is the party in government, we would have done things differently. It is about marketing your party and de-marketing your competitors; my job is to market the PDP and de-market APC.
The latest crisis in PDP has to do with zoning and gladiators in Southwest want the chairmanship zoned to the area. But Governor Fayose has a different opinion, what is your take?
The Chief Executive Officer of any political party is the Secretary, are you saying this position is not important? The National Publicity Secretary is the mouthpiece of the party, are you saying that is not important too?
Though this issue has been resolved, and I would not like to go into it. With two governors in the Southwest are they complaining? Those are the major stakeholders in the party as at today.
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