Right from the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo up until the current President Goodluck Jonathan, the leadership and membership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have made heavy weather of the claim that their political platform is the single largest political party in all of the black world.
The above trend of thought originated from that widely acclaimed statistical claims over the years that Nigeria has the largest concentration of black people globally. The proponent of the widely held argument that PDP is the largest political party in the black world made a deduction that if Nigeria is the nation with arguably the largest black population in the World, it therefore follows logically that any political party that wins political power at the national level automatically assumes the enviable position as the largest political party in the black World.
I am not writing on the science and logic of the above assumption, but on the recent ‘tsunami’ or ‘wind of change’ that took place at the national hierarchy of Nigeria’s ruling political party-Peoples Democratic Party-which swept away over 90 percent of the national officials who emerged in the political party’s last national primary.
These landmark resignations of top flight national officials of the Peoples Democratic Party is said to be rooted on a recent damaging report by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which returned a vote-of-no confidence on the modus operandi and modus Vivendi (operational process and mechanism) which led to the election of the affected national officials of the party at the said national convention during which the party also selected her presidential candidate in the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who emerged victorious at the May 2011 general elections.
One of the key national officials of the ruling party swept away by the gale of resignations was the national publicity secretary-the Anambra State-born politician; Mr. Olisa Metuh, a lawyer with absolutely no media, public relations or diplomatic qualifications or experience.
The fall of Mr. Metuh from grace, so to say, is viewed in many quarters as long overdue given that his reign as the spokesman of the ruling party was characterized by needless, irrelevant confrontation and media warfare he waged not only against Nigeria’s opposition political platforms but also against radical elements, public intellectuals and leading stakeholders in the organized civil/human right community in Nigeria.
As the party prepares to host special convention to fill the vacant positions that resulted from the resignations at the National hierarchy, many observers have cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party to ensure that transparency, openness, democratic tenets of free choice are observed by the participants at the convention in July 2013, just as the ruling party is particularly cautioned not to elect a bellicose and a neophyte into the all-important position of the office of the National publicity scribe.
It is a universal fact that as a young democracy, Nigeria seriously needs a ruling political party whose spokesman will almost be like a ‘philosopher King’, imbued with immense and profound wisdom, overwhelming love of nation and the patriotic zeal not to alienate any section of the society because of the fact that the mission of nation -building and the entrenchment of vibrant, sustainable and meaningful democracy and respect for the principle of rule of law demands that all critical stakeholders in the nation are carried along and consulted.
The immediate past national spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party did not record any enviable achievement in the area of creating harmonious atmosphere for the smooth and constructive dialogue between the ruling party and the credible members of the organized civil society. He failed to appreciate the fact that constructive engagement with all relevant and credible critical opinion molders is imperative if Nigeria must arrive at the legendary democracy el dorado.
The last national publicity secretary apart from occasional reactionary media brickbats targeted against the predictable political opponents of the ruling party, failed to introduce rich dialogue contents with all shades of opinion.
A question may be asked why a non-card carrying member of any political party like this writer is concerned with who becomes the national spokesman of the ruling party. But speak or contemplate no further because in a democracy when the ruling national party sneezes the entire nation catches cold and so the internal affairs of the ruling party is not a family affair but a national matter and importantly, the quality of persons to occupy strategic positions in that ruling national party must be of the highest concern to all patriotic critical stakeholders.
I am not one of those who say that since PDP has ruled for fourteen years without recording significant developmental milestones to improve the economic conditions of the people radically, therefore the party is bereft of patriots or quality persons who can still bring about positive changes and impacts in the lives of Nigerians. As an incurable optimist, I know many good persons in the Peoples Democratic Party.
At the risk of sounding immodest, this writer think the ruling national party in Nigeria should look in the direction of electing only philosopher Kings into the national hierarchy of their party so that together working in harmony with President Jonathan, the government can collectively deliver quality good governance and establish enduring structures and institutions for the enforcement of radical zero-tolerance to corruption and also establish a national tradition whereby Nigerians will inculcate and externalize the culture of transparency and accountability.
Flowing from the above fountain of logic, I am particularly concerned about who emerges as the public face of the ruling national party or rather the National publicity scribe of PDP.
As a journalist, philosopher and writer, I am of the firm belief that there are few persons that can adequately serve the ruling national party in the position of national publicity scribe and over the next few days I will critically analyze their qualities and credentials for Nigerians and particularly members of the PDP to judge for themselves and decide on who emerges in that position which epitomizes the international public image of the party.
The 53 year- old journalist, public relations guru and lawyer from Anambra State – Chief Okey Muo-Aroh readily comes to mind as one of the finest members of the ruling national Peoples Democratic Party who is immensely endowed with all the necessary qualities and academic/practical credentials to be given the national assignment as the national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria.
This gentleman who practices both law and media relations in the nation’s capital and is one of the pillars of the ruling national party in his Anambra home state is happily married to an accomplished academic-Mrs. (Dr.) Ucheoma Okey-Aroh and the couple is blessed by God with children.
He was trained in some of the Iconic academic institutions including the legendary Dennis Memorial Grammer School Onitsha, Anambra State and the prestigious University of Nigeria, Enugu campus.
His illustrious professional career spanned many years even as he started off as a reporter/broadcaster with the Nigerian Television Authority in Enugu. He became the executive sports producer for the Anambra Television and also worked as a state counsel in the Kano State ministry of Justice. These varied experiences made him to be viewed as a nationalist and patriot. His law firm in Abuja is made up of several lawyers from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Politically, he has served at the grass root as the elected executive chairman of Idemili local government from 1999 to 2002 during which time he served Anambra State as the chairman of the Association of local governments of Nigeria and rose to the exalted position of the National Vice President of the same association from 1999 to 2002.
He has served variously as Special Adviser to the government of Anambra State. These are rare qualities that set him apart as one of the finest minds in the ruling national party even as there are some other experts that can hold other positions that I will analyze soon.