ABUJA—GOVERNOR Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Wednesday night, told President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to get ready for aggressive marketing of the President and the party, declaring that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would not be a push over in 2019 general elections.
Governor Bello, who stated this when President Buhari hosted a dinner for youth political appointees at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, warned APC against complacency, saying the opposition should not be taken for granted, if the APC should win the election.
But Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, said PDP in its 16 years, did not do one tenth of what the APC had done in the past three and half years, adding that the ruling party went to the 2015 election with promises but will be going with its score card in the 2019 elections.
Bello said though the president remained the best leader for the country till 2023, the issue of perception was one that must be taken seriously by the APC to ensure that no chance was given to the opposition to return to power.
He said the task before the APC was to convince the masses of all the president had done for Nigerians.
He said: “A good product sells itself and Mr. President is a very good product. And his competence is definitely needed for the progress of this nation but we need to go out there and sale him to the people.
“Public Relations practitioners will tell you that at some point, having a good product without excellent advertising is a winking in the dark. You know what you are doing but no one else does. Perception is reality but when it comes to politics and campaigning, perception management is, therefore, critical in a time like this.
“We must market the incredible accomplishment of Mr. President and of his administration to every voter and in a language he or she understands. If we fail, God forbids, the adverse narrative being put out by the PDP and other propaganda machine will dominate the land and shape perception.
“If we don’t market our product very well, a tough and progressive victory against a terrorist threat, which continues to cost the lives of our brave military and law enforcement agencies, will be mistaken for inactions.”
We went to 2015 polls with promises —SGF
Also speaking, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, said the PDP didn’t achieve one-tenth of APC’s achievements in its 16 years at the helm of affairs.
He said: “As a government arm, we have achieved so much and I am going to make available to you a document that we have put together, which captures what the government has been able to achieve in just about two and half years, what I called a midterm report.
“If we have to make a comparison of what has been achieved in the last couple of years, the 16 years of PDP administration will not constitute one-tenth of what we have been able to achieve in the last three and half years. We went to the 2015 elections with promises, but we will go to the 2019 elections with our scorecard.”
On his part, Executive Director, Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, Jasper Azuatalam, told President Buhari that most Nigerians were currently disappointed with him because he had failed to perform the magic they had expected of him.
He, however, cautioned that it would be the worst thing for Nigeria if power slid back to the PDP in 2019.
Buhari reassures youth
But the President reassured the youth that Nigeria had all it takes for them to live a good life.
He condemned the rush by some Nigerians, especially the youth, in search of greener pastures abroad, saying his administration was determined to transform the country and make it better than it met it.
He said: “If people don’t feel good about this country, let them go and find out what is happening elsewhere but we are going to stay here and we are going to salvage this country together.
“I have gone through a lot, I have been governor, I was in charge of our petroleum sector for over three years, I was Head of State and now I have come without the uniform and have visited each of the 774 local government areas in this country.
“The intention of this administration is to do the infrastructure and give education and healthcare to our people especially the poor.”