2019: Mistakes Atiku/Peter Obi Campaign Must Avoid
By Val Igwebuike
The presidential campaign is billed to start tomorrow. I know the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization, APCO registered many Support groups from across the country.
Perhaps, APCO is still planning to address the support groups for Atiku before the commencement of the presidential campaigns. Many feel bad that they have not been communicated to!
However, I am surprised that many of these support groups that have been working for Atiku even before his emergence as the PDP presidential candidate have not been officially reached to by APCO till now.
This is not healthy for the general and collective interest of Atiku/Obi presidential aspiration.
APCO will do well by reaching these support groups and intimate them with necessary plan of activities within their scope. I am talking from experience.
We pray APCO does not make the Fatal mistake the Managers of Goodluck Support Group made in 2014, which led to the colossal electoral defeat of the then incumbent PDP and President Jonathan.
Among other things, the major factor that resulted to the defeat of Jonathan and PDP by Buhari and APC was the collapse of Goodluck Support groups into the PDP presidential campaign organization, which allowed PDP chieftains to manipulate the structures for selfish and personal gains to the electoral detriment of President Jonathan and the PDP.
The PDP chieftains jettisoned all known rules governing the support groups and their interest, ignored them with reckless abandon, and treated the members of the support groups with disdain.
The money that was budgeted for the support groups that had been working assiduously for Jonathan for more than one year before the presidential campaign kick-started were diverted to motor park touts and their bus drivers by the chieftains of PDP presidential campaign organization.
The support groups were told that there was no money provided by Jonathan for the election.
Before the eyes of this responsible members of the various support groups, who were not partisan politicians, some of whom were utterly apolitical, respected men and women, who came together only to demonstrate their love and support for Jonathan were used like beggars by these greedy and insensitive PDP chieftains, who took the campaign monies and gave to their friends, relatives and well-wishers, who had nothing to do with Jonathan and his presidential campaign.
With this grossly unscrupulous manipulation of the entire Goodluck Support groups by these PDP members, the leadership members of these support groups took drastic decision, instructing their members to allow only PDP members to campaign and vote for Jonathan.
They decided that they would not vote for Jonathan again. They also announced that they would not vote for Buhari either.
They ordered their highly aggrieved members to stay at home on the day of the presidential election.
That decision of the support groups filtered into the ears of the APC leadership, who were genuinely desperate to win elections by all means and at all cost.
The APC chieftains went after the aggrieved members of Goodluck Support groups. Some followed them out of anger and some did not.
That was exactly what transpired between the Goodluck Support groups and members of the PDP as a result of the coalition of the two different independent bodies that would have worked for same purpose.
I know of all these because I was part of the entire system then, and I witnessed all that succinctly happened.
One thing is clear and certain. It is one thing to gather crowd, it is also another different thing to manage the crowd effectively for the purpose it was gathered.
A crowd you gathered for a purpose could be disastrous to an interest if wrongly handled as a result of human greed and personal aggrandizement. Your once beloved crowd could become potential multiple enemies that could turn against you.
That was why Goodluck Jonathan had virtually no supporters to join the fainted voice of PDP to protect against the conspicuous election RIGGING by the APC and the INEC.
That was why many supporters of PDP and President Jonathan joined APC to demand that the former Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh be prosecuted for the ear-blocking amount of millions he cornered to himself at the expense of victory for his party.
This time, the Atiku Presidential Campaign organization, APCO must be careful not to repeat the disastrous mistake of 2015.
The groups they have gathered for Atiku before now must be used to market and sell Atiku and his positive political Concepts to Nigerian electorates. Any disdainful attitude to these groups must be avoided.
To completely avoid the repetition of the painful experience of 2015, it is better and electorally profitable to allow APCO function differently, supervising the activities of the support groups for effective and advantageous interest and good results.
Any attempt to collapse the support groups into the management of PDP presidential campaign organization will spell doom for Atiku/Obi and the PDP as whole.
This is the hard truth, it could also be bitter; it is natural.