Monday, 25 May 2015

FFK slams PDP NWC in new interview, praises Patience Jonathan

Femi Fani-Kayode in a new interview, slammed the PDP's National Working Committee, stating that their ineffectiveness cost President Jonathan victory at the 2015 general election. He also said the First Lady campaigned for her husband like the true and loyal wife that she is. 
"The truth is that the First Lady was one of the most forceful, credible and powerful voices during the course of the campaign and she did an excellent job for her husband and our candidate. She did not hide in the kitchen but instead, like the true and loyal wife that she is, she jumped into the fray and fought for her husband. Why should anyone complain about that? That woman is a lioness and I honestly believe that she enhanced the fortunes of the President during the course of what was the most bitter and keenly contested election in the history of Nigeria. Without her strong contributions and without her lending her strong voice to our cause things would have been far worse."
He said a whole lot more. Read the full interview after the cut...

Sir, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC), recently blamed the lose of the party at the March 28, Presidential election on hate speeches embarked upon by some party officials particularly some members of its Presidential Campaign Organisation. How would you react to this? 
Answer: I am sorry that you asked me this question because this is an assertion that I have refused to comment on since the allegation was made. Ever since the conclusion of the Presidential election I have been asked the question you have just asked me more than any other and I believe that, for posterity's sake, it is time to set the record straight. Everywhere I go this question of hate campaign is raised and frankly I am tired of it. Worse still some people are beginning to believe the rubbish because we have refused to clear the air. We cannot be expected to remain silent forever when faced with such a grave allegation. This is all the more so because it is my Directorate (the Directorate of Media and Publicity) and team that they sought to target, malign and discredit more than anyone else even though they did not mention my name ormy Directorate. The truth is that I have no hate in me and neither did anyone in the PCO or in my Directorate. We are serious-minded, patriotic, loyal, faithful, responsible and hard-working party leaders, many of whom have either been Federal Ministers, Senators or state Governors in the past, who chose to answer a call to duty by our President and who made massive sacrifices in terms of time, energy, commitment and risk and stood up for our President when asked them to do so. They stood up for the President and fought for him when he was faced with the most vicious, malicious and hateful gunfire that this country has ever known. They fought for him gallantly when he was faced with the most effective and ruthless campaign of calmuny that this country has ever known from an opposition that was ruthlessly efficient in all it's ways and that was not prepared to spare him or take any prisoners. The truth is that the APC media machine was awesome yet we engaged them fire for fire and bullet for bullet and I do not regret that. If we had not done so we would have lost the election by at least 10 million more votes than we did. We spoke the truth, we engaged the enemy on all fronts and we not only fought them to a stand still but for the first time since the establishment of the APC they were put on the defensive. This was a great achievement for which we ought to be thanked and not one for which we should be maligned, misrepresented and insulted. If one or two members of the NWC are so ignorant that they cannot make a distinction between virile political banter and a hate campaign that is their problem. After they take power om may 29th the APC will begin a formidable onslaught against the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan, his entire cabinet and those of us that are his political associates. They will try to discredit us and to destroy every remaining vestige of our party and his legacy. They will persecute us and they will malignus in every way. Despite all their promises of peace and harmony they will try to destroy each and every one of us. That is their nature and that is their way and we must all be battle-ready to take them on and resist that. We must remain free of acrimony, united and focused and we must throw out the bad eggs in the NWC and prepare for a long drawn out war of attrition with the new incoming Government. In order to survive over the next four years as a party we must make the necessary changes at the top otherwise we will be utterly decimated. The present leadership of the party, particularly it's information organs, have no chance of standing against an APC Federal Government because they are weak and they lack understanding and courage. They will be savaged beyond belief and torn apart if they try it because they do not have the stomach, the grit, the appetite or the wherewithal for a long drawn fight. They are simply incapable of defending the President and his legacies after he has left office and neither are the majority of them even ready to do so. Instead of focusing on their numerous inadequacies and trying to fix them these very same people are hurling bricks at others. Instead of preparing to defend the party faithful and enhance the fortunes of the party members over the next four years they are making childish and nonsensical allegations and alienating and upsetting many party leaders. They are indeed the enemy within. The truth is that their allegation is not only baseless but it is also unadulterated rubbish and those who made them are nothing but ingrates, cowards and traitors who know nothing about politics, political campaigns, intellectual discourse or political engagement. They are simply trying to revise and re-write history in order to cover up their treachery, weaknesses and inadequacies. They are fueled by hate and envy and worse of all, right from the start, they had no interest in fighting for our leader and presidential candidate President Goodluck Jonathan or in ensuring that he won the election. From day one all they did was sulk about the fact that a Presidential Campaign Organisation had been set up and that they would not be able to have control of the campaign themselves or have access to the resources that we were given. At every point they tried to undermine our efforts and sabotage us but we ignored them and remained focused on doing our job despite their provocations. From day one all they were interested in was in controlling others and telling them what to do. They were not in the fray, they refused to enter the heat of battle andall they did was moan and bicker from the side walk like little children. What we were doing and attempting to do was lost on them because they had never taken anything seriously and they found it hard to comprehend the logic and style of those of us that did. Their arrogance was insufferable, they were an unmitigated disaster and their leadership style was abysmal. It still is. If any group of people were responsible for our loss, it was them. They were envious of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and its high profile and they are nothing but a bunch of bitter and treacherous ingrates who have no business leading a political party. It is important to note that not all of them were bad. Some of them like Uche Secundus, Kema Chikwe, Barrister Jalo, Wale Oladipo, the National Youth Leader and a few others did their very best and supported the President as best as they could but the majority of them were terrible. It was an honor to work for President Jonathan and he provided us with all the support, inspiration and encouragement that we needed. If he has not complained about the Presidential Campaign Organisation and all that we did, who are those that are now complaining? He appointed us and we are accountable to him and no-one else. He did not complain about any hate campaign and neither did he insult us after we finished our work so why on earth should we lose any sleep over the utterances of one or two frustrated NWC members who have no respect for themselves or their party members, who have no intellectual stamina and who lack credibility. The President commended our efforts and thanked us for all we did after the conclusion of the election. That is the right and proper thing to do and we are more than happy with that. We are very grateful to him for that gesture. Nothing else matters to us. However what the NWC said about us is undoubtedly the unkindest cut of all. It is like Brutus' betrayal of Julius Caesar. It is wicked, uncharitable and unacceptable and some of us will not take it. What they need to understand and appreciate is that we will not sit by idly and allow them re-write history or make us the fall guys. The only reason we have not opened up on them is out of respect for President Jonathan and because we want to ensure that our party remains united. That does not however mean that we are fools or that we will allow ourselves to be turned into sitting ducks or someone's punching bag. That does not mean that we will allow them to treat us as soft targets or that we are incapable of hitting back. The lies, falsehood, innuendos and terrible stories thatthey are bandying around about us are just despicable and if they do not stop, they will divide the party and utterly destroy it. That is the sad and bitter truth. In playing this game blame and pointing fingers at others, they are biting off far more than they can chew. The fact is that the Presidential Campaign Organisation not only did an excellent job but we also fought a damn good fight. We fought a better fight than any other organ of the party had fought over the last two or three years against a relentless, well-funded, well-motivated and well organised opposition. Before the Presidential Campaign Orgaisation came into being, the PDP had virtually lost its voice and those that do not recognise this have obviously lost touch withreality. Those that attack us and cast aspersion on our character and blame us for the failure of our party and our president to win the election are not seeing things clearly. They are hopelessly confused and they have no idea how political campaigns are conducted in the civilised world. Their accusations are not only baseless, but they are also self serving.

Question: The personal attack of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti on Gen. Muhammed Buhari, the President-election before the election was noted as one of the things that worked against the PDP at the March 28, presidential election. do you believe that is true?
Answer: That is arrant nonsense and those in the NWC that have said so are liars, cowards and turncoats. They are traitors and they are working for the enemy. Did these so-called party leaders complain when Jonathan was attacked by the APC and Lai Mohammed every day? I find it strange that they are prepared to accept the personal attacks on their own candidate as being acceptable yet they complain when we attack the candidate of the other side. Who's side are these people really on? Fayose was not the only one that focused his attention on Buhari. Many of us did because Buhari was the issue for us and everything about him became relevant. In the same vein, for the APC, Jonathan was the issue and they focused their guns on him. We did not complain and cry about it like little children but instead we returned fire and responded forcefully. We have no apology for that and we believe that we spoke nothing but the truth and we backed up our assertions with facts and figures. We didn't just talk but we did our research. We were effective and devastating and that is all that matters to me. We have nothing against Buhari but we had a job to do and we did it as best as we could. Those that lacked the guts, the finesse and the capacity to do the job should stop whining and instead they should try and learn from those of us that are capable of doing it and that are prepared to do it for the sake of our President, our party and our country. I think it is unfortunate that some members of the NWC should be pointing fingers and making accusations and counter allegations against senior party leaders after we lost the elections. They are more to blame for our defeat than anyone else. After losing the elections the right and proper thing to do is for us to do some serious soul-searching, look within, indulge in a period of sober reflection and serious introspection, maintain some sense of self-respect and dignity, refuse to defect to the other side and desist from giving the other side ammunition to fight us with in the future. This is something that those voices in the NWC that are making noise and looking for trouble need to learn before it is too late. It is because they refuse to learn these lessons and because they seek to silence every voice of dissent so that they can remain in office for another two years that so many people despise them and want them out. I think it is all the more worrisome when those few voices in the NWC make very serious allegations against key senior party members in the PCO and against a few ofthe governors, the Ministers and the Presidents aides all of whom who had risked there lives and everything for the campaign and who worked so hard for the President. That is my view about that.

Question: There is also this allegation that the first Lady in the course of her campaign across the country, did more harm than good to the party do you agree with this?
Answer: Again this is arrant nonsense. It is nothing but rubbish. It is the same identifiable individuals in the NWC that are spreading that repulsive falsehood and we all know who they are. Those that say so are nothing but ingrates, traitors and malcontents who are not worthy of holding their positions on the NWC. The truth is that the First Lady was one of the most forceful, credible and powerful voices during the course of the campaign and she did an excellent job for her husband and our candidate. She did not hide in the kitchen but instead, like the true and loyal wife that she is, she jumped into the fray and fought for her husband. Why should anyone complain about that? This was especially important because the President was under serious hostile fire from the enemy. She did very well indeed and I take this opportunity to commend her courage. That woman is a lioness and I honestly believe that she enhanced the fortunes of the President during the course of what was the most bitter and keenly contested election in the history of Nigeria. Without her strong contributions and without her lending her strong voice to our cause things would have been far worse. Those that say otherwise do not know what they are talking about. I know beceause I was one of those that was deep in the trenches and in the fray. When things looked bad it was the First Lady that encouraged us and inspired us more than anyone else. Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti was another person that worked so hard for the party and the President. The same can be said about Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia state, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, the late Oronto Douglas, Dr. Doyin Okupe and a number of others. I commend them all and I wish them well. Chief Tony Anenih, Sen. Ahmadu Alli, Nenadi Usman, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Governor Peter Obi, Hon. Minister Turaki, Aliyu Modibbo, Senator Amanga, the Director of Women Affairs of the PCO, the Director of Youth of the PCO and so many other key members of the Presidential Campaign Organisation wereother powerful and credible voices that worked so hard for the President during the campaign. Members of my Directorate, the Directorate of Media and Publicity, every single one of them and all the other directorates, also did an exceptionally good job. We risked our lives, we fought a good fight and we fought to the end. Our heads may have been bloodied during the fight but they are not bowed. We stood up for our President and our party courageously, unlike those few voices in the NWC who are now using their positions to try to malign us, discredit our efforts, rubbish our personalities, criminalise us and destroy our party. Instead of leading the party these few individuals in the NWC were busy doing deals with the APC secretly. We in the PCO were not like others that were collecting monies from all the various PDP aspirants in the states and promising them the partys nomination and ticket. This led to a lot of problems within the party because in the end they did not give those aspirants what they asked for and what they promised. Consequently many of those aspirants rebelled and worked against us during the elections. We in the PCO were not like others that were too cowardly to speak the truth and to face the APC head on and tell them precisely what they were. I am very proud of the efforts of every single member of the Presidential Campaign Organisation. Most importantly the President himself commended us and he was very proud of our efforts too. So if anybody else is complaining about our efforts that is their own problem and they can go and jump in the lagoon. I really do not give a damn about them or their thoughts. What is important to us now is to try to rebuild our party and to ensure that we have credible, legitimate, genuine and strong leadership that is prepared to take the in-coming APC government head on and keep them on their toes. We need a new and fresh leadership that is made up of bright, young, strong and intellectually-inclined minds and that is tolerant of dissenting views and differing opinions. We need a new leadership that is open, kind, fair-minded and accomodating and in order to achieve that I must add my voice to that of a number of governors and other key stakeholders and leaders in our party who have said that the party's National Working Committee must go. Sadly the NWC has become a clog in the wheel of progress. They have much to learn from what the leadership of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democratic Party did in the U.K. just a couple of weeks ago when they resigned a few hours after losing the election to the conservatives. They resigned with honor and no-one had to ask them to go or call for their resignation. They did the right and proper thing because they are well educated people who have honor. Sadly the NWC members lack both education and honor otherwise they would have resigned by now. They are ignorant of the fact that when people lead a party into defeat they must resign to make way for others. And when people tell them to resign they threaten them with suspension or expulsion from the party forgetting that there is life outside politics. Not only have they refused to take the path of honor by resigning but they are also throwing bricks at those of us who raised the PDP flag and fought a good fight. Honestly it is sad and unbelievable. In any other country these people would have been lambasted morning, day and night for their sheer effontry and ingratitude and for their inability to provide strong and decisive leadership. Yet here we just pamper and manage them and shy away from telling them the bitter truth. The truth is that the NWC has to go and I add my voice to that of Governors Aliyu Babaginda, Sule Lamido, Ayodele Fayose and that of so many other people including the overwhelming majority of governors, party leaders and elders and I am saying that there needs to be a change at the top if the PDP is serious about forging party unity, restoring its fortunes, redeeming itself and winning any election in 2019. I do not want to rock the boat out respect for our President and our party elders otherwise I would say a lot more that will shock the nation and the party faithful about the atrocities that these people have committed over the last few years. I have a whole file on it which we compiled during the campaign. Two members of the NWC specifically were actually working for the APC and were on their payroll. Their job was to destroy our fortunes, pass on our secrets, create discord in our ranks and undermine the efforts of the PCO in the media campaign. That is just one shocker and there are plenty more. The time to talk is not now though that time will come. You will be shocked by what we know about these people and their sordid efforts to stop Jonathan and betray their own party. We do not have to say too much publicly at this point but at the appropiate time we shall do so. I have every right to defend myself, my Directorate and members of the Presidential Campaign Organisation when the illiterate, the malevolent, the misinformed, the mischevous, the treacherous, the cowardly, the disloyal and the misguided cast aspersions on our character and seek to rubbish our efforts. Let me also say this. When they accuse us of a campaign of hate was it the Presidential Campaign Organisation of President Goodluck Jonathan that went all over theNorth just before the elections and told all those worshiping in the mosques that to vote for President Jonathan will be a vote for an infidel? That is what you call a hate campaign and we did not indulge in that. It was the APC that indulged in that the friday before the presidential election. Was it the Presidential Campaign Organisation that kept on speaking about President Jonathan and his family in derogative terms and insulting him from morning day and night? The answer is no. We did not do that. It was the APC that did that. Their hatred for President Jonathan and all our candidates and our party was unmitigated and unrestrained. The APC were the ones that started and indulged in the personal attacks and the hate and those that will now say, from within the ranks of the PDP's NWC, that we started it, have clearly lost touch with reality. Again looking inwards, was it the Presidential Campaign Organisation that first coined the phrase Janjaweed and Talibanparty and labelled the APC as the Janjaweed and Taliban party? No it was not. It was nobody in our campaign organisation but rather it was somebody in the National Working Committee of the PDP. Is that not what you call a campaign of hatred? Yet that same person who created, coined and used that phrase has the nerve and the temerity to now accuse the PCO of indulging in a hate campaign which, according to him, led to our loss at the polls. I have never seen so much hypocrisy and heard so much nonsense in my life. The problem is that one or two of these people never went to good schools or they went to school and university very late in life so it is difficult for them to understand the implications of what they are saying. Surely the PDP deserves better and can do better than to be saddled with such an intellectually deficient and dishonest group of people running it's affairs in the NWC. We completely reject the grave allegation of indulging in a campaign of hatred. And where harsh words were used we did not start it and we responded to it in a logical, precise, appropiate, firm and forceful manner. That is the right and proper thing to do. Taking on the APC and Lai Mohammed is not something that can be done by wearing kid gloves or by behaving in a cowardly manner. You must be ready to stand firm, fight your corner, state your case and remain true to the end without flinching or batting an eyelid. You must be ready to fight the battle till the end and not run away with your tail between your legs when things get hot. You must believe in what you are saying and doing and you must do it with passion, power and 110 per cent loyalty to your principal. That is what we did and I am very proud of feel fulfilled and I am convinced that no-one could have done a better job than our team despite their lies. The truth of the matter is that unlike the NWC, we stoodup for the party, we fought for the President and we did not betray the cause. We did not allow anything to distract us from our objectives which was to tell the world about the virtues of our candidate and to tell the Nigerian people why we believed that Buhari was not the man to lead our country. Though we lost the election Ibelieve that we discharged our duty and obligation effectively and as best as we could despite the limitations we faced and despite the constant hostility and opposition from within. We fought a good fight and we are very proud of that fight. If the NWC really want to know why we lost the election they should go and search their souls and ask themselves if every single one of them was really loyal to the party and to the President. Did they really fight for the President? Were some of them not really fighting for the APC and collecting monies all over the place from aspirants and promising to give them tickets? Were some of them not dividing the ranks of the party? Were some of them not really trying to undermine the efforts of the Presidential Campaign Organisation right from the start? That was what was going on and that is just a tip of the iceberg. We know all these things and everybody knows them. We know what we faced from day one. They resented the fact that the President had his own campaign organisation right from day one because they wanted to manage it themselves, run everything themselves and make sure that they had access to the funds. Yet the President, in his infinite wisdom, said no because they had failed for two or three years before that time and he wanted his own team for the campaign. There is no presidential system in the world where a President going for an election will have the leadership of the party, the NWC, running his campaign organisation. It is never done and it has never been done. You must have a Presidential Campaign Organisation of your own at that point and that is what happened. It happened in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and it has happened again in 2015. The President chose that course and we fought a good fight, so for the NWC to turn around and be trying to blame us for their own inadequacies and the mess that they created is absolutely absurd and unacceptable. Had it not been for the efforts of the Presidential Campaign Organisation and the fact that we fought an aggressive, efficient, focused, disciplined, virile, proactive and strong campaign and had it not been for the fact that we returned every bullet the APC fired at our candidates fire for fire, we would have been completely overwhelmed and we would have lost the election by at least five to ten million votes. When we came on the scene, we changed the fortunes of the PDP and our candidates for the better because we worked hard, we were focused and committed and we did it none stop and every day for about three months. This is something that had not happened for the previous two years because the NWC was weak, divided, incapable, intolerant and indolent. Question: Do you by any means see the PDP as coming back to its old self based on recent happenings within the party and the fact that it lost the presidency to the opposition. Answer: The PDP will come back to it's old self once the leadership of the party has changed. As I said earlier, the NWC needs to go. I am saying this and adding my voice tomany PDP Governors and many other elders and leaders who are saying this behind closed doors. I am saying it now and I have every right to do so because for the last few weeks we have getting all manner of insults from these people and those that share their views for the hard work that we did during the campaign. They are ungrateful and irresponsible and if they want peace they must stop attacking us and telling lies about us. We will not take it lying low any longer and what these people dont understand is that there is life outside of politics. We at the PCO risked our lives and despite our constraints and the sabotage that we were subjected to by a few members of the NWC we fought a good fight. We should be commended for our efforts. All of us. Every single one of us in our team. There were many people involved in the campaign. It was not a one man effort and they should be thanking us for the efforts that we made. Look at the hard work that elders like Chief Tony Anenih (the PDP Board of Trustees Chairman and the the Presidential Advisor to the PCO), Senator Ahmadu Alli (theD-G of the PCO) and Professor Tunde Adeniran (Deputy D-G of the PCO) put in. At their age they were all over the country and they were risking their lives every day.They guided us and led us with grace and with boldness, supporting and encouraging us all the way. Without them we would have achieved nothing. Yet after all that someone or some group of people who should know better will come and attempt to denigrate our collective efforts simply out of envy and frustration. The NWC created the mess that the party is in and they have widened the deep divisions. They have almost destroyed the party with their incompetence, greed and pettiness. There was no campaign until we came. There was no real resistance to the APC up until we got into the fray. Before we came Lai Mohammed and the APC dominated the airwaves and they were all over the media. They were the lone voice and it was very intimidating. They dominated the media space before the Presidential Campaign Organisation was set up. Until the PCO was set up there was no voice or effective resistance to the APC and the PDP had nothing. When we came in everything changed. We rose to the occassion, we stood up and for the first time we put them on the defensive. Can anybody deny that? And then you say it is a campaign of hate simply because you did not know what to do or how to do it. You attack and insult us simply because you are a coward and you do not have the courage of your convictions. You malign us simply because you are insincere and you are full of envy. If the NWC are looking for a scapegoat they should not look in our direction. Instead they should look within themselves. That is the hard and bitter truth. and other members of the PDP campaign committee engaged in Hate messages.

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