Benue PDP Guber Campaign: Building on a Faulty Foundation; By Ior Ikyereve

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Hon Uba, Benue State PDP governorship candidate at a campaign rally.

WHEN the Governor of Benue and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Samuel Ortom, declared sometime in May 2022 that he was going to hire a consultant that would lead the campaign of Hon. Titus Uba, the PDP governorship candidate who emerged under obscure circumstances, discerning minds knew that something was deeply amiss with the PDP and its candidate. In fact, many people in Benue took the governor’s words with a pinch of salt.

“The governor’s public confession that PDP needs a consultant to help run its campaign is enough evidence to prove that Ortom and the PDP are on an impossible mission to conceal the defects, inadequacies and incompetence of the PDP-led government and their candidates. Come to think of it, why would a self-acclaimed ‘professor’ of party politics want to hire a consultant to run the very campaign he is leading. That tells you the magnitude of the lack of focus by the Ortom-led PDP campaign.”

However, about seven months down the line, it became apparent that Governor Ortom predictably saw what most people didn’t see at the time. He knew from the onset that Hon. Uba lacks the capacity, experience and competence to execute his campaign or canvass for votes. He knew that Uba lacks the political sagacity to persuade Benue electorates to vote for him in the 2023 gubernatorial election.

For the first time Ortom was right! And he is evidently justified. Because as PDP commenced its campaign activities across the state, political pundits now agreed with Governor Ortom that Hon. Uba really needs a consultant. Don’t get me wrong, I ‘m talking about a campaign consultant or strategist as foretold by the governor.

I have keenly observed recent political outings of the PDP and its candidates in the state, and after a thoughtful reflection on their misconduct and utterances at different campaign rallies, one is curious to know the whereabouts of the campaign consultant that Governor Ortom promised to hire for Hon. Uba, and by extension, Benue PDP. Perhaps, the consultant is utterly bewildered by the awful performance of his client – the party that has been in power in the state for nearly eight years. If not, how can one explain the fact that Benue PDP has visibly lost focus on the campaign issues that matter the most to voters? Possibly, this is what Ortom was trying to avoid.

“As a political party that already holds office for almost eight years, and is still running for re-election, Benue PDP should be able to tell the electorate what difference they have made in their lives by a visible display of the achievements it has recorded. Incumbent political parties, all over the world, run re-elections on their existing record, and not insults and verbal attacks on their opponents. It’s high time Governor Ortom and the PDP knew that they have no option than to build their campaign messages on what they have already achieved for the state and its citizens. ”  

The governor’s public confession that PDP needs a consultant to help run its campaign is enough evidence to prove that Ortom and the PDP are on an impossible mission to conceal the defects, inadequacies and incompetence of the PDP-led government and their candidates. Come to think of it, why would a self-acclaimed ‘professor’ of party politics want to hire a consultant to run the very campaign he is leading. That tells you the magnitude of the lack of focus by the Ortom-led PDP campaign.

It is rather ridiculous to hear that a political party in power which has all the opportunities to endear itself to the public through the provision of basic social amenities now wants to hire the services of a consultant to run its gubernatorial campaigns. I want to believe that the PDP and its gubernatorial candidate lack the competence and moral courage to stand before Benue voters and canvass for their votes. This could even be the basis for the idea of a consultant.

The governor might have thought that the job of a campaign consultant bears some semblance to that of a make-up artist who uses cosmetics, such as lipstick, mascara or eye shadow to cover deficiencies and defects by superficially beautifying flawed sections of the face. Quite bizarre and appalling, I must say!

Political analysts in the state are now worried by the dangerous trend of electioneering being implemented by members of the Benue PDP. In the face of complete lack of any persuasive message to convince Benue voters, owing to the gross ineptitude and abysmal performance of the government, PDP has now resorted to invented lies and slurs against the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia. This shameful appetite of PDP elements is utterly reprehensible, inexcusable and unwarranted.

As a political party that already holds office for almost eight years, and is still running for re-election, Benue PDP should be able to tell the electorate what difference they have made in their lives by a visible display of the achievements it has recorded. Incumbent political parties, all over the world, run re-elections on their existing record, and not insults and verbal attacks on their opponents. It’s high time Governor Ortom and the PDP knew that they have no option than to build their campaign messages on what they have already achieved for the state and its citizens.

Besides, the hired consultant, going forward, should be man enough to advise his client to desist from these malicious and unjustified attacks on the governorship candidate of the APC and its leadership. Instead, they should, most significantly, dwell more on campaign issues that border on their good governance indicators as the party in power. The PDP is now faced with the intimidating task of reminding voters what economic, industrial or infrastructural progress its government has made in the state since Governor Ortom assumed office in 2015.

Sadly, the PDP-led administration in the state has no record of any achievement to show for its time in power for this period. This, no doubt, is the reason why even the celebrated ‘hired consultant’ appears helpless as recent dishonourable performances on the PDP campaign trail shows.

Truly, the clumsiness of the Ortom-led administration is beyond redemption. And no campaign consultant can wave a magic wand and change the decision of Benue voters who have vowed to reject Hon. Uba and the PDP and vote massively for Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia and the APC in all positions in the forthcoming general elections. Certainly, any edifice built on a faulty foundation cannot stand!

Mr Ikyereve is Media Adviser to Hon. Sam Ode, the 2023 Benue State deputy governorship candidate of the APC.

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