If Red Cards were PVCs: 10 things PDP should never try again by Chinedu Hardy Nwadike

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By CHINEDU HARDY NWADIKE
Even if some people in Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] will never agree with me on this, the truth still remained that things never worked well for them in the last elections.
In Imo State, PDP will not be considered as failures, but they just did not win and that’s still failure if you look at it from their efforts and strategies to reclaim what they said to be their lost mandate.
With top politicians in the state lined in their ranks, PDP could not still muscle out governor Okorocha who prior to the election was alleged to have been deserted by political heavy weights in All Progressives Congress [APC]. The rest of it are now stories, but you must agree with me that even with the high number of so called political analysts in the PDP setup, they still did not understand how the election was going to run. They had their eyes open but couldn’t see a single part of their undoing unfolding.

LATE COMERS HARDLY WIN
There has never been a system in support of late comers no matter the amount of money you have in the bank. PDP came late in Imo because by January 2014, we still could not say who would be running for them. Most of their aspirants were still busy speaking against PDP in their various parties before they got converted.
Had the likes of Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha started real campaigns by touching lives around the state, they would have won many hearts and you must agree with me that even when we know that it is one man one vote, one heart could equal five votes.
They all came late and instead of taking things easy, they wrestled themselves, making people see them as not being ready.

IF RED CARDS WERE PVCS
When Hon. Uche Ogbuagu’s Ka O Puo was adopted as PDP official Campaign jingle and when his branded Red Cards and Whistle were being shared by the PDP amongst youths, I told someone that they were heading for their doom.
They just couldn’t see that no one was carrying the card out of passion. Everyone was paid to carry that card and I could still be right if I say that Uche Ogbuagu was also paid to record Ka O Puo and its climax.
People who were not able to collect their PVC were given red cards and this was a meaningless move because the cards would never get anyone one vote. At a point, they were seen as jokers who only used their activities to relieve Imolites of the raging high blood pressure in the country.
The summary here is, politics is a serious game, but comedy isn’t.

POLITICAL HUMILITY
This is where most of them got it all wrong. A man who has never been to Eke Ukwu Owerri since he made money, will suddenly go there with the press to buy something. People are no longer fooled with this political humility.
We understand that top politicians are mostly busy people, but they can still put some public shows of humility in their schedules.
For instance, Gov. Okorocha was seen with mad people’s children in 2011, he was seen buying akara and roasted corn, riding bicycles and walking from Gov. House to Heroes Square because of traffic.
You can call those public shows of humility, but he started them when nothing was at stake.
I saw a picture of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha buying stock fish and other things in the market around January 2015, what happened to 2012, 2013 and 2014? If he had started then, people would be believing him more. He could even cram names of women in some sections and if he can’t his aides would do that for him, it’s all part of it.
So for those who are eyeing government house in 2019, it is another season of roasted corn and our markets are still open.

HATE CAMPAIGN

If a kid steals from the mother, she can spank him for doing so, but the moment she tries to overdo it, people will start complaining about that and she will bring the kid more sympathy than hatred.
This was the case of PDP in the last election. Their agents were so busy with their character assassinations that they could not see when its diminishing returns kicked off.
The fact that PDP overstressed some points, cost them some votes. People hate repetitions, one needs to be very creative to be throwing out new concepts on daily basis.
You call your opponent an embezzler, same crime we have known you to be guilty of. You say he has no regards for rule of law and you forget that PDP ignored the court to move on with the outcome of the primary elections.
The kettle can never be darker than the pot, unless the only business there is to boil water. By 2019, anyone thinking of hate campaign should be a fool, because he would never get anything from it again.

ATTACK DOGS THAT CANNOT BITE
When the wife of Imo State governor started her August Meeting movement, I smiled and said, Owelle will win again. The woman was busy mobilizing women in the 27 LGAs of Imo State and this was done without a single force.
She provided for people and these were things we expect from an ideal African wife. She supports the agenda of her husband.
PDP instead of organizing women and people to mobilize, they had ‘attack dogs’ who always go on TV and radio to say things. In as much as I am in for gender equality, there are still jobs reserved for women because an average Imolite in the rural areas has the basic African mentality and the last time I checked, gender equality is not in it.
PDP should have exploited the tenderness in the hearts of their women leaders but they didn’t and instead of fronting them as mother figures, they unleashed the women as ‘warriors of words’; I said, if it is a war, why not give them swords because I still remember this quote from Nursery School “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”
The ‘Attack Dog’ concept did not yield a single result, they only ended up spending millions of naira if not billions.

FAKE PROTESTS AND ASSOCIATIONS

People should learn that people are no longer easily fooled with fake sympathy. Contractors were aggrieved since 2011 and they formed their association in 2015.
Married men have been dying before I was born and I know I met my grandmother as a widow but never knew they had an association until 2015.
Widows association was a catastrophe. If someone in her right senses believe that a governor should provide for the widows in the state, then what is the federal government doing about the same issue.
My anger is that Guinness Book of Record will ignore things like this because it is only in Imo State that the first Widows Association was floated.
The fact that the association was rich enough to sponsor newspaper advertorials then means, we should be expecting them to be publishing outcome of their meetings. Have they had anyone since the elections ended?
I don’t want to talk about the many fake protests which took place in Owerri, if we must create employment, this is not a good way.
PDP should have spent the billions pumped into these associations around the country in projects that will better the lots of Imolites.
We are in the era of ‘operation show your handiwork, not operation show your crow and structure’. Crow and structure can be bought, but an office complex, water or electricity project, etc. can only be done. We now have eyes.
We are sorry if things like that worked in 2011.

EVERYBODY DIES
This will be hurting some people, but taking advantage of the death of someone to fuel hate campaign is very bad.
I watched the pictures from the burial ceremonies of one of the death of unpaid contractors and it was funny to say that the man did not die of shock. He was living in a mansion with split-unit air conditioners mounted in almost every room and someone is writing on a newspaper page that the man died of hunger, how na?
They should have looked for a doctor to forge a befitting medical report which would be published on newspapers, but hunger is not the problem of people who were alleged to have been paid millions to stage protests here and there. And one thing I know is that hungry people don’t go on radio, maybe they took loans.
People are dying every day; footballers, politicians, doctors, etc. so if a contractor dies, we should check well before coming out to say, he was killed by his debtor.
This does not mean that I am in support of anyone owing contractors, a work man must be paid.

FALLING FOR CHEAP TRICKS
When Gov. Okorocha declared for presidency, I knew he was bluffing. But how come PDP didn’t see that. Who would be thinking that Hon. Uche Nwosu of all people will be the flag bearer of All Progressives Alliance [APC] in Imo State?
The least aspirant in PDP, even Amb. Obi Adim who people were finding difficult to recognize as an Imolite, would have floored Hon. Nwosu at the polls.
PDP then saw it as an opportunity to scramble for the ticket they should have relaxed to fish out a credible individual for the election.
They all felt they could defeat Hon. Nwosu and the chaos from this destabilized the party after the so called primary where Hon. Emeka Ihedioha emerged flag bearer of the party.
It was a little trick from the craft master himself Owelle Rochas Okorocha and they fell for it and instead of having a united house after the primaries, they had an Araraume, Ohakim and Ihedioha factions. This is the same division Gov. Okorocha took advantage of at the eleventh hour of the election to sign Sen. Araraume to his team.
I don’t want to talk about APC presidential primaries, but anyone who thought Gov. Okorocha was going to win because of all the publicities he had then, was sleeping and I know he must be awake now because NneomaOkorocha would not have abandoned her August Meeting Structure with the thousands of wrappers which had Gov. Okorocha’s face on it for someone else. Who enjoys wasting money?

FAKE STRUCTURES AND MOBILIZERS
I often wonder if being a politician is a reason for people to have light brains. We have to admit that after 2011 elections, Chief Ikedi Ohakim left the state and the party. He went to Abuja while Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume was quite in his CAN and later APC before joining PDP in 2014.
PDP was fighting to stand for three years while Gov. Okorocha was building for himself and not a party.
The truth is this, there is one August Meeting in every community and if they are taken, anyone claiming to have another August Meeting in his or her pocket is a liar.
PDP sprout out fake structures which only had executives on newspapers and this never helped. They were all like the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria [TAN], who had 20 million endorsement signatures for President Jonathan, but watched Jonathan fall for less than that at the polls.
PDP should start relying on realities and not election fantasies, because times are changing. The will of everyman is in his heart, so if you want them to follow you, touch their hearts and not their pockets.

ALWAYS SAY HOW, NOT WHY
One of the undoings of the PDP at the 2015 gubernatorial elections was that they were busy saying why Gov. Okorocha was not good enough to rule the state the second time. They took time and energy to dig out points that will buttress their ‘WHY’, but no one took time to say ‘HOW’ they would make things better.
They would say Gov. Okorocha was building ‘China roads’ but no one was able to show Imolites how a good road should be, because they never built any.
On the free education which was called a sham, no one was able to say how they were going to sustain it. They all said ‘Free and quality’ education’ and instead of convincing people, they scared them.
Master planners go with ‘HOW’ and not ‘WHY’ and now that they have already lost, it is going to be a lot of work to mould the hearts of Imolites into something that will be believe them in 2019.
Spending time to criticize when there are other things to be done is never a good things especially in the Nigeria of today.

PDP in Imo had an opportunity, but there were many things they failed to do well. Many of them who were based in Abuja were seeing the Imo State of 2011 which means they do not understand the people or they are still living in the past.
Nigeria is moving to the place where the people decide the winner of elections so anyone who wants to win, should be ready to mingle with the people.
PDP can still get it right, but they need to start doing things right now, because 2019 is just a matter of few tomorrows from today.

Chinedu Hardy Nwadike, is a novelist, blogger, he writes from Owerri, Imo State. chikinow@yahoo.com 08038704454

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