About nine months to the 2015 general elections the Political Adviser to the President, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali had a herculean task reorganising the umbrella body of all groups supporting the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan, known as Goodluck Support Group, GSG.
Prior to his assumption of office thousands of groups purportedly in support of President Jonathan were outdoing each other to gain recognition.
However, it is very common knowledge in the country that most of the so-called support groups were mere opportunists and political jobbers who were only interested in what they could get from the national cake, using amorphous groups as platform to penetrate the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Although about 8, 000 support groups passed the initial screening exercise, further checks revealed that most of the groups made false claims as they did not have the followership or membership they claimed across the country. While some of the so-called support groups were mere one-man shows, committee of friends (with common looting agenda); others were family setup with membership limited to the husband, wife and their children.
Some of these groups exist only on paper and in the media, which they used optimally to create the impression that they were on ground in every nook and cranny of the country.
At various times some of the statements and press interviews by members of these amorphous groups did a lot of damage to the PDP and President Jonathan. At a point, they appeared to be running a parallel PDP and in some instances, statements they made were attributed to the national leadership of the party, and this was at colossal cost to the party.
Anytime the press statements or interviews of these meddlesome interlopers and political jobbers were published in the newspapers what they did was to make photocopies of the publications which they showed to PDP governors, ministers, wealthy chieftains of the party and other political appointees to solicit for money “to sustain their nationwide mobilisation of the voters for the President.” Any PDP chieftain, minister or other political appointee that failed to meet their demand was quickly labelled anti-Jonathan.
Because of the damage these interlopers caused the national leadership of PDP was compelled to disown them and recognition was retained to only a handful of active groups like the PDP Youth Vanguard that was visible in all the states.
However, the outcome of the general elections eventually put paid to the claims of these groups that promised millions of votes to the party before the election. They disappeared from the political radar until about two weeks ago when one hitherto unknown group called PDP Media Watchdog surfaced from nowhere.
To announce their arrival, the PDP Media Watchdog took it upon itself to respond to a publication in the Nigerian Pilot over the role played by key national officers of the party, how they failed President Jonathan and the party prior to and during the presidential election.
They pushed aside the PDP Publicity Units and issued a lengthy press statement in response to the story published on the cover, page 4 and 6 of the Nigerian Pilot of Monday, April 27, 2015.
In the statement signed by one faceless Tunde Lawal on behalf of the PDP Media Watchdog, they eulogised the PDP national leaders led by Adamu Mu’azu.
Part of their defense of Mu’azu and members of the National Working Committee read, “Nigerians will recall that the so called betrayals (sic) were the ones that stood by our President during his nomination as the sole candidate of our party for the March 28, 2015 Presidential election.
“We cannot also forget too soon the various roles played by these same actors during the campaigns, going to every states of the federation canvassing for votes for the PDP and President Jonathan.
“And today according to the Nigerian Pilot Newspaper, these distinguished Nigerians that sacrificed their lives, toiling day and night in service to the nation and the PDP are been labelled betrayals (sic).”
The group then demanded that the Nigerian Pilot apologise to Mu’azu and other PDP leaders over the publication x-raying the role played by them that resulted in the scandalous outing of the party during the presidential election.
However, less than one week after the publication by the Nigerian Pilot things fell apart within the top echelon of the party when the party leaders started trading accusations and counter-accusation on the role various individuals played that led to the failure of the party at the polls.
The PDP leaders and governors, in the course of exchange of unsavoury salvos unwittingly acknowledged the report of the Nigerian Pilot that President Jonathan was indeed betrayed by some prominent PDP leaders during the election.
There were also face-offs between members of the PDP National Working Committee and some aides and close associates of President Jonathan, who were aware of the high-level treachery that took place during the presidential election.
It took the intervention of President Jonathan last Sunday to resolve the impasse during a meeting with leaders of the party at the presidential villa. President Jonathan followed this up by directing all genuine PDP members to stop immediately further media war to allow the party to forge ahead.
In clear breach of the unambiguous directives of President Jonathan for the warring PDP members to stop the media war, the so-called PDP Media Watchdog issued a press statement where, like a dog that is going back to its vomit, castigated the same PDP national chairman and members of the NWC they stoutly defended barely a week ago. Apparently, the group was not “settled” by the NWC after defending their role in the loss suffered by PDP during the election and in the usual fashion of political jobbers turned against the NWC.
They even borrowed the word “betrayers” from the Nigerian Pilot in describing members of the NWC. They are now tilting towards the presidency, probably with the hope that someone there will reward them for playing the devil’s advocate.
Part of their statement on the issue of why the PDP lose the last presidential election and the governorship seats in many states of the federation reads, “The revelations in the last few days have actually exposed those that worked against our success in the election. How can we have victory when our own people are the ones given (sic) us out in reckless abandon?
“We now know the real betrayers and we wish to urge all our members nationwide to rise against this ugly trend and put our party back on track.”
The group promised to follow the recent revelations to the letter and ensure that those found wanting will not be spared or wait for the party hierarchy to ask them to do the needful but by resigning their appointments immediately to save the party further embarrassment.
“We will follow up on these new developments in our party and continue to persuade and interact with Nigerians and members of our party to share, in our opinion concerning this (sic) issues,” they said.
As PDP gets set to reposition itself following the inauguration of the Post Election Assessment Committee headed by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, political observers are of the view that the party needs to do something drastic about faceless groups and meddlesome interlopers that have over the years been using the name of the party for nefarious activities.
It is believed that if nothing is done to checkmate the activities of these unregistered groups the PDP will end up going in circles and its dream of bouncing back in 2019 will remain a mirage.

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