It is my honor and privilege to start my speech by thanking the Almighty God for His benevolence and mercy on us and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
I thank you all for keeping faith with our great party during our recent troubling period. Indeed, it was a long, distractive and torturous period.
Thankfully, it was also a continuous learning process which have amongst other things opened our eyes to the imperfections of our politics.
I am specifically grateful to everyone who have taken time off to identify with a noble cause that is poised to reshape the history of the PDP to enable it retake its place as a pace setter institution which has contributed immensely to deepening the democratic processes of Nigeria and Africa.
Today, we are on the threshold of making history. However, it is important for us all to acknowledge that so much has gone wrong with our great party and society at large, but I am sure that with the right kind of leadership, we can collectively progress and graduate the PDP to a height that is commensurate with its human and intellectual resources as well as its contribution to deepening the governance institutions in Nigeria.
As a political party, of a truth, we must agree our mass medium and publicity infrastructure stopped performing exceptionally well after our exit from the Presidency in 2015.
I therefore appeal to you that from today we must learn to recommit ourselves to our great party ,learn to appreciate ourselves and feel proud in being members of PDP
Today, I stand to present my most humble self to you as an aspirant into the office of the National Publicity Secretary of our great party based on my belief that tough times require even tougher people to sail.
My decision to run for this crucial office of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP is not by accident because it is borne out of a realization that though time will never be enough to do everything for our great party, there will always be time to do the right things consistently.
The last 14 years of my participation in Nigerian politics have been within the ranks of the PDP. This has exposed me to the most crucial aspects of party leadership and administration which is one of the values I will bring to bear. The Leadership of Our party can not at this critical time be entrusted to people who do not possess the requisite experience and knowledge in party administration. I was Zonal Legal Adviser North central for 7 years and member National Caretaker Committee for 3months.
This office also require someone with courage and unblemished records .Without being immodest I am eminently qualified for the post of National Publicity Secretary of our great party. I therefore stand today to seek the support of every delegate and members of the PDP to emerge National Publicity Secretary.
I need your consent to give the PDP a voice in Nigeria. I need your support to recreate a new and vibrant publicity machinery in the PDP which will bravely confront and distort the newly contrived corruption and organized graft that the APC has institutionalised in Nigeria.
I need your permission to tame the excesses of the rudderless APC led administration that has visited Nigerians with strife, hunger, sicknesses diseases, toiling and gnashing of teeth.
I need your backing to rebuild Nigeria via a more robust system of engaging the leading government as an opposition party.
The PDP like our contemporaries in democratic settings such as South Africa, Ghana and other countries must hold our respective Leaders and governments to account for incidences of failures and imperfections, the media structure of the PDP should and must remain vigilant for the task ahead. I must at this juncture commend some of our Governors and Leaders for remaining vocal in the face of tyranny.
May I mention at this point that even recently, due to wide spread irregularities, sharp practices and electoral fraud, the opposition in Kenya led by Raila Odinga, on account of its strength and viability compelled the Supreme Court of Kenya to annul a presidential election where the incumbent, Dr. Uhuru Kenyatta was announced and returned as re-elected, owing to robust medium and political maturity.
In recognition of the feats, various opposition groups have achieved in democratic settings like France, the United Kingdom and even smaller countries like Zambia and Benin Republic, it can safely be concluded that so much has to be done to reposition the media and publicity apparatus of the PDP to make it strong, competitive and viable in line with new realities.
In Nigeria in spite of the series of attempt to muzzle the opposition PDP and hijack powers through fraudulent electoral victories in some states, we must not fail to commend efforts geared towards retaining some of the states and the collective roles of our party and supporters
No matter what we have gone through and will be going through in the next two years, our joy is far greater than our regret because today Nigerians know;
1a. There is epidemic of lies and corruption in the APC Government
2b. There is a clear difference between epilepsy and convulsion
3c unlike in the PDP era, There is a contemptuous indifference on the part of the Government to the welfare our country men and women
4d The unity of our country which PDP worked hard to strengthen is now seriously under threat
5e.The economy which the PDP built as the biggest in Africa is today on Life support.
19. Please, permit me to at this point unveil my (9) point agenda which is the foundation on which my aspiration is built.
AGENDA 1: Fostering strategic media partnerships with selected electronic, print & Digital media organizations.
AGENDA 2: Creation of a funded & well-equipped PDP National HQTRS Social Media Group headed by a National Team Leader to promote active participation in collation and dissemination of information as well as enhance timely interaction between the party headquarters and members .
AGENDA 3: Initiation of “The PDP Governor Speaks” T.V. interview series to feature & promote the development efforts of PDP governors and prominent political office holders.
AGENDA 4: Unveiling and inauguration of a “One Month; Two PDP State” Social Media tour.
AGENDA 5: Production of a quarterly “State of The Nation” T.V. documentary series highlighting recent developments in Nigeria’s polity.
AGENDA 6: Special production of target media sensitization materials for party members
AGENDA 7: Convening of a PDP annual “Media Week / Interactive Session” to evaluate and publicize achievement of every PDP political office holder in the closing year.
AGENDA 8: Inauguration of a PDP annual “Hall of Fame Award” series to acknowledge and promote party members for excellence in public service in the closing year.
AGENDA 9: Inauguration of a 10 hours’ work days “PDP Call Centre” to strengthen and further guarantee unrestricted access to party, manifesto and policy information
20. By virtue of your presence here today, you are welcome to be part of my campaign structure and I welcome you to this journey. As I lead it, I encourage you to remain resolute because it is only when we stick together and demand more responsible leadership that our dreams as a people can be met.
21. Finally, beyond everything else, mine is a call to serve the PDP and I count on your valued support to make my emergence as National Publicity Secretary happen in our interest, the best interest of the PDP and the betterment of Nigeria.
STRONGER TOGETHER, WADING THROUGH DYNAMIC TIMES.
BEING THE TEXT OF A SPEECH DELIVERED BY BARR. MOHAMMED KABIR USMAN ON THE OCCASION OF HIS DECLARATION AND FLAG OFF CAMPAIGN, AS NATIONAL PUBLICITY SECRETARY OF THE PEOPLES’ DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) HELD AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON ON 8TH OCTOBER, 2017