That the Peoples Democratic Party had always loved to loath the members of the media has never been a secret, a perilous situation that it’s most prominent figure, President Goodluck Jonathan, has done little to correct. But now that his party is facing the most daunting challenge in its 16-year history, the president appears to be confessing a crisis of faith. Speaking with a team of journalists from Tribune Newspapers in Lagos last Saturday, the president acknowledged the damage he and his party have suffered as a consequence of their negligence of the country’s media. “We have failed,” declared the president, “to invest in the media.” The president said it didn’t occur to him and his party that investing in the media or public relations consultancy is very crucial for every organisation, promising to revamp the federal government’s information management upon reelection. “That is one area that, God-willing, when I get back into office we will have to strengthen the PR side of government.”
The president said all his achievements in office have been lost in the abyss of opposition propaganda, lamenting that this has had a detrimental effect on his government. “But there are consultants working for the opposition parties who penetrate the Western media and paint the colours and scenarios they want,” he alleged. He added that his team will make sure that it does something to correct the situation as, “even big corporations have strong PR consultants, because no matter what you did, detractors can paint you black,” he added. This mea culpa is especially notable because it reveals the magnitude of damage the administration and its party have suffered from effective opposition communication dissemination. The PDP has up till now remained harebrained about the need to employ proper and effective messaging tools. Some of its candidates across the country have continued to hold this treacherous line, and many of them will suffer the consequences at the polls. The president’s mea culpa is to tell his colleagues in the PDP to compose a symphony that includes the themes of media professionals. But the party, unfortunately, is up against the time.