The media war between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) continued yesterday as the PDP described the appointment of a foreign campaign consultant by the APC as contempt for Nigeria professionals and the return of imperialism.
The PDP, while expressing shock over the announcement by the APC that it had engaged the services of a foreign firm, AKPD Message and Media, to boost its electoral chances in the 2015 elections, urged Nigerians to resist such attempt by the party to throw the nation back to imperialism, 54 years after independence.
Also, the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), the umbrella body of professional of public relations firms in Nigeria, has condemned the disclosure by the APC that it had engaged the services of a US-based public relations and public affairs consultancy firm, to manage the partyâ€™s campaign for the 2015 general election.
According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, this was not only a clear justification of its stand that the APC is anti-Nigeria but another insult on the hard working citizens of Nigerian.
â€œIn engaging the services of a foreign firm, the APC has shown that it does not have faith in our people, our indigenous consultancy firms and the well qualified, world acclaimed Nigerian professionals and technocrats.
â€œJust as the leopard cannot change its spots, so also is the APC which cannot hide its true colour as an anti-people organisation, tied to the apron string of foreign interests in utter disdain for fellow Nigerians and the age long clamour for local content.
â€œThat APC has an inner contempt for Nigerians is no longer hidden. Its latest action is not only an affront to nationalism but a weird embrace of neo-colonialism at a time national pride and assertiveness have assumed a rule of engagement in global politics.
â€œWe are afraid that neo-colonialism is the guiding ethos of the APCâ€™s quest to rule Nigeria. It is now apparent that the leadership of this opposition party may have perfected plans to use same foreign interests to siphon national resources and reverse the pro-national socio-economic foundation laid by the founding fathers of Nigeria.â€
Meanwhile, in a press statement jointly signed by the associationâ€™s President, Chido Nwankanma and Publicity Secretary, Israel Jaiye Opayemi, PRCAN said: â€œWe received with utter shock the news that the APC has contracted a foreign public relations firm to manage its campaign.
PRCAN wonders why a party that positions itself as progressive with the interest of Nigerians at heart will ignore Nigerian professionals and give such a sensitive assignment to a foreign consultancy when there are the best breeds of public relations registered with PRCAN and under the relevant Nigerian law that can competently handle such an assignment.â€
PRCAN reminded APC of the popular mantra and its inherent truth that, â€œall politics is local.â€
It stated further: â€œThere are local issues that will determine the direction of the pendulum in the next elections. These issues can only be best understood by local professionals who live and do business here. The various Nigerian publics have their own local nuances and peculiarities that cannot be easily and expressly understood by any foreigner in just a few months before the elections.â€
PRCAN raised a number of posers for APC, among which are, â€œfor a party that prides itself as the government in waiting to act in this manner, is this not a hint of the disdain the party will have for Nigerians when it indeed gets into power? Is this action reflective of the penchant of our leaders for everything foreign and their psychological complex to always cringe before foreigners? Will APC also contract a foreign audit firm to audit the account of its interim executives ahead of its convention in June? Will the APC engage the services of American lawyers or British Queenâ€™s Counsels for post elections litigations that may arise? Why will an interim executive of the APC that is scheduled to leave office in June hurriedly commit the entire party to a consultancy contract that will its destiny?â€
PRCAN also said it would formally notify the United States Embassy that there is a law governing the practice of public relations in Nigeria and the Embassy should therefore advise American public relations professionals willing to practice in Nigeria that they risk being arrested as PRCAN would work with the office of the Inspector-General of Police to enforce the law.
PRCAN called on the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to investigate the investiture of the APCâ€™s interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as a fellow of the NIPR as the latest action of his party is unbecoming of a true member of the professional circle.