*Seeks technical assistance to deepen democracy in Nigeria

By Henry Umoru

TWENTY-four hours after his release from Kuje Prison, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, is talking loud again.

Metuh said yesterday that the party has since overcome the initial trauma that accompanied the electoral setback of the 2015 general elections.

According to Metuh, PDP was now poised to regain power at the center in 2019.


Olisa Metuh spoke yesterday at his Abuja residence at a meeting of the party’s Publicity Directorate with some visiting parliamentarians from the United Kingdom, led by Rt. Hon. Mark Field, member of Parliament and Chairman of International Office of the Conservative Party, and Colin Bloom, Director of Outreach-BCP. He spoke shortly twenty-four hours after his release from Kuje Prison. It would be recalled that officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 quizzed Olisa Metuh and his stay in prison started.

Metuh was with the EFCC until he was charged to court on Friday, January 15 and was remanded in Kuje Prison where he was until the Court granted him bail on Thursday, January, 28, 2016.

Speaking further yesterday, Metuh said the recent variance of voices from its members was as a result of the party’s foundation of liberal democracy, which he described as a mark of strength, adding that the party has adequate internal mechanisms to resolve all issues within its fold.

According to a statement by his Special Assistant, Richard Ihediwa, Metuh told the visitors that the PDP faced serious challenges soon after it lost in the elections, culminating in the resignation of its National Chairman, a development that created some challenges within the party, but assured that every issue would be resolved by the party leadership by next week.

In his remarks, Rt. Hon. Mark Field advised the party to ensure that it does not trash its brand in the face of challenges.

He noted that while it is common for some party members to demand the removal of leaders after electoral defeat, care must be taken not to jeopardize institutional memory in the party.

“Never trash your brand no matter whatever the government of the day is saying about you”, he admonished the PDP.

The interaction was attended by PDP publicity staff, social media operatives of the party and officials of the International Republican Institute (IRI), who facilitated the visit.

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