The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Tuesday, 2nd September, 2014, received the Publicity Secretaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from various states in the country, charging them to continue to reinforce the differences and ideas that drive the party.
Describing that inaugural Summit of the Publicity Secretaries held in Lagos as a defining historic initiative, Governor Fashola said the party image makers should proceed to articulate more clearly, issues in their respective states.
Noting that the APC has shown the difference between it and the other parties by its unique approach to issues, Governor Fashola identified the two broad categories of states in which the publicity secretaries operate adding that they must continue to stay with the issues in both cases.
According to the Governor, the kind of politics being played by the APC is one that has changed the game because the people had expected the party to do the traditional things but are seeing the party that is organizing periodic lectures on topical national issues which is a departure from the past.
He reiterated that the responsibility to detail what is different will rest with each and every one of the party publicity secretaries in terms of reinforcing the difference and escalating the ideas that drives the party.
According to the Governor, the APC would hold other parties to the issues as every election should be about the issues that affect the people which should be discussed frontally and openly.
“For those who already understand the caliber of men and women who make up APC and who know that they are long distance runners, there are lots of expectations from us. There are some people in our party and they are quite a number and people know them that when they set on a course, they will give everything that it takes. The short distance runners will find their levels as we go on. So that put a lot of expectations on this party and it brings a lot of responsibilities, the responsibilities that I’m sure that we can discharge it would be your duty to more clearly now articulate issues in your states,” he stated.
He explained that by comparison the APC States have shown clearly more developmental capacity adding that even in those states that it does not have a government, whatever the government of the day is doing there with the APC ideas, given the same resources, the APC would do better.
Citing specific examples, Fashola explained that as publicity secretaries, they must help people make the necessary connection that poverty cannot be eradicated without electricity and that if there is no power, factories would not run, if factories do not run, there would be no jobs and if there are no jobs the people would be poor.
“You would not be saying anything that is manufactured. You would only be taking them through a logical sequence and that is only one sequence. The other sequence is that without power the locally produced goods would be very expensive than imported ones, so anybody who is producing here locally is at a disadvantage. His prices cannot compete.
Inevitably what happens is that he shuts down, he down sizes resulting in unemployment and poverty.
“These are the dots that you must connect for people who cannot make the connections. Our party does not run the government that controls the critical indices of survival here. We do not control the price of fuel, we do not raise the price of fuel, we do not control the exchange rates and we do not control the index rates,” he said
Continuing, the Governor noted that such indices have weighty implications for the production process and eventually the well being of the people.
“Those are the rates that affect whether or not companies can produce, how much they can produce at, how effectively they can produce if their prices are not competitive, if what should cost N5 is costing N10, if you have only N10 you can only buy one, but if it is produced at the appropriate price you can buy two, if you buy two it means your demand has increased, if it is increased, it means that the producer must employ more people to meet that demand, these are the very simple and challenging issues”, the Governor explained.
Governor Fashola also stressed that the APC is not the party responsible for managing income from oil, asking why the income is disappearing, adding that if the party in control cannot do it then it should let the APC show them how to do it.
He added that for him the serious day to day issues that the people of Nigeria must connect with concerns connecting with education, connecting with healthcare, connecting with housing and connecting with security people.
According to him: “A man who has no work has a very low threshold for temptation, the person that has work, that has money, after a hard day’s job is going to look for where to enjoy his money in the evening, he is not going to look for trouble. It is natural human behaviour. So you can connect that electricity to so many things and until we have it, things are going to be extremely challenging”.
Speaking earlier, the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos chapter of the APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said the publicity secretaries came together because of the need to compare notes, to synergize, understand themselves and share progress and challenges.
He added that the publicity secretaries have held discussions on the way forward because they believe there is no reason why the APC should not form the government at the federal level in 2015 and are preparing themselves for the change that is coming.