Reports credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali that there are over 8, 000 Jonathan support groups may be true, but the reality on the ground is that most of these groups are faceless and have no structures.
This is why the idea of Prof. Alkali setting up a screening committee to screen out the chaff from the substance is a welcome one. It is against this backdrop that I intend to highlight the top 10 pro-Jonathan groups, which unlike others, appear to have structures and the political sagacity to deliver.
The first among the groups is Goodluck Support Group (GSG), which is the structure developed by the former Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak who would later resign his position as the national coordinator of the group, following his sack by President Goodluck Jonathan in May.
The group coordinated all campaign efforts that saw to the emergence of Jonathan as president in 2011 and is already on standby, awaiting the official declaration by the president to seek re-election in 2015.
Although Gulak did not give any reason for his resignation, he urged his then deputy, Eddy Olafeso to remain steadfast and focused in the mobilisation of all for the need to keep supporting the president in what he described as his sincere and committed effort to take the country to an enviable level of development.
The second is National Consolidation Group (NCG) which is committed to promotion of good governance and visionary leadership.
The group, which was established by Mr. Ajon Ugboho, has been mobilising support for President Goodluck Jonathan and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) across the country. I have no doubt that before long, some of the efforts of the group will begin to yield results.
The third is Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) which came into being few months ago. This group appears to be gaining momentum and making waves across the country. It has succeeded in holding South-south, South-east and North Central rallies, but it is having great difficulty penetrating the core North( North-west and North-east). TAN has been making so much noise in the media, electronic and print through adverts and advertorials in the quest to sell Jonathan to the Nigerian populace.
Ifeanyi Uba, Diezani Allison-Madueke and Anyim Pius Anyim are reportedly behind the group.
The fourth is Believe Nigeria, Trust Goodluck (BNTG) which was inaugurated by Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko in August.
The governor actually collapsed his political structure of many years, Iroko Frontiers, to build BNTG, which he is supporting with his political weight and might.
The National Coordinator of the group is Mr. Idris Usman, who won the best state coordinator of defunct Neighbour To Neighbour which worked tirelessly for President Goodluck Jonathan’s election in 2011.
Usman is a grass-root mobiliser who has contacts across the country, especially in the North. BNTG appears to be toeing a different line from other groups as it engaging the Nigerian populace through social media channels; engaging and interacting with the electorate in a robust political community.
The group is seriously making waves and gaining momentum. With only a month or so existence, has over 2,000 Facebook likes, large Twitter followers and online community members.
Interestingly, the youth are keying in to the objectives and vision of the group. It is one group to watch out for.
The fifth is Protectors of Nigerian Posterity. And like TAN, the group has been engaging in massive media campaign to showcase achievements of President Jonathan since he assumed office. It has been emphasising the need for Nigerians to return Jonathan in 2015.
Friends of Goodluck which is headed by Tom Itua is another group which has quietly been mobilising support for President Jonathan’s re-election in 2015. The group has been making strong political arguments on why Goodluck must be given the chance to seek re-election.
And it has been doing this through youth mobilisation and sensitisation.
The seventh is Good Governance Initiative which said it had identified good governance and visionary leadership in the person of President Goodluck Jonathan, saying “for the first time in the nation’s history, we have a president is committed to transformation of institutions and all sectors of the economy.”
The group is standing by for the ban on political campaigns to be lifted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to explode with its Goodluck project.
The eight among the groups is House To House which is believed to be an incarnate of Neighbour To Neighbour.
Analysts have said that House To House has the political marketing skills to sell Jonathan.
The ninth is National Democratic Forum (NDF) which is led by son of late Mamman Vatsa, Jonathan Vatsa. The group has been speaking out for Jonathan and enlightening the people on the need to support the administration’s transformation agenda towards a greater Nigeria.
The tenth is Patriotic Supporters of Good Governance (PSGG). The group has been mobilising the youth, but it surely needs to do more. It, however, has a strong grass-root structure, which I think will be handy for Jonathan campaign team when the president eventually decides to seek re-election.