LP’s attack on Reps caucus tactless, uncharitable-Dibiana

Hon Afam Ogene


The media attack against the House of Representatives Labour Party caucus, by the yet to be confirmed Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, has been described as tactless, unprofessional, devoid of emotional intelligence and unbecoming of a party official who is still on an acting capacity.

This was contained in a statement by Mr Edward Dibiana, Media Adviser to the House of Reps Labour Party caucus leader, Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, in Abuja, on Tuesday, in response to the earlier statement by Ifoh.

The LP caucus in the House of Reps had on Sunday called on the party’s national leadership to postpone the proposed national convention of the party, which was scheduled for month end, in order to allow room for wider consultations and proper planning, given the internal bickering among the leadership and the fact that many stakeholders, including the lawmakers, were not carried along in the processes leading to the choice of date and venue for the convention.

However, rather than respond to the call for further consultations and proper planning raised by Hon. Ogene, Ifoh, strangely went on, according to the statement, accusing the caucus leader of lying to the public that the caucus was not informed about the contentious convention and rushing to the press to allegedly misinform members of the party. He was also said to have referred to the lawmaker as not knowledgeable enough as it relates to the constitution of the party under which he was elected.

Dibiana in the statement said Ifoh failed to represent LP in a manner that supported a capacity, strategic thinking and emotional intelligence disposition that the position of a party’s spokesman demanded.

He said: “The job of a party spokesman, like that of every other public communications expert, is not only to issue press statements, but essentially, to help promote the image and integrity of the party, through application of sense of propriety in conduct and delivery of information of public interest, in a manner that would attract support and goodwill for the party across party lines and beyond, rather than embarrass the party at every turn by making a joke of the responsibility of a publicity secretary and creating more problems for the people you serve, by always playing to the gallery, in the name of ‘I was directed.’

“Ifoh claimed that the caucus was informed about the convention, but it would be good for him to support such allegation with any official document, communicating same to the lawmakers. A side gossip and official communication are never the same.

“It is also very insensitive and disappointing for Ifoh to dismiss the call for proper planning and wider consultations by the Labour Reps. That’s a mischief taken too far.

“One of the distinguishing factors between a trained, ready and independent mind and someone who refuses to rise to the occasion even when opportunity comes on a platter, is public conduct. If, for the sake of argument, one is to believe the argument that Ifoh was ‘directed’ to issue such a statement by his masters, civility and candour requires that he ought to go on such ill-advised errand with the decorum and tact of a professional.

“Ifoh, perhaps, would understand the intrigues and politics of beat reporting, than the finesse of public communication and would most certainly not understand Hon. Ogene’s kind of politics.

“For instance, as leader of the Labour caucus in the House of Reps, Hon. Ogene needs to balance the strategic interests of his constituents, his colleagues in the House and other stakeholders, whilst Ifoh only owes responsibility to his paymasters.

“Was it not the same Ogene who galvanized the caucus members in support of Barrister Julius Abure, when he was arrested and dehumanised like ordinary criminal last month?

“Who would even take the LP seriously when less than two weeks to the unilaterally fixed convention, no planning committee has been impaneled, no delegates have been named, and know one knows who is running for what office, and worse of all, party members remain in the dark? Yet Ifoh and his enablers are fixated only on those they feel are not respecting Abure. Enough of this charade.”

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