The chief media spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan’s failed reelection campaign, Femi Fani-Kayode, has dismissed claims that the president’s team engaged in a hate campaign.
Mr. Fani-Kayode, who spoke yesterday, was reacting to allegations by some members of Mr. Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the party lost due to its deployment of hate-filled speeches.
“If one or two members of the [PDP’s] National Working Committee are so ignorant that they cannot make a distinction between virile political banter and a hate campaign, that is their problem,” said the presidential spokesman, making a hardly veiled reference to Olisa Metuh, the PDP’s national publicity secretary.
Mr. Fani-Kayode insisted that the PDP’s campaign had to vigorously engage the All Progressives Congress (APC) because the PDP “was faced with the most effective and ruthless campaign of calumny that this country has ever known from an opposition that was ruthlessly efficient in all its ways and that was not prepared to spare [President Jonathan] or take any prisoners.”
He added: “We are serious-minded, patriotic, loyal, faithful, responsible and hard-working party leaders, many of whom have either been federal ministers, senators or state governors in the past, who chose to answer a call to duty by our president and who made massive sacrifices in terms of time, energy, commitment and risk and stood up for our president when asked to do so.”
Mr. Fani-Kayode’s statements were made in an interview in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. He argued that standing up for the president when he was faced with the most vicious, malicious and hateful political gunfire that Nigeria had ever known was not a hate campaign.
The presidential campaign spokesman stated, “The truth is that the APC media machine was awesome, yet we engaged them fire for fire and bullet for bullet and I do not regret that.”
He added: “If we had not done so we would have lost the election by at least 10 million more votes than we did. We spoke the truth, we engaged the enemy on all fronts and we not only fought them to a standstill but, for the first time since the establishment of the APC, they were put on the defensive. This was a great achievement for which we ought to be thanked and not one for which we should be maligned, misrepresented and insulted.”