Labour Party’s Attack on Reps Caucus tactless, uncharitable

Labour Party

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.

Hon. Ogene had on Sunday called on the LP 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 a disgraceful tirade, 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 misinform” members of the party. He also referred to the lawmaker as “Unknowledgeable as it relates to the constitution of the party under which he was elected.”

According to Dibiana, Ifoh has by this “Unprofessional, tasteless and infantile outburst – which is fast becoming his trademark – failed to represent his party in a manner that supports a capacity, strategic thinking and emotional intelligence disposition that the position of a party’s spokesman demands.”

He said further that, “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, who was only hurriedly brought in to fill in a gap in an acting capacity to dismiss the call for “proper planning and wider consultations”, by the Labour Reps as “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 infantile 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 Representatives, 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, for whom he solely functions as an destructive agent against the party and its stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who he also attacked recently.

“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?

“For starters, Ifoh cannot possibly address himself as National Publicity Secretary, having not been elected to any such office. Or has he procured a back door confirmation of the position that he now addresses himself as a substantive National Publicity Secretary?

“Who would even take the Labour Party seriously when less than two weeks to the unilaterally fixed convention, no planning committee has been empanelled, 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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