Highbrow areas in Abuja and the Area councils have over the weekend witnessed another barrage of posters of President Goodluck Jonathan which have flooded several strategic streets of the Federal Capital Territory. This is less than four months that similar posters dotted the nooks and crannies of the FCT canvassing support for President Jonathan to seek a second term in 2015 on the plank of "Transformation".
Over the weekend, the posters have dotted prime locations in FCT. High walls, Street bands, Street lamps, Bridge bands, concrete beams and overhead bridge columns. Paved stone layouts, road culverts and U-turns were not also spared.
Glossy campaign posters of President Goodluck Jonathan were first sighted in December 2012. Information reliably gathered that it was the handiwork of a group which has now metamorphosed to "PROJECT RELOADED" also knowns as "PDP RELOADED". It will be recalled that the National Chairman of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Bamanga Tukur had in June this year inaugurated a pro-PDP group under the chairmanship of former Deputy President of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu, with the aim of propagating the 3-Rs agenda introduced by Dr. Bamanga Tukur which stands for Reconciliation, Renewal and Reconstruction.
The inauguration of the group 'PROJECT RELOADED' was at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja. The event drew notable Party big wigs and party loyalists. Dr. Bamanga used the opportunity to charge aggrieved members to embrace peace in order to allow the Party forge ahead with the transformation agenda of the President Jonathan. Little did many party men and some political analysts know at the time that the group would emerge as the most powerful support group to actualize the 2015 ambition of President Jonathan.
However, this is contrary to the Electoral Act and INEC's directive forbidding politicians and political parties from campaigning ahead of 2015. The presence of these posters in the FCT and environs has prompted the National Chairman of the PDP Dr. Bamanga Turkur to call on politicians to comply with electoral guidelines as they relate to electioneering campaigns instead of trying to score cheap points against their opponents.
The recent posters have a picture of the President wearing a suit over a white tie. This time, the theme is: SUPPORT THE NATIONAL DIALOGUE. Though there is nothing wrong with their call, one wonders if this is not a subtle way of saying: SUPPORT GOODLUCK JONATHAN. My instincts tell me that this may be a clever ploy to propagate their agenda.
It will be recalled that on several occasions, the people of the South-South region have not hidden their resolve to ensure that President Goodluck Jonathan continues beyond 2015. One of such voices propagating this agenda is Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, an illustrious son from the Zone, respected Ijaw leader, elder Statesman, a confidant and unapologetic supporter of President Goodluck.
Also, a former Minister of the FCT Alhaji Abba Gana has stated severally that it will not do any harm for the North to allow President Jonathan contest for a second term in office. The likes of General Onoja, Asari Dokubo, Middle Belt and South-South forum, South East Progressives and several other political elements in the North have consistently drummed support for President Jonathan.
The body language and some surreptitious political alignment and realignment to fine tune strategies for Mr. President's declaration by political jobbers has prompted the Chairman board of Trustees of the Party, Chief Tony Anenih to bare his mind on the race for the 2015 elections. Chief Anenih called on President Goodluck Jonathan and other party members who are interested in contesting for elective offices in the 2015 general elections to declare their intentions before the end of September.
Chief Anenih spoke at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa at the special post-convention dinner of the party hosted by President Jonathan. At the event, 20 state chairmen of the PDP endorsed President Jonathan for a second term and requested him to contest the 2015 elections.
The president, on his part has since assured that the party remains intact in spite of the crisis. He described the walk-out by some members during the convention as a minor disagreement that can be resolved. So far, the President is holding his response to such several calls a closely guarded secret. Presidential spokesperson Dr. Ruben Abati and the Special Adviser to the president on political matters Alhaji Ahmed Gulak have denied knowledge of the intention of their Boss.
The 'PROJECT RELOADED' platform is considered by some political observers as the main engine room for the President's 2015 campaign. It has already become a 'Mecca' for political strategists in recent times as their Expansive offices in Highbrow Maitama,Abuja. The several political heavyweights the group parades is a clear testimony of its formidability and the seriousness it attaches to its mission: propagate the president's selling points to the electorate for the 2015 elections.
The Advisory Council of 'Project Reloaded' is truly loaded with time tested politicians. Distinguished Senator Ibrahim Mantu, a former Deputy President of the Senate is the chairman and Chief Mrs. Ngozi Olejeme, a powerful philanthropist, Financier and confidant to Mr. President is also a member of the advisory board. Others include; Dr. Bolere Ketebu,Ambassador designate to Ireland and a powerful ijaw woman.Hon John Odey,Dr. Kairo Ojuigboh,Buruji kashamu amongst others. Just last week the same group which has organic spread into several political machinery also emerged this time under the aegis of 'GOODLUCK SUPPORT GROUP'
The so called 'PROJECT RELOADED', has as its national coordinator the indomitable Chief Richard Lamai. Chief Richard is the son of late senator E.A Lamai and very close to Chief E K Clark. His associates describe him as a careful planner, deft strategist with an uncanny ability to succeed against all odds.
The fugar born politician who is also a cousin to Mike ogiadome,Chief of staff to the President has a sound grasp of political arithmetic and mobilization and is not new in Nigerian political space. It was reliably gathered that the said platform according to him was crafted to provide volunteer contributions to "create a template to energize and reinvigorate the PDP brand through loyalty and brand assistance programmes which will form the plank of the 2015 campaign.
The quantum leap and tremendous achievements the Transformation has made in several critical sectors like Power, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Roads, Aviation, Health, Sports, Rail, with the economy growing at almost 7%, SURE-P, and other key sectors will be showcased. The whole idea of Project Reloaded according to him is to cultivate a crop of young PDP faithfuls (Marshalls) bring to their knowledge what the PDP government under President Goodluck Jonathan is achieving in line with the party manifesto,".
Political watchers are however of the opinion that the main agenda of the group is to 'RELOAD' President Goodluck Jonathan on Nigerians in 2015.