Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe on Monday confessed that he never thought the All Progressives Congress (APC) would still be in existence by now. It would be recalled that Okupe had mocked the party, saying it was suffering from leadership deficiency shortly after it was founded.
Okupe had said in December 2013, “What kind of political party is that and you are taking them seriously,” he continued, “It is a politically defective and weak organisation, and by coming to the national stage, the wind is going to blow them open. If they don’t crumble and disappear by 2014, don’t call me Okupe. The APC boat is destined for the Red Sea.”
Some reports published at the time APC was barely a month, had it that Okupe swore that he should be called “a bastard” if the party lasts beyond a year. He has however denied ever making such a statement.
However, the presidential aide who spoke yesterday during a programme on Silverbird Television, congratulated the APC, even as he boasted that his criticism contributed to the party’s growth.
Okupe corrected that, “I said if APC survives for a year, I would change my name. People have said I meant bastard, but I never said so. What I said as a political pundit was that if APC survives, I would change my name.”
He continued, “If Manchester United want to play with Man City, and I say Man United would score three goals in first half, if they don’t score three goals in the first half, it means that my statements were wrong.
“Maybe I have actually helped them, because they were very annoyed at my predictions and they tried to make sure that they remain the same.”
However, Okupe contradicted himself when his host told him that the media’s lack of sympathy to the President was an indictment on those managing the image of the president, stressing that “It’s not that the opposition has taken over the media, no!”
He then said “But the elements within the opposition and the sentiments concerning the opposition have dominated the media prior to this event of Jonathan coming into power. Which media organisation in Nigeria can you say the government owns? The government does not own any media but the opposition has tremendous influence in the media and that’s unarguable.”