Tinubu/Shettima: Changing the narratives to renewed hope, by Yakubu Dati
There are roughly 42 days until Nigerian presidential elections, and the sole topic on Nigerians’ minds is how the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would guide the nation’s ship to a desired destination after winning.
This is because, based on how the campaigns are progressing, only the APC has been able to persuade the majority of Nigerians that it is serious about assuming the country’s leadership.
The two men at the forefront of the campaign, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima have all been tried and tested in leadership and no one doubts that they can deliver.
Both of them have served as governors of some of Nigeria’s most difficult states, but during the eight years they were in power as political figures, they both did well for themselves.
Tinubu as governor of Lagos State set the pace for infrastructural development, youth empowerment and raised the fortunes of the state to a point where Lagos became self sustaining.
Shettima on the hand had been governor of Borno State which at a time the state was the most challenged in terms of security.
Despite the challenges however, he was able to perform even better than states that were enjoying peace by building schools, hospitals, reconstructing roads while being proactive on the issue of security.
Similar to what the DG of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau is doing, he is able to oversee the security of the state while maintaining focus on infrastructural development.
Now that fate has joined the trio to pursue a common cause of developing the country, Nigerians have no doubt that the country would be in safe hands if they’re given the opportunity to rule and are keen on voting the APC.
It was because of these facts that the opposition had nothing to campaign against the APC ticket, thus resorting to instigating religious and ethnic strife for political gains. They ascribed a religious slant to the APC ticket all in the bid to cause mischief.
The appointment of Gov Simon Lalong, the only Christan APC governor as the Director General however effectively overwhelmed the claim of religious bias and the opposition no longer had anything to talk about.
Their plan to recreate what happened in Rwanda between the Hutus and Tutsis that resulted in a conflagration that plunged the country into an avoidable civil war that claimed nearly one million lives was aborted.
Armed with the mantra that to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done, Gov Lalong as the DG of the Presidential Campaign council successfully transversed the length and breadth of the country and changed the narratives by evolving issues about the capacity of the duo to deliver.
The APC’s inclusion stands in stark contrast to what the main opposition party, the PDP, was doing, which went against its own resolve to produce a candidate from the Southern portion of the country and instead chose Atiiku Abubakar, a northern candidate, as its flagbearer.
By attempting to make it possible for another northerner to succeed Buhari, they have abandoned the notion for unity and integration and are fostering a politically volatile region that goes against the idea of power sharing.
For the ambition of one man, they swallowed their resolve without sensitivity to the overwhelming agitation for regional power shift and integration.
The Labor Party Candidate. Peter Obi, on the other hand, is occupied with inciting youth unrest on social media in his South East region, which is already threatening civil unrest that could lead to war in the most populous country in Africa, without taking into consideration the potential accompanying refugee crisis that would be a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.
As the only Christian Governor in his party in the northern Nigeria, Gov Lalong had courageously led his colleague-governors to advocate for power shift to the south against powerful interests and at great risk.
As a peace advocate who restored peace to the hitherto restive Plateau State through policies and structures including the first ever Peace Building Agency, Gov Lalong is systematically deploying democratic platforms to unite the country behind the APC Tinubu/Shetima presidential candidate to create consensus.
Following the lifting of political campaigns by the independent electoral commission, INEC, the APC presidential campaign council under his leadership has embarked on an ambitious political campaign to the nooks and crannies of the country.
Available records attest to the fact that no political party has surpassed the grassroots mobilization of the APC as led by President Buhari, the candidates, the DG and their wives at rallies, townhall meetings, visitations in 70 percent of the country in all the geographical regions of North and Southern Nigeria namely: Plateau,Nassarawa, Niger, Kogi, Kano, Kaduna, Adamawa, Yobe, FCT Abuja, Bauchi, Taraba, Lagos, Edo, Ebonyi, Imo, Enugu, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and others.
While none of the parties and their candidates have done only 20 percent of this coverage, they have resorted to foreign travels and lazy propaganda on social media platforms to mislead innocent misguided adherents and the International community.
The Renewed Hope Agenda is being translated to critical interest groups including Labor, farmers, youths, the business community and artisans amongst several others where their concerns are being accommodated and addressed.
The failed attempts by opposition elements to throw tantrums against the tide is falling like a pack of cards as the Tinubu/Shetima ticket gains traction.
Yakubu Dati, Chief of Staff to the DG APC PCC was a former GM FAAN.