Buhari’s Campaign: Tinubu’s Influence not Limited to South-west, Says Bakare

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Tunde Bakare

By Bennett Oghifo

President Muhammadu Buhari made the proper choice of who to lead his re-election campaign by ceding the role to Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Lagos, Mr. Hakeem Bakare has said.

Recently, President Buhari, who was co-chair of his re-election campaign with Asiwaju Tinubu, relinquished the role and put the APC National Leader fully in charge.

At their campaign rally, the president said, “Even though we have only 40 days, this campaign is going to task us all because we intend to touch all corners of our great and vast country. But I must also add that, though we will all be deeply involved, I would like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work suffer.

“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge and is going to be on 24-hour vigil. That is to say, the operational buck of this campaign stops at his table, and I, therefore, urge all of us in the leadership of this campaign, in the field operations on the campaign trail and in the Secretariat to consult with Asiwaju whenever guidance is needed.”

Bakare, the APC chieftain, who spoke on the competence of the Asiwaju on sidelines of the campaign rally of the party in Lagos recently, said keen watchers of the National Leader of the APC, would easily recognise the fact that he wields immeasurable influence in all communities in the country.

Bakare said, “President Buhari just made an astute and tactical move that jolted the opposition. He knows he can entrust his campaign in Asiwaju’s hands and go to sleep and be assured of victory. Only undiscerning people will underestimate the Asiwaju’s reach, integrity and tenacity that has endeared him to all who cross his path.

“It is incontrovertible fact that he listens to all, and has a heart of gold when dealing with all issues, which is why Asiwaju is so much trusted by friends and associates.”

“President Buhari understands and recognises these qualities too well, as a strategist himself. I’m aware that party chieftains from other parts of the country come to Lagos to consult with him and seek advice on the way to go about party issues in their states.”

Bakare also drew attention to the Asiwaju’s closeness to traditional institutions and to politicians across the country, stating that the transparency he displayed in carrying along his followers and fighting for their political rights when necessary was very impressive.

He stated that the nation’s political turf would be better for all if other political leaders emulate him, because of his favourable disposition to everybody.

Bakare also recalled accolades poured on the Asiwaju by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who described the National Leader “as a great Nigerian political product and a successful leader who not only mentored many leaders in the country but laid the solid foundation for the sustained progress of the State.”

He said the Asiwaju has made many people and leaders, concurring with Governor Ambode that “the test of any successful leader all over the world was in the number of leaders such leaders created, and that using the said globally accepted parameter, Tinubu without doubt, is a winner.”

Bakare said the APC National Leader was an outstanding politician, great mobilizer, effective in conceiving and planning governmental policies.

He said other people have seen the astuteness of the APC National Leader, particularly his track record of political tutelage, remarkable achievements in every sphere of life, which no doubt earned him the title of the Jagaban of “Borgu” Kingdom in Niger State.

He said the Asiwaju approaches every assignment with a resolve to deliver the mandate, stating that it was this same promise he gave to the president when he was made chairman of the campaign council.

The Asiwaju said in his acceptance speech that “I think I can speak for all members of the campaign council that we accept the assignments given by the president with devotion and a firm commitment to perform to our utmost the individual and collective tasks given. It is a great honor and responsibility he has given us. We dare not let him down because doing so would also let down the nation.

“This election concerns more than two competing personalities and political parties. It is a contest between two different visions for the country and the futures these visions portend. The APC seeks a better Nigeria by reforming our institutions of governance that these institutions may better implement policies engendering dynamic economy development. “We seek not only growth but also a fair and just allocation to all segments of society of the harvest of our national endeavors. Let no Nigerian be forever trapped in poverty and despair. Let all Nigerians be given the genuine opportunity to realize their full potential and contribute to this nation and their own lives as much as their talents and willpower permits of them. “We build a Nigeria where government leads the nation but does not rule over the people. “On the other hand, the PDP pushes toward a future that takes the nation back to the malpractices of the past. Blind to the possibilities of a better day and afraid of the equality that true reform will bring, the PDP remains vested in the ways of corrupt governance and arrogant disregard for the public. For them, the unjust past is not just the object of their dreams; it is their sole destination.”