By Yakubu Dati
It’s about 42 days to the Nigerian presidential elections and the only thing on the lips of Nigerians is how the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) wouid steer the ship of the nation to a desired destination after winning.
This is because from the way the campaign’s are going, it is only the APC that has been able to convince majority of Nigerians that it is serious about 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 have been governors of some of the most demanding states in Nigeria but had given good accounts of themselves in the eight years they held sway as political leaders.
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.
His ability to manage the security of the state while in criss while not losing focus on infrastructural development is similar to what the DG of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Governor Simon Lalong is doing on the Plateau.
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 inclusiveness of the APC contrasts sharply with what was happening in the main opposition party, the PDP, which went against its own resolve to produce a candidate from the Southern part of the country and threw up Atiiku Abubakar, a northern candidate as it’s flagbearer.
By trying to enable another northerner to take over from Buhari, they have jettisoned the understanding for unity and integration and are encouraging a regionally fractious political stratosphere that violates the principle 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 busy instigating youthful discontent on social-media to cause insurrection in his South East region that is already threatening civil unrest to plunge the most populous African country to war not minding the accompanying refugee crisis that may follow which would be a catastrophy 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.
Hon. Dati is Chief of Staff to DG APC-PCC and a former GM, FAAN