Those who are aspiring to lead the country should learn strategic communication and campaign initiatives from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives’ Congress-APC. His campaigns have been most strategic, issue-based, sector-specific, and all-encompassing in both content and delivery.
He takes his campaigns to his target audience, delivers his message in very lucid prose, sets agenda for a robust engagement and anchors his initiatives on the needs of the people. In my many years of being actively involved in politics and political campaigns, this is the most strategic I have seen.
He spoke to crop growers and farmers in a Town Hall meeting in Minna. He proceeded to Lafia to address the miners. He engaged the hub of the Organised Private Sector in Lagos. He visited Warri in Delta, some kind of home-coming for his wife and also took part in the oil find in Bauchi.
He made a very strategic statement in Bauchi about recharging the huge economy of the Lake Chad which even Atiku Abubakar from North-East is not aware of, and has never spoken of. The declining fortunes of the Lake Chad economy needs to be arrested and recharged for its strategic importance to the economy of the nation and the people of the North-East geopolitical zone.
He also visited Imo to speak to the leaders and business owners, while assuring them of transforming the South-East zone to another Taiwan in Nigeria. It was not a surprise that the sum of One Billion naira was reportedly donated to his campaign.
Other presidential aspirants should learn from this strategic thinker and political campaigner in Asiwaju Tinubu. In contending with the issues in Nigeria, a candidate must show a clear understanding of the variables, speak to them, come up with ActionPlan to interrogate the issues and set agenda for realising the objectives.
I am so elated that we have a presidential candidate that understands the dynamics and rubrics of what the expectations are, and how to confront them in measured dialogue and robust engagement. When they expected him to carry out roadshows, he opted for Town Hall meetings which afforded him the unique opportunity to rub minds with critical stakeholders and opinion leaders at closer range.
In Kano, he spent two days listening to the people on what their collective aspirations were, offered suggestions on how to recapture the textile and garment factories to rejig the North-West economy. Ditto for Kaduna when he spoke to the nucleus of Arewa Consultative Forum leaders.
While his major opponent Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is busy settling his party’s internal squabbles, Asiwaju Tinubu is taking the shine.
This is the first time in contemporary Nigeria political campaigns that the effective use of Town Hall meetings has become so manifest. His combination of rallies and Town Hall meetings has been a clincher of some sort and other presidential candidates should take a cue from him.
I was amused seeing the PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar copying APC’s strategic women engagement by setting up Women Campaign Council months after APC set up its own.
This APC’s campaign has been most segmented; the youths, the women, the party and the people. Give it to Asiwaju Tinubu when it comes to strategic engagement, you can’t beat him to it.
By Kassim Afegbua is a former a former Commissioner for Information, Edo State