Tinubu: How we won and Why I Chose Buhari As Cnadidate In 2015 Presidential Election


The National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, revealed the main reasons why he chose General Muhammadu Buhari as the right candidate to beat Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 presidential election and how they (APC) won the election.

Why I Chose Buhari As Cnadidate In 2015 Presidential Election
National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Tinubu made the disclosures while addressing participants of Course 25 of the National Defence College, NDC.


In 2015 election season, progressive politicians throughout Nigeria and across party lines recognized the nation was in deep trouble. Corruption was rampant. The Boko Haram menace growing. The economy was unbalanced and government policy was not providing the right growth catalysts despite favorable oil prices. PDP governance had overstayed its welcome. The people were ready for change. And we must develop the strategic leadership and determination to achieve the change.

Standing as separate parties, we could not best the PDP. We had tried that path; it led to defeat in 2011. A strategic rethink was needed. To attain the goal of ousting the PDP and placing Nigeria on the road to progressive governance, the strategic linchpin would be the merger of opposition parties.

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Time is inadequate to recount the complex journey toward the merger. My firm position was that only a merger would work. Anything short of that would disintegrate due to a combination of PDP enticement and the internal pressures arising from the strong identification of many politicians with their legacy parties. An ad-hoc alliance would be put asunder by these factors.

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‘’Our push for a merger of the old parties into a new entity carried the day. We would join hands to form a collective identity. The CPC and my party, ACN, ANPP a long with progressive elements of the APGA formed the party. Key elements of the PDP would later join.

‘’For this amalgamation to work, it had to be more than an anti-PDP gathering. It had to present a genuine, positive message that spoke to people’s hopes and aspirations. We developed the theme of change as our strategic message. The broom became an apt party symbol. We would sweep out the old, sweep in the new and work hard towards prosperity for our country.

‘’We fashioned a tripartite campaign message and strategy message. Security, Economy and Corruption. We would drive these three messages home as if with military artillery. However, we have only our leadership and strategic hammer.

‘’Still all of this would have been to no avail without the right candidate. Given his stature and reputation for integrity, honest dealing and patriotic commitment, there really was no other candidate to have carried the day, than then General Muhammadu Buhari.

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‘’Yet, even with such a figure as our candidate, we foresaw the need to construct a public relations strategy to counter false accusations of religious intolerance and parochialism that would be hurled at him. We did this with great success because we prepared for these attacks beforehand…

‘’We did not win the election by accident. I had studied the resulting and voting patterns of all the prior elections since 1999. Our team did an honest assessment and detailed assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and those of our opponents.

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To win, we knew the votes we needed and identified the likely places and demographic constituencies from which the bulk of those votes must come. We did not waste time chasing votes we would not get. We concentrated on our strengths and the other side’s weaknesses, realising that our defence must be as tight as if we are inside the War College here in Abuja.

‘’The other factor is one that is little spoken of. Our early insistence on biometric voter registration and the use of the card reader on voting day were of strategic importance as it is essential to safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process. In past elections, PDP vote padding had been massive in certain areas. We had to curtail this malpractice to achieve the objective of making the election as fair as possible, allowing us a chance to win.

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‘’The card reader minimized the rigger’s ability to steal the election. Before its use, results could be written without regard to the number of actual people who cast ballots. In a polling booth where 50 people actually showed up to vote, the rigger could falsify figures and claim that 500 votes were cast. With the card reader, the rigger could steal no more than 50 votes. The tallies could not be inflated beyond the number of actual voters.

‘’Upon these strategic pillars, we built historic victory. For the first time in the nation’s history, incumbent president and party lost the national election. This historic transition further cemented our democratic evolving tradition and structures, advancing us closer to the overarching vision that guides my political actions.

Source: Vanguard

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