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‘BAT Ambassadors Have devised unique strategy to propel Tinubu/Shettima presidency to victory’

By Gbenga Salau
16 October 2022   |   2:38 am
Chief Jamiu Afolabi Ekungba is the Interim National Coordinator of Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Ambassadors. In this chat with GBENGA SALAU, he spoke about why the platform was initiated


Chief Jamiu Afolabi Ekungba is the Interim National Coordinator of Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Ambassadors. In this chat with GBENGA SALAU, he spoke on why the platform was initiated, what it hopes to achieve and why it is passionate about pushing for a Tinubu/Shettima presidency.

What informed the creation of BAT Ambassadors?
Two major problematic areas for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s election in Yoruba land and within the Yorubas that may not be adequately addressed by the conventional campaign, which prompted the formation of this group are: In Yoruba land, there has always been the assumption that we do not allow religion to dictate our relationship and interaction, but recently some Christian bigots have worked so hard to rupture this culture and tradition. As we are talking, they are in every nook and corner propagating this dangerous trend. A group must quickly arise to vigorously contain this phenomenon.

Secondly, in history, the greatest threat to a Yoruba man becoming a national leader has always been the Yorubas. The problem of the Yorubas in national politics is that they pursue ideas that are never realistic. The Yorubas will want to set standards that don’t politically work anywhere as if they are angels. They will always come up with different methods to shoot down their own. What the Yorubas did to Awolowo and MKO Abiola are good examples. We, therefore, need a group that is adequately strong enough to address this.

Kindly share the political trajectory that prepared you for this task.
Right from our school days, I have actively participated in politics. As the Lagos State Chairman of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in 1979/80, I coordinated the MSSN intervention in the Shugaba Case. For the re-election of Pa Ajasin in 1982, the late Governor Olusegun Agagu and my humble-self set up the first ever election situation room in Akure for collation of the election result, which was used to upturn the Omoboriowo abracadabra in the court.

I coordinated the Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO)/Kingibe election in Kwara and Kogi states in 1993. Fortunately, I played a key role in the emergence of Pa Adefarati as the candidate of AD in 1999 and his final election as governor.

I was also there for both governors Agagu and Olusegun Mimiko in their respective elections to become governors of Ondo State. In far away Kano State, I was also actively involved in the election of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau as governor in 2003.
During all these political activities, while I remained a core progressive, I never carry any political party’s card until 2010 when through Governors Fayemi and Rauf Aregbesola, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu insisted that if I will join in re-invigorating the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) into a winning party, I most publicly proclaim my membership.

I joined the ACN with fun and in November 2010 got involved in the reconciliation and re-invigorating of the Party. I was involved in the consolidation of the parties that merged to become APC and I was rewarded with being the BoT member from Ondo State.

I also aspired to be Governor of Ondo State, I did not just only surrender my structure to Arakunrin Olwarotimi Akereodu, SAN, who won our party’s primary, but I also worked assiduously for his eventual election as governor and chairman his inauguration into office.

What’s the capacity of the members and prospect of effective participation in the nationwide campaign which has officially begun on September 28 going by the INEC timetable?
Presently, we have representatives in twelve states of Nigeria. Our membership is in the second half of six digits but the working executives in these states are currently 1,407 strong men and women.

To what extent will your group be involved?
We have devised two major strategies: The max movement strategy will involve a room-to-room campaign. We plan to reach every Yoruba man and woman, boy and girl one to one.

We also planned to use social/conventional media to engage the people. This is to meet the challenges of the youth who are glued to their handset and computer 24/7. We have developed a very robust and comprehensively dynamic media architecture to bombard the social and conventional news media.

What, in reality, does this anticipated Tinubu/Shettima presidency signal to you and your group?
We see in the join ticket Tinubu and Shettima practical and demonstrable evidence of performance which if allowed to be replicated at the national level will in the shortest possible time produce the Nigeria of our dream.

We need a man with the courage to pilot the drifting ship of Nigeria and in the current dispensation, we see in Tinubu the demonstrable evidence of that type of courage. We mean the courage to take hard decisions where it will hurt for the benefit of the nation.

We need a man with an unequal passion for the federal system of government. It is only when Nigeria returns to federalism that our peaceful co-existence that can produce a geometrically exponential social-economic development. We see in Tinubu the un-repentant commitment to the ideas of true federalism

We need a man that can consistently follow ideas agreed upon, not a fair-weather personality that will jump from boat to boat as it will suit his personal desire or those of his cohorts. In this, again, we found Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the right peg in the right hole.

These amongst others are the quality that is propelling the members of this group to think that as much as we pray for Nigeria, we must stand up and work. Please, let me close this remark to tell you that more than 90 per cent of the members of this group are people that will otherwise not be ready to touch politics and politicking in Nigeria with a very long spoon, but the reality on the ground has forced them out of their shelves. Work has started and by the grace of the Almighty God, victory shall be achieved.

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