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Place Of Strategy In Election Campaigns

By Bayo Ogunmupe
20 March 2015   |   11:00 pm
IN your pursuit of happiness, you might find solace in an elective office, which is why you might employ military strategies to gain your wishes. Your enemies are the other candidates for the offices of governor or senator, whichever you prefer. Your objective is victory at the polls, for the fulfillment of your goal. Your…

IN your pursuit of happiness, you might find solace in an elective office, which is why you might employ military strategies to gain your wishes. Your enemies are the other candidates for the offices of governor or senator, whichever you prefer.

Your objective is victory at the polls, for the fulfillment of your goal. Your ammunitions are the pertinent guiding principles of warfare. Why apply martial principles? It is because Chairman Mao Zedong, the Chinese socialist and statesman, once said: “Politics is war without bloodshed.”

Therefore, it is in your own interest to apply military principles, so that you can win.

The principles of war have not changed. Superior weapons have always had an effect on the outcomes of a battle, but superior weapons have never guaranteed the outcome. The morale of combatants, the reason for fighting and the implementation of the principles of war are the main guarantees of victory.

The United States (US) lost the Vietnam War because of her disregard of military strategies. The US had no clear military objective; she had clear superiority in weapons, training and men. But morale was low because the men did not know why they were fighting. If they knew, Americans at home didn’t.

In contrast, the Viet Cong knew where they were going and observed the principles of war.

Indeed, the first and the most important issue is an objective of victory. You must have victory as the goal of your election campaign. In warfare, the offensive is the means by which you take the objective. It is an aggressive advance against the enemy to wrest the objective from his possession. A team on the offensive has a moral and physical advantage over the enemy at the point of contact. The offensive is an attitude, as well as an action.

The attacking commander has the advantage of making his decisions first and then carrying them out. The defender must first wait to see what his opponent does before he makes his decision and the decision the defender takes is often forced on him by the attacker.

The man on the offensive has the advantage of the initiative. He chooses when and where to attack. The defender must wait for him.

Nathan Bedford Forrest in his book, War Between the States, said: “I git thar fustest with the moistest.”

Forrest neither attended military school nor was he a college graduate, but he knew the principles of war. Certainly, this quotation emphasises several truths.

In this quotation, we find four principles of war. The word ‘mostest’ means concentration. Neither Alexander the Great nor Julius Caesar could have conquered the then known world if they had neglected concentration.

Maj-Gen. Claire Chennault, when a young Army Air Corps aviator, noted this lack of application of principles in his book, Way of a Fighter.

This failure to apply the principle of concentration continued through the Spanish Civil War and into World War II.

Chennault himself put an end to the individual tactics with his Flying Tigers when he went to fight in Burma and China. There, his pilots stuck together. Outnumbered in the air and on the ground, in planes and pilots, they destroyed 217 enemy planes and 43 more within 24 operations and 31 encounters.

Chennault’s losses were six pilots and 16 planes. In order to accomplish this, Chennault used concentration through having two planes firing at one enemy aircraft. Then, the Allies were outnumbered in the air by 10 to one.

If Chennault had not applied the principle of concentration, we would not remember Flying Tigers today.

Now this principle applies in election campaigns thus: in offensive principle, we canvass in order to win and we also pray.

Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, aspirants should go out door-to-door by canvassing for votes. When Apostle Paul, the greatest preacher in Christendom, went to Athens, asking that Silas and Timothy join him with all speed, then he could not wait to concentrate his forces, so he took the city on alone. He neither had an awakening nor a riot. He preached alone without any recorded results until Silas and Timothy joined him in Corinth.

Concentration means teamwork. It achieves more than any other known method. Power of concentration was so immense that many were converted. Crispus, the ruler of the city believed with his entire household and many Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptised.

This great success caused Paul to remain in Corinth for 18 more months, preaching among the people. Which was why Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s march from Anthony Village to Thunder Balogun Stadium was all the more strategic in war, as well as in politics.

Other campaign strategies, including ability to move large numbers of supporters with a measure of speed to a chosen location helps in the battle for votes.

Being able to reach the people and protect their votes is very important. Those opposing the use of Card Readers are intent on rigging the elections.

In order to secure success, the aspirant needs intelligence, that is to say obtaining knowledge of the intentions and plans of the enemy. Obtaining the true knowledge of affairs will make you wise and be protected from the guiles of the enemy.

The good aspirant first puts himself beyond defeat, then waiting for the opportunity to defeat the enemy.

Finally, cooperation within the team ensures victory. The greatest deterrent to cooperation is pride, which says, ‘I can handle my problems alone; I don’t need any help.’

Sometimes, pride keeps us from admitting our needs even to ourselves, let alone to anyone else. Thus, knowing your objective, pursuing it offensively with concentration, mobility, intelligence and cooperation enables you to win.

Our champion this week is Loius Braille (1809- 1852), the French educator who developed a system of printing and writing that is extensively used by the blind and that was named for him.

Braille was himself blinded at the age of three in an accident that occurred while he was playing with tools in his father’s shop. An awl slipped and plunged into his eye and blindness followed.

Nevertheless, he became an excellent organist. Upon receiving scholarship in 1819 to Paris, he attended the National Institute for Blind Children and from 1826, he taught there.

Braille became interested in writing systems exhibited in the school. At 16, he worked out an adaption of these writing systems coded in dots on cardboard. He published treatises on his system in 1829 and 1837.

For the last years of his life, Braille was ill with tuberculosis. His remains, returned to his birthplace after his death, were in 1952 sent to Paris and buried in the Pantheon.