The Director of Strategic Communication of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Dele Alake has identified three major factors that will determine the outcome of the 2023 elections.
In an interview on Journalist Hangout, a TV Continental current affairs programme, Alake said the economy, security and the vision of the candidates to deal with them, would influence voting decisions.
Alake said Nigeria needs a leader with vision, knowledge and courage, attributes which, he said, Tinubu embodies.
“Tinubu is not concerned about cash and carry or container economy. He is for something more enduring.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that of all the candidates competing for votes to solve these problems, Tinubu stands far ahead of the competitors. In terms of the track record of performance as a governor, in terms of leadership, social engineering, mental development, Tinubu is an embodiment of all the leadership qualities for a country eager to develop”, he said.
Alake, who was Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy between 1999 and 2007, reminded the interviewers of some of Tinubu’s big signature ideas in the state, such as the Lekki Free Trade Zone and the building of a new city, the Eko Atlantic City out of the Atlantic ocean.
He recalled: “Tinubu turned the Bar Beach around, saved it from ocean surge.
“While the then Federal Government was sand-filling the ocean, literally pouring sand worth billions of Naira into the ocean, Tinubu conceived a permanent and enduring solution. We travelled to South Africa, we went to the Netherlands. We found a solution that today led to the Atlantic City”.
Asked about the Third Force movement triggered by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, Alake said he would not deny the groundswell of frustration among Nigerian youths that led to the movement.
“This is the driving force of Obi’s popularity on social media. The feeling is natural. The pent-up anger is real. We all have opinions as Nigerians on how things should be or ought to be. This is what is being aggregated on social media. But social media will not determine the 2023 election.
“The population of the social media warriors will not necessarily translate into votes, especially among rural dwellers. Whoever is basing Obi’s popularity on social media has missed it”, he said.
Alake said the APC presidential campaign would deal with the Obi problem when the Independent National Electoral Commission flags off the campaign at the end of September.
But he said there is no basis of comparison between Tinubu and Obi and suggested that many Obi’s social media supporters are in it for entertainment and not because they are committed.
He said supporters of Obi have not really analysed his performance as a governor or his antecedents.
“If you put all the antecedents of the candidates on a table, Obi will trail far behind the others. There is no basis of comparison between Obi and Tinubu. The difference is clear. It’s like that between the fluke and the substance”, Alake said.