By Yakubu Dati
The illustration of broken shackles adorning the cap of the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has evolved from a mere beautiful piece of art to a symbol of liberation under a new beginning.
Like a true African art piece, the illustration is not just about aesthetics, but encapsulates a deeper meaning that resonates with the people.
The immediate acceptance of the broken shackles as an emblem is an endorsement of the ideal that those behind it have the vision of what Nigeria needs to progress to the comity of advanced nations that have broken the chains of poverty and underdevelopment and has further revealed the philosophical depth of Tinubu, the man whose time has come … awal’okan!
Not surprisingly, the insignia of the broken shackles has found its way into the fabric of northern and southern attires, evoking a definitive fashion statement and adding to the many positives of the Tinubu brand.
While the symbol is sending the right messages across, the Renewed Hope mantra of the Tinubu/Shettima APC Presidential campaign is also doing wonders on its own.
It is gaining traction through strategic deployments of intimidating rallies, sectorial townhall meetings and grassroots mobilization by thousands of support groups all lending support to what existing party structures are doing.
The APC, with a verifiable presence across the about 15,000 Electoral Wards spread across 774 Local Government Areas is daily sensitizing the 93 million registered voters to do the right thing come February 25. This figure can be fact-checked in case of doubt and at the risk of sounding immodest, let me add that facts are sacred.
From all available indices, the All Progressive Congress (APC) parades an intimidating profile.
As the ruling party in Nigeria, it has in its kitty a humongous superstructure led by a sitting President at the top, supported by 22 governors and over 500 elected local government chairmen and about 13,00 councilors to boot.
These elected representatives are not only driven to deliver the Tinubu/Shettima presidential ticket, but most importantly, in the bis to secure their political relevance and survival as elected representatives, in line with the dictum that all politics is local, they add to the fortunes of the party at the next general elections.
In tow are the political appointees who are resolved to protect their appointments as well as the many others who are desirous to seek relevance and accommodation in the next administration and are giving their all to make sure the Tinubu/Shettima presidency becomes a reality.
Added to that is the fact that all the aspirants have personal stakes in the 176,846. polling units across the country and they know what is expected of them to deliver to the APC!
These obvious advantages have been upped by the formidable popular choice of the Tinubu/Shettima presidential candidacy.
A combination that is sensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians for inclusiveness and one which sets to unite the country on all fronts.
The groundswell of enthusiasts has invariably quadrupled with the army of youths who have situated their personal well-being with the APC ticket embedding it deeply in the Tinubu/Shettima victory.
Not only that, majority of National Assembly members and candidates who are members of the APC will further enlarge the nest of those convinced to vote for the party in their respective constituencies.
This has foreclosed the slightest possibility of electoral victory for the opposition parties and has put them on edge.
Under the calm and strategic leadership of the Director General, Gov Simon Lalong, with a team comprised of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor and charismatic labour leader; Hadiza Bala Usman, foremost pro-democracy/civil society activist from the scion of the firebrand social justice crusader, Dr. Bala Usman; and herself former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority and Hon James Abiodun Faleke, a three-time serving federal lawmaker; all is set for the APC ship to coast to victory.
This formidable team has calibrated about 80 Directorates which has no less than 10,000 strong membership all inspiring a coordinated force transversing the nooks and crannies of the nation harvesting votes.
Little wonder the opposition parties, faced with imminent defeat, are running from pillar to post and losing steam.
Rather than focus on issues of development, they're rather inciting the people by stoking primordial fault lines.
The main opposition party for instance, is currently engulfed in crisis of unimaginable proportion with five of its governors publicly rejecting their presidential candidate, situation which has left them gasping for breath with only eight governors!
The only APGA governor on the other hand, has since distanced his party from the regional social media presidential candidate from his state thereby practically rendering the candidacy as Dead On Arrival (DOA).
The presidential pretender whose party has no governor and zero elected office holders has remained on the sphere of facebook and Twitter misleading innocent youths and promising an Eldorado that he couldn't offer when he was governor.
While the party entangled in credibility crisis and legal rigmaroles with the likelihood of its ending up with no presidential candidate, it is engaging in foreign travels to fleece the hard earned money of unregistered voters in the Diaspora with a Greek gift of Green cards which is akin to what transpired in “Waiting for Godot,” a play by Samuel Beckett in which two characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), engaged in a variety of discussions and encounters while awaiting the titular Godot, who never arrives.
With the three swing states of Lagos, Kano and Rivers firmly in the kitty of the APC, the pollsters are unanimous about a Tinubu/Shettima Presidency
This reminds me of a literary piece titled, “Broken Shackles “ which was published in 1889 in Toronto under the pseudonym of Glenelg.
Little did the author imagine that the theme of the work will resonate in the most populous country in Africa centuries later to inspire millions to break from their shackles and embrace Renewed Hope under a Tinubu/Shettima presidency in 2023!
- It is due to the freedom and opportunities that a broken chain offers which is different from the dour and Utopian claims of the opposition, that I urge Nigerians to in line with the popular mantra “shine your eyes and follow who know road!”
Yakubu Dati is the Chief of staff to the DG PCC