ABAT’s (Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu aka Jagaban) eye for talent, skill and other human capital components is probably unmatched by any politician in Nigeria’s present political climate. Asiwaju is of the older generation, and is adored and loved by two to three generations behind him. Why? He has the unique sense of identifying younger talents and leaders, and putting them in charge of different duties and roles, where they freely express themselves in their fields, at their workplace; delivering the desired results most of the time. Those in their 60s are carried along as peers, those in their 50s are taken along and groomed as future leaders, while being given leadership roles and responsibilities to work with, and those in their 40s and less are given special attention and space to express their skills and talents, as they align with their natural callings.
It is fast getting to the eyes and ears of the younger generation that even if Baba is not youthful, there is no one out there that gives youths a chance, nurtures them and appropriately places them in charge of various responsibilities that shape them into future leaders than Tinubu. This is the secret behind the ever growing warmth and support that ABAT is enjoying now, as his popularity reaches the top of the roof and above. ABAT is chief in rewarding hardwork, and awarding due recognition to those that show dedication and loyalty to duty.
ABAT embarked on a consolidation tour of all the presidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, right after the primaries. His first port of call was Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, who promptly declared his support for ABAT and donated his campaign office to the ABAT Presidential Campaign Council.
In a letter on June 9, 2022; Governor Yahaya Bello said, “Accordingly, and as far as I am concerned, all competitions within the APC ended yesterday at the Eagle Square with your emergence as our candidate for the 2023 presidential election. The task that now lies ahead of us as loyal APC members is to support you to roundly and squarely defeat the opposition at all levels in the 2023 general elections and elect you to the presidency. This is a task to which I am firmly committed with the full complement of the resources at my disposal, including a well fitted and functional campaign secretariat all of which I now place under your command.”
ABAT responded to Governor Bello, saying that “if the mood will reflect the day, I will spend the night here. I say thank you very much for donating a befitting office for us to continue to struggle.” ABAT further said that, “we will use our intellectual inquisitiveness to build a nation of sound minds and sound people, and elevate our people and extract them from poverty.”
In an earlier article titled ‘Osun Polls: Gov. Yahaya Bello’s vital warnings’, published on July 19, 2022; I waxed that, “Gov. Yahaya Bello’s Presidential Campaign has had the opportunity of showcasing how youths can come together under one roof, with one voice, to drive a message that represents their yearnings and aspirations. Gov. Yahaya Bello has been campaign DG for the APC in previous off season gubernatorial elections and has delivered. People like him should be at the forefront of APC’s new and current battles.” This quality must have been underscored by ABAT’s eye for skill and potential.
First ABAT ‘nabbed’ Festus Keyamo, SAN; PMB’s Campaign spokesperson and made him his own spokesperson. He then went for Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state, who is also the Chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum. This specifically balances the perceived religious bent of the presidential ticket. Lalong is a unique rallying point for the North, especially the non Hausa-Fulani tribes who may have felt slighted or left out of the ticket combination.
The headlines presenting ABAT’s appointment of Governor Yahaya Bello as National Youth Coordinator, came in as one of the most definitive and strategic news yet, from the goings-on of the PCC (Presidential Campaign Council). To have a sitting governor, and erstwhile presidential aspirant, come in as part of the PCC is just spectacular. It further proves that ABAT is indeed a unifier, and has fast gone to work, on bringing together all the fabrics that make the APC garment. Governor Bello is a workhorse, full of all the energy of youthfulness, and the vibrancy of the much needed dynamism, that will mobilise youths for the ABAT campaigns.
Governor Yahaya Bello will properly drive all the youth groups and youth movements that proliferate the support base of Asiwaju. Gone are the days of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, where 60-year-old are placed as youth coordinators, failing to connect with the youths; giving them a sense of belonging. Governor Bello is the best personality in APC’s profiles, to lead the youths and represent their interests in the PCC and the new ABAT led APC government going forward.
One of the good things about ABAT is that as one thinks of a few ideas and moves that will help his campaigns, you wake up to him announcing them, or implementing them; as if you had a tete-a-tete with him, and offered your 2 cents to him. If I had been privileged to a five minutes brief with ABAT before now, I would definitively have asked him to make sure he has Yahaya Bello as his National Youth Coordinator.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.