Reflecting On The Choice Of Saraki As DG Of Atiku’s Campaign

By Ikenga Chronicles October 17, 2018

Reflecting On The Choice Of Saraki As DG Of Atiku’s Campaign

–By ThankGod Ukachukwu

Nowadays, rumours in Nigerian politics most likely turn out to be true. As this article was written to appraise Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s brilliant and innovative presidential primary campaign, the National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party announced that Saraki has been appointed the Director General Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council by the PDP.

Prior, a list had circulated where it was claimed he was appointed the DG. Nonetheless, this is good news for the rebranded and rejuvenated PDP, which had its electoral capital appreciate greatly in recent times largely due to its successful national convention and presidential primary in Port Harcourt, River State, and is on course to defeat All Progressive Congress in 2019 presidential election.

The Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee and Board of Trustees of the PDP are indeed leading a renaissance of the PDP which has been in recent past dismissed as comatose (a direct consequence of the unprecedented defeat it suffered in 2015). Prince Secondus, his team and the BOT have largely taken very good decisions surpassing expectations as the general polls draw closer. One of the key factors that led to the success of the PDP presidential primary was the innovative online and offline campaign of its 12 candidates.

Leading the pack was Saraki who led a fantastic campaign in which he #Atikulated his vision to #GrowNigeria succinctly. Unlike in Nigerian politics where politics of bitterness is prevalent, leveraging on social and new media, he came with an American-styled political campaign where a candidate is marketed based on their personality and achievements as opposed to engaging in mudslinging and campaign of calumny against rivals. His campaign focused on getting Nigerians especially the youth and first time voters to know his legacy achievements as former governor of Kwara State and giant strides as the incumbent Senate president and he made a solid case.

In fact, he set the tone and other candidates followed suit. He was the first to unveil his campaign slogan and it started to trend and became a buzzword. The Saraki brand and #GrowNigeria became synonymous with all things hip, trendy and urban in Nigerian politics. Words, which resonated with his campaign and personality, were sophisticated, urbane, egalitarian and cosmopolitan. He upped the game. That calm atmosphere his campaign set cascaded to the campaign of his rivals who mirrored the issue-based campaign devoid of acrimony despite going head-to-head in various pre-primary opinion polls; they behaved like siblings, no hurling of insults which have become characteristic of Nigerian politics since the bellicose All Progressive Congress (APC) came into national prominence from a coalition in 2014. The verdict from social media was an overwhelming vote as best campaign for Saraki and his #GrowNigeria team.

Consequently, the appointment of Dr Saraki as the campaign DG of Atiku Presidential Campaign Council is a pragmatic choice and well thought out. This will ensure that the political campaign for 2019 general elections is issue-based. We need a polity that is devoid of bitterness. Candidates ought to focus on core message of hope to the people, their achievements and their plans. Saraki will bring to Atiku candidacy a refined approach in which Nigerians will begin to debate their future.

If what transpired on Sunrise Daily on Channels TV between Segun Sowumi (Atiku Campaign organisation Spokesperson) and Festus Keyamo (Buhari campaign organisation spokesperson) is anything to go by, APC and President Buhari without much achievements are looking to ambush PDP into a melee in which the essence of the campaign will be lost and people’s attention will be diverted from discussing relevant issues and asking questions.

Saraki comes with new and fresh ideas, collegiate leadership perspective, dominates the digital space, able to connect the grassroots to the mainstream and obtain bipartisan support which if plugged into the Atiku Campaign will give it the needed boost to defeat Buhari in 2019. Saraki’s campaign resonated with young people and his acceptability and approval rating has since soared among the young and old. He is the right choice – the man who can send the APC and Buhari campaign organisation chasing their tails. Dr Saraki looks set to work with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP to steer the party to a resounding victory in the 2019 presidential election.

Ukachukwu sent in this piece from Abuja