Grassroots ICC: Another masterstroke from Tinubu

When the newly-constituted Tinubu/Shettima Grassroots Independent Campaign Council (ICC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was announced to the public, not a few Nigerians marvelled at the unprecedented and systematic approach of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to his electioneering campaign, as he aims to win the 2023 presidential election with a landslide victory. Once again, Tinubu, the undisputed master political strategist, has distinguished himself with the nouvelle idea of constituting the ICC for the purpose of complementing the laudable initiatives of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) which was earlier constituted and subsequently inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The soon to be inaugurated ICC, which is a complementary campaign structure to PCC, is tailored specifically to grassroots mobilisation. This is already causing ripples and panic in the camps of Tinubu’s political opponents representing other political parties. Clearly, they have been taken unawares by Tinubu’s political sophistry, sagacity and foresight; that just when they thought they would only have the PCC and its vibrant spokespersons to contend with, another campaign council, subsidiary to the PCC and focused on the grassroots, has emerged, to further solidify the hydra-headed campaign structure of the APC presidential flagbearer.

Tinubu is a man who already has the most widespread political structure amongst all the contenders for the highly-exalted office. He creates success paths everywhere he finds himself. He had done so for Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and is still at it with APC. This act of genius clearly distinguishes Tinubu as a futuristic thinker. Despite being popular at the grassroots, Tinubu has chosen not to leave anything to chance, as he keeps building his support base and expanding his political structure. The creation of the ICC is evidently not an afterthought, but a deliberate, strategic, systematic and intentional step taken in the right direction by Tinubu and his party, the APC, towards actualising victory at the February polls next year.

The ICC which has prominent grassroot politician, Silas Agara as its National Coordinator, also boasts of a retinue of other political bigwigs and grassroots-oriented progressives of the APC in its leadership and as members constituting its directorates and committees, from across the six geo-political zones of the federation. In a recent statement issued by its Director of Media and Publicity, Hilliard Etta, it was stated that, “a special purpose vehicle, the Tinubu/Shettima Grassroots (Independent) Campaign Council has been unveiled in Abuja. It would complement the newly-inaugurated Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) and its focus shall be the grassroots. It would adopt door to door, hamlet to hamlet campaigns/visitations, voters – sensitisation, outreach meetings, amongst others”. This simply implies that the ICC shall work in tandem with the PCC, as the PCC remains the frontline campaign council leading the Tinubu/Shettima campaigns nationwide. It is often said that, two good heads are better than one. Hence, the ICC will complement the work of the PCC to ensure synergy in the campaigns and maximum impact at the grassroots. Available statistics have shown that every election season, Nigeria’s grassrooters, particularly the women and youth in rural areas, make up the majority of adults who participate in the electoral process. The women and youth demographics shall be a major target-audience of the ICC as it embarks on a well-orchestrated grassroot-focused campaign in the coming months preceding the 2023 February election.

Tinubu’s all-inclusive campaign strategy clearly stands him out as a leader with innovative ideas, who thinks outside the box. The introduction of the ICC to complement the PCC can best be described as a masterstroke. The APC is better poised to win the presidential election convincingly, and as a ruling party, it stands to benefit from the current development which reinforces an ideology that embraces diversity and inclusivity. This is unprecedented, as it has never happened before. It will change the face of politics in Nigeria and improve, in no small measure, the perception of Tinubu at the grassroots, endearing him to the Nigerian masses as a man of the people and an icon of progressive politics, whose message of a renewed hope truly reflects his authentic democratic legacy.

Tinubu is a sort of innovator in the political firmament of Nigeria. When he was elected governor of Lagos State; he navigated it from a brink of collapse, and transformed Lagos from the second dirtiest state capital city in the world to a modern mega city, and the fifth largest economy in Africa through his creative and innovative financial engineering. He has an uncanny gift in identifying talents, and bringing people together for progress, he exhibited this as governor of Lagos, and also in the merger that culminated into APC.

Akaninyene Sandy,