Lalong: Asiwaju’s DG Leeping Faith!..By Yakubu Dati

To be the director general of a campaign organisation, especially a presidential campaign council, is no mean feat, as it requires all the tact, resourcefulness, wisdom and political wizardry to get the job done.

To be sure, the DG is the live wire of any campaign. Apart from coordinating activities to facilitate the victory of the principal, the DG identifies likely threats and works out ways to take care of such immediately.

He personifies the campaign such that his aura -either positive or negative- rubs off on the campaign.

In the build up to the last presidential elections in Nigeria, the immediate past governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, was the face of the campaign and his aura turned things around for good for the APC presidential campaigns.

Recall that immediately Lalong accepted to be the DG of the Tinubu/Shettima APC Presidential Campaign Council, all eyes were on him to see how he could deliver what was tagged a same faith ticket.

As the Nigerian political history is replete with landmines directed at not only the popular presidential hopefuls, but their Campaign Director Generals, Lalong was not spared.

He was assaulted with vicious campaigns of calumny second only to the ones unleashed on the presidential candidate and his running mate.

Fiery darts were hauled at the DGs to the extent that the opposition political elements relocated to his home base, to discredit and punish him for the role he played in selling the Tinubu candidacy.

The reason is easily discernible.

As the former Chairman of Northern Governor’s Forum, he had championed the popular advocacy of power shift to the Southern candidate after 8 years of Northern Presidency,  with critical support of Northern Governors, to the chagrin of advocates of retention of power in the north, drawing admiration from majority of proponents of national integration, including key opposition elements from the major opposition parties. 

He came under heavy attacks from the Christian block, many who labeled him a sell out for agreeing to work for a same faith ticket.

But because Lalong is a democrat who sees beyond primordial divides, he successfully his allayed the fears of the same faith ticket resulting in massive harvest of popular votes 

Now that the election has been won, it is shocking to see those who castigated the APC ticket and worked against the interest of the party, being at the forefront of lobbying for positions!

The opposition party in cahoots with the some mischievous elements have embarked on a well orchestrated media campaign to demonize Asiwaju’s campaign Director General for selfish political gains.

But their agenda, which is to set booby traps for the President and punish Lalong for delivering the President has been exposed.

President Ahmed Bola Tinubu is known to be a rewarder of loyalty and is known to acknowledge those that stick with him through thick and thin.

Drawing from our recent history, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Muhammad Buhari appointed their campaigns DGs, Fidelis Tapgun and Rotimi Amaechi respectively as ministers, while then President Goodluck Jonathan retained Amb Sarki Tafida as Ambassador to the United Kingdom thereby institutionalizing a reward system. 

Moreover, Lalong is no stranger to the paying price for ideals and can take the bullet for a leader he believes in. He survived the first recall process in the history of Nigeria’s democracy when he refused to lead the plot to impeach former Governor Joshua Dariye while he held sway as the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly. 

He also stood for President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC when there were campaigns of calumny against them.

The story of how he accepted to be Asiwaju's DG when it wasn't safe for a northern Christian leader to do so need not be retold here.

Just like Asiwaju, where the factional leadership of Afenifere and a former President from the South- west, his homestead, led the onslaught to discredit him, history is repeating itself in the case of Lalong, except that with Lalong, the characters are different as the onslaught is led by two former Ministers, Pauline Tallen and Dasuki Nakande, some National Assembly members and Joshua Dariye, a former governor that Lalong staked his political career for and successfully negotiated his release from prison.

More infortunate is that unknown entities that rode on the goodwill of Lalong to seat at the National Assembly, have unwittingly been recruited to undermine Lalong thereby biting the finger that fed them; politics is a bitch!

Their resort to create acrimony between Lalong and the SGF, Akume fell like a pack of cards when the SGF invited Lalong among his designated five guests to witness his official swearing in at the Villa.

They are hand in glove with the Plateau PDP temporary government’s attempt to dismantle democratic structures at the grassroots, by illegally sacking Asiwaju’s foot soldiers comprising  of 357 elected LGA Chairmen and Councilors. 

To their chagrin, Lalong’s presence as an invited guest at the civic reception in Lagos, clearly indicated that President Ahmed Bola Tinubu is in tune with reality and can separate the wheat from the chaff.

Asiwaju is fully aware of these characters that are friends at day and enemies at night.

Yakubu Dati Wrote In From Jo's 


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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