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Tinubu opens up on Buhari

26 January 2017, 12:05

Lagos - The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu has opened up on his successes as well as setbacks in his public life, which spans over three decades.

According to him, he has had his own “share of triumphs and also felt the sting of setback”.

Addressing participants of course 25 at the National Defence College, Abuja, on Wednesday, the former governor of Lagos state said his experiences in politics have taught him to remain committed to a well-articulated vision

He also spoke on the strategies he used in fighting his battles, recalling his contributions to the growth of democracy in the country.

“My public life spans over three decades. I have had my share of triumphs. I have felt the sting of setback,” he said.

“Through it all, I have tried to keep faith with the overarching vision I earlier set forth – of a more democratic Nigeria with a robust economy that provides sufficiently for all.

“Throughout most of this time span, the strategic focus has been on politics, free enterprise and assuring democracy. I believe the toil and sacrifice has been worthwhile. We have secured democracy in Nigeria. Now, our strategic leadership must focus on realizing the second part of that vision, the economic component.

“It was first necessary to getting the political equation right. From this platform, we can then better reform the economic side.

“The profound lesson my experiences as a political leader have taught me is the need to remain faithful to an achievable, well-articulated vision. Then develop practical strategies and tactics to progress toward that vision. The vision is the unchangeable lodestar. Strategies and tactics may change as events unfold.”

He also appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Tinubu said for his party to end the 16-year reign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he studied the voting patterns of all prior elections since 1999.

“The challenge before us is a difficult but not impossible one. If we stick to the progressive beliefs of the APC, we shall overcome these difficulties to place the economy on surer permanent footing,” he said.

On the strategies deployed in the buildup to the election, he said: “We fashioned a tripartite campaign message and strategy message. Security, Economy and Corruption. We would drive these three messages home as if with military artillery. However, we have only our leadership and strategic hammer.

“Still all of this would have been to no avail without the right candidate. Given his stature and reputation for integrity, honest dealing and patriotic commitment, there really was no other candidate to have carried the day, than then General Muhammadu Buhari.

“Yet, even with such a figure as our candidate, we foresaw the need to construct a public relations strategy to counter false accusations of religious intolerance and parochialism that would be hurled at him. We did this with great success because we prepared for these attacks beforehand.

“We established other democratic and leadership strategies for our success, details of which time would not permit me to reveal here. We did not have the vast war chest of the PDP. Our efforts had to be sharper and more compelling. We accomplished this task.

“We did not win the election by accident. I had studied the resulting and voting patterns of all the prior elections since 1999. Our team did an honest assessment and detailed assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and those of our opponents.

“To win, we knew the votes we needed and identified the likely places and demographic constituencies from which the bulk of those votes must come. We did not waste time chasing votes we would not get. We concentrated on our strengths and the other side’s weaknesses, realising that our defence must be as tight as if we are inside the War College here in Abuja.”

The APC chieftain, who urged the Federal Government to “stimulate this economy,” said the decline of oil prices seemed to be a long-term phenomenon and strategic objectives must be put in place to re-engineer the economy, using the bottom-up approach.

He said, “In the situation we face, deficit spending is essential to bolster aggregate demand and direct funds to projects that build infrastructure and bolster employment. We must better harmonise monetary policy with fiscal policy. It undercuts our goals if monetary policy is unduly tight at a time when fiscal policy begets deficit spending.

“We must also realign trade policy with our need to create a meaningful industrial base and more potent agricultural sector. We can no longer allow cheap imports to preclude the development of industries and sectors strategic to our enduring economic future.

“What am I doing if I have a billion, and you are ready to give me 180 million, that is 18 per cent upfront, do I have to work or do anything again? These are the factors they have to look at quickly to ease the monetary policy. You have to stimulate this economy, you have to spend yourself out of this recession and you cannot do that by consistently stifling the banks of liquidity. It is their money; it is their saving. We have to criticise ourselves when it is necessary, speak truth to power. We are the power, we speak truth to ourselves.

“The monetary policy must be consistent with the environmental need of our domestic requirements, you cannot hold on too much or too tight to a policy.”

Tinubu added that the leadership of the APC was right to criticise the Federal Government, because “when it is necessary, speak truth to the power, we are the power, we will talk the truth to ourselves.”

The APC national leader said the country would benefit more from a consistent monetary policy.

- News 24


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