The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the transparent and open manner in which its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, emerged was the major factor in its eventual victory in the March 28 presidential election rather than money politics.
The party stated that there was no way the APC would have received the kind of widespread support within and outside the party in the run-up to the elections, if the process that led to Buhari’s emergence were not open and transparent.
Speaking at the 55th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated that during the campaign, the PDP outgunned the APC on many flanks, including money spent on campaign and advertisements.
“The then ruling party outspent the opposition in the area of advertisements, whether in the print or electronic media. According to a report credited to Compliance and Content Monitoring Limited, out of the N3.23 billion that was spent on political campaign advertisement during the last campaign, the PDP spent N2.5 billion or 77 per cent of the total, compared to N728 million or 23 per cent by the APC.
“The PDP also hired the best of columnists and talking heads that popped up ubiquitously at many radio and television stations, in addition to floating all sorts of organisations that campaigned for it, even before the official takeoff of the campaign. Despite being outgunned on all flanks, however, the opposition remained focused and kept strictly to its script, refusing to allow the PDP to set agenda for it.
Mohammed said the lesson, “is that no amount of money or sweet-mouthed salesmen can sell a bad product. A government in power swims or sinks with its performance. This will have a salutary effect on the electioneering for future elections.”
The APC scribe, who spoke on, “The Role of Political Parties in Sustaining the Gains of the 2015 General Elections: The APC Perspective” stated that equally important in the success of the party at the polls was the choice of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as the presidential running mate to Buhari.
“The choice of the running mate to Buhari pushed our party to the limit, because that choice needed to address the religious concerns that were raised before the elections, as well as meet the geo-political considerations that emerged with the choice of Buhari.
Impressive as the resume of Prof. Osinbajo is, his choice would not have complemented that of Buhari if it had not responded to the religious and regional concerns that were raised at the time,” he said.