A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, says the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, raised money for then-candidate Muhammadu Buhari to win the 2015 presidential election.
Naija News reports that Lawal who was sacked as SGF in October 2017 after he was indicted in N544m grass-cutting scandal, made this comment while speaking on the issue of zoning of the 2023 presidency in an interview with The Punch.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation said it was Tinubu, a two-time governor of Lagos State, who raised funds for the APC to defeat the then President, Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in 2015.
Lawal argued that Buhari and his supporters had no money prior to the 2015 election to win an election except “ideas, zeal and fanaticism.”
“Tinubu, who had his tentacles spread across the corporate world, was the only man who knew where and how to raise the funds needed. He was the one that reached out to all the ‘big men’ who were at the time scared of the then President Goodluck Jonathan. These were all rich men that depended on the government’s patronage. But somehow, Tinubu was able to persuade some of them to support Buhari. We had so many experiences, Timipre Sylva (now Minister of State for Petroleum Resources) and I thought we could do it but found out we couldn’t until Tinubu came in and we won the election,” he said.
The former SGF said Tinubu spent enormous money “out of his pocket” to finance the party’s campaign, adding that Tinubu was responsible for the lobby of a U. S. consultant who handled President Barrack Obama’s campaign and they did the same for Nigeria’s current president.
“That was when you started seeing Buhari wearing a suit, and in Igbo, Yoruba and Kanuri attire. It was then people started to see Buhari as a family man with his beautiful daughters. The strategy was to transform his image and show a humane, loving and trustworthy person. It helped us. At some point during our strategy sessions, the consultants asked us: why don’t you allow Buhari’s wife to come out so that she can be contrasted with Dame Patience Jonathan? When you do that, you would have won the election already, they said. She provided a contrast to the former First Lady.”
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