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Atiku Adopts Unorthodox Campaign Strategies Against Tinubu In North

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, is adopting unorthodox campaign strategies in the northern part of the country against Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who he believes to be his main challenger in the 2023 election.

A strategy document sighted by THE WHISTLER detailed how the PDP plans to make the APC candidate unsellable in the conservative Muslim north where he may have advantage.

The North West and North East geopolitical zones comprise 13 states, and have a combined 35.47 million registered voters as at the conclusion of continuous voter registration exercise conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission in June.

The PDP candidate is from the North East with 12.8 million registered voters while Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is from the South West.

Another candidate who has become a contender in the election is Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who is from the South East.

However, the Vice Presidential candidates of the APC and Labour Party are from the North East and North West respectively.

With the rising profile of the Labour Party candidate in the North Central, the South South, South West and the South East where he comes from, and the emergence of Shettima, Atiku is banking on the North West and North East to stay in the race that has been predicted to lead to a run-off.

For a candidate to be declared elected as a president, he must fulfil two fundamental provisions of the constitutions which are scoring the highest number of votes in 24 states, which is 2/3 of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

With both Tinubu and Obi holding their grounds, Atiku has deplored uncanny methods against his opponent in the two zones with the highest number of votes.

Sources within the former vice president’s campaign downplayed the threat of the Labour Party in a chat with THE WHISTLER, saying the real threat is the ruling party and the fact that the running mate comes from Atiku’s zone.

The campaign detail which was revealed to our correspondent showed that Tinubu is regularly discredited through detailed propaganda targeting what the North will lose if he wins next year’s election.

One of these is allegedly pushing the claim that the former Lagos State governor would relocate the nation’s capital from Abuja to Lagos State if he wins the election.

Lagos was Nigeria’s capital until it lost out on 12 December 1991 when then Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, officially relocated the capital to Abuja.

The alleged relocation plan against Tinubu was so elaborate that it was translated into several languages and not only Hausa, the major language spoken in the North. It was played several times on local radio stations.

Even traditional rulers were not spared as they were visited by Atiku representatives and played the script.

Part of the text sighted by our correspondent on the relocation of the nation’s capital was to present Tinubu as a parochial and sectional leader who will relocate the capital in order to pocket the country’s wealth.

The APC presidential candidate has always been accused of ‘pocketing’ Lagos State’s wealth through various fronts including Alpha Beta LLC, the revenue collecting company that allegedly belongs to him.

The PDP campaign strategists handling the Atiku campaign in the North have portrayed Tinubu as unscrupulous and dubious.

The APC campaign uncovered the strategy and denied that Tinubu harboured any plan to relocated the nation’s capital.

The Director of Media and Strategy for the Tinubu campaign, Bayo Onanuga, however dismissed the allegation as a campaign strategy of the PDP. He said, it is “misinformation campaign, according to field reports, is being given some traction by some elders on the payroll of the Peoples Democratic Party.”

He emphasised that Tinubu “does not contemplate any such plan and will not do anything that is so ultra-unconstitutional.”

Also, any gaffe made by Tinubu is broken down into local languages and is played to the people. In fact, it was gathered that radio stations play such and mock the candidate.

Any move made by Tinubu becomes a material to be used against him. His refusal to speak to local press, and during his recent outing at the Chatham House in the UK is also being used against him across the zone.

On Wednesday, Professor Usman Yusuf, former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, revealed part of the strategies stating that clips of all the wrongs being done by Tinubu are being shown directly to the people in the North.

Reacting to Tinubu’s outing in London, Yusuf said, “We in the North, from Adamawa to Zamfara we are still burying our dead and the person who is aspiring to be a leader with his team; they’re there in the beer parlour in London dancing the ‘Buga’.”

He added that, “We are taking that clip and showing it to our people,” he revealed on Arise TV confirming this paper’s finding.

It was further gathered that one of the strategies is to penetrate the Muslim leaders especially Imams in Mosques to sell these messages to the people.

A document sighted by our correspondent contained only details of these strategies to be executed in the two zones excluding the North Central due to large ethnic and religious configurations.

When contacted, both the Atiku and Tinubu camps could not speak on the development as they did not answer calls put to them.

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