Money, Grass-root Acceptance Influenced Tinubu’s Victory – Johnnie Carson
Johnnie Carson, an American diplomat and an executive Officer of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has ascribed Tinubu’s victory in the presidential elections to a hefty war chest , the best national organisation that worked for him and the ground game.
During the general elections, Carson co-led National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI), International Election Observation Mission to Nigeria during the elections.
Having welcomed Lai Mohammed, Nigerian information minister to his office in Washington Dc while discussing the elections.
Mr Carson said Mr Tinubu of the APC won the election and would be sworn-in on May 29, except something happens dramatically with the court.
He added that Tinubu won the election because he got the money, the best national organisation that worked for him and the ground game.
Carson said that for a candidate to win an election in Nigeria, the three things he mentioned including substantial and significant financial resources were needed.
He added that a national working organisation and a grass-root acceptance are additionally needed.
According to him, Tinubu had all the three criteria during the polls while the other major contenders did not have all.
He mentioned that Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, does not have the ground game and a national organisation like his contender Tinubu.
However, he is very popular, particularly among the young, educated, urban and sophisticated, he said.
Mr Carson acknowledged that the presidential election was one of the most competitive polls in Nigeria and in Africa while observing that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needed to up its game.
“Nigeria deserves the very best electoral process. To me, the problem is not with Tinubu and the other candidates,” he said.
Carson further hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment in delivering a free and fair election for Nigeria. He called him a man of outstanding integrity and he demonstrated the attribute in the past elections.
Lai Mohammed on his part said considering where INEC was coming from and where it was today, there were massive improvements in the conduct of the 2023 polls. However, there was room for improvement.
He added that the introduction of a new technology Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by INEC underpinned the credibility of the elections. It cut out fraudulent votes, ghost voters and multiple votes.
Mohammed concluded that the election was conducted against the backdrop of fuel shortage, mounting insecurity and poorly timed cash swap policy.
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