The Bola Ahmed Tinubu Ambassadors (BAT Ambassadors) was one of best organized and most strategically focused support groups that aided the victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed in the February 25 presidential election. The reason for this is very simple. It was conceived by a group of technocrats, professionals and elite in the South West. They are people normally driven by strategic thinking in their various professions.

“These are people in the past that don’t vote; they are always apolitical. “These are people that came together to say that past events that had happened in Nigeria should not repeat itself,” National Coordinator of the group, Chief Jamiu Ekungba, explained.

The group has its team in 12 strategically selected states: the six western states (Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti) plus Edo, Delta, Rivers, Kwara, Kogi and Abuja. “What we did was to concentrate on the six South West states because we knew quite well that elections are fought and won at the unit level. ‘So, we therefore, built that structure at the unit level in all the states in the south west. While in the other states, we allowed them to operate at the state and local government levels.

The group has about 500, 000 representatives in the 12 states, with the working executives numbering 1,407 men and women.

The BAT Ambassadors rooted for Tinubu’s presidency because, according to Ekungba, they see in Tinubu, practical and demonstrable evidence of performance, which if allowed to be replicated at the national level, would in the shortest possible time produce the Nigeria many have dreamt of.

“We need a man with the courage to pilot the drifting ship of Nigeria, and in the current dispensation, we see in Tinubu the demonstrable evidence of that type of courage. We mean the courage to take hard decisions where it will hurt for the benefit of the nation.

“We need a man with an unequal passion for the federal system of government. It is only when Nigeria returns to federalism that our peaceful co-existence can produce geometrically exponential social-economic development. We see in Tinubu the un-repentant commitment to the ideas of true federalism.

“These amongst others are the qualities that are propelling members of this group to think that as much as we pray for Nigeria, we must stand up and work… More than 90 per cent of the members of this group are people that will otherwise not be ready to touch politics and politicking in Nigeria with very long spoons, but the reality on the ground has forced them out of their shelves. Work has started and by the grace of the Almighty God, victory shall be achieved.”

To secure victory for Tinubu, the group adopted two major strategies, according to the National Coordinator. The first was the mass movement strategy which involved room-to-room campaign through reaching out to every Yoruba man and woman, boy or girl on a one-on-one basis.

The second was the use of social/conventional media to engage the people. This was targeted at the youths who are glued to their handsets and computer sets 24/7. The group developed a very robust and comprehensively dynamic media architecture with which it bombarded the social and conventional news media.

The BAT Ambassadors promised to mobilize at least one million voters in Lagos state alone. The state coordinator of the movement, Abdurrahman Lekki, disclosed after the formal inauguration of the state, council and ward executives that the group was positioned to achieve its target.

“All the central mosques, the local mosques and several organisations are with us and our target is at least one million votes. We are structured to deliberately mobilize people from other religions and also to collaborate.

He said: “So, the collaboration we are doing is to say that even though we understand our differences, they really do not matter. We have a lot of Christian counterparts who are saying that this is where we want to go and they are with us. So ours is just the one million, they are also saying they’ll do one million, and we are in collaboration and networking strongly with them.

“Asiwaju is the presidential candidate to beat, that’s our president in waiting. I am not sure there are other candidates who have any chances. What pedigree do they have? What network do they have? We are sure of winning this election; it’s ours.”

Speaking after Tinubu’s victory, the National Coordinator of the group said: “We worked within the party and sometimes, we worked solemnly without going through the party where we thought it was necessary.” He said the group also organized a lot of town hall meetings, one of which was to bring Tinubu to Ibadan to interact with the people.

“We were also very strong on social media, where we won the hearts of many young people; the ‘Soro Soke,’ because we knew quite alright that the election was going to be tough, particularly for the president-elect in the south west. Unlike past elections, there was no election that religious and tribal bigotry was so introduced more than this election.”

Ekungba said this was coupled with the effect of the #ENDSARS protest saga. According to him, “we built a formidable strategy to meet the young people on social media.”

He said that since the election had been fought and won, it was time for everybody to come together to build the country.