Dr. Kailani Mohammed is a veteran political mobilizer at the presidential level. He has been at it since 2003. Each election cycle, the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyalist builds a network of party faithful who canvas for support and votes for his favourite presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, under the name of Voter’s Guard and Awareness Group. Even though Buhari, contesting on the platform of different political parties, lost in 2003, 2007, and 2011, Mohammed did not relent. His persistence paid off when his principal won in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.
With Buhari no longer contesting in this election cycle, Mohammed turned his support over to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of his party, APC. He renamed his group Tinubu/Shettima Network and rebuilt it into a powerful support group that was instrumental to the victory of the party in the February 25, 2023 presidential election. Its national, state and zonal officers were inaugurated in January 2023 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, for election monitoring, education, sensitization, and awareness, with Mohammed as National Chairman/Coordinator.
Speaking at the occasion, Mohammed said the group was out to ensure Tinubu’s success in the election. “We are here to market the Tinubu/Shettima ticket to Nigerians because of their track records,” he said.
He explained that TSN was a rebirth of the Voter’s Guard and Awareness group, which ensured success for Buhari with about 12 million votes in each of the previous two elections.
“We are assuring this gathering and Nigerians in general that we are strategically positioned for a vibrant result-oriented outcome, more than we recorded in 2015 and 2019. By the special grace of God Almighty, our efforts will not be in vain.
“We shall put in every effort and ensure that all hands are on deck to register election success and ensure that Senator Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima are sworn in as President/Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Vice President, respectively, come 2023. We know that all the presidential candidates vying for the office of the president have credibility but Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has more credibility than all of them. We want them to step down and support his candidature,” Mohammed said.
On January 19, 2023, TSN organized an awareness-creatiing road walk in Abuja, titled ‘Walk the Talk Trek.’ The walk started from their Wuse Il office through the APC national secretariat to the Tinubu campaign office in Central Area before terminating at the Unity Fountain. At a press conference at the Unity Fountain, the TSN National Chairman said the event was meant to send a strong redemption message to Nigerians. “Our message is simple, clear and critical in the resolve to get our dear country, Nigeria, back on the pedestal of re-invention and development, such that will propel us from the clutches of poverty, insecurity and unemployment, to continue work on the economic diversification template of the President Muhammadu Buhari initiative,” he said.
Mohammed said the exercise was a sign of the victory of Tinubu and Senator Shettima as President and Vice President respectively, at the presidential election of 25th February, 2023. “We are calling on Nigerians with PVCs, with a loud voice, not to listen to the voices of dissent but to come out en masse and cast their votes for the Tinubu/Shettima presidency.”
He said the support group wants a better future for generations yet unborn, adding that the only way to guarantee such and ensure the general template for the entire socio-economic and political development of the nation lies in the election of Tinubu/Shettima. “Therefore, for the sake of the country, we ask that all hands should be on the same page with TSN to ensure that the future works for all.”
TSN deployed a data-driven campaign strategy to ensure the success of the APC candidate, a unique strategy that made it one of the most visible and reliable independent campaign organisations that worked and are working for Tinubu.
TSN did not leave any stone unturned in ensuring the galvanisation and mobilisation of the electorate at every nook and cranny of the country, particularly at the grassroots. Since its launch, the group intensified its activities through the deployment of pragmatic and systematic strategies which marked a departure from the old ways of campaigning in Nigeria. The support organisation used its vast network and structures across the country through the tools of the door-to-door campaign to maximum advantage.
The selection and appointment of the leaders of its directorates were based on the level of their loyalty to the APC and its candidate, Bola Tinubu, and their capacity to deliver. Its National Coordinator, Dr. Mohammed an unrepentant loyalist of the Asiwaju and APC is a veteran in mobilisation of men and resources. His bottom-up approach to the group’s campaign made the needed and appreciable impacts on the project. It created awareness of the fact that the stakes in the 2023 presidential election were higher than previously because of the desperation of the opposition parties to use cheap blackmail and empty rhetorics to hoodwink undecided voters.
TSN sold the candidature of Bola Tinubu who is renowned for proactive governance and his favourable disposition towards the common good of majority of citizens.
The group saw its responsibility as that of taking the message of the candidate to every nook and cranny of the country, to every stakeholder, to every voting bloc and to every voter. Its campaigns were robust, enlightening, issue-based and focused on competence, pedigree, the need for structural continuity in the governance of the country and public trust.