Of the numerous support groups that worked for the victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 2023 Presidential election, one of the most sold and best organized is the Tinubu Support Organization (TSO).
Unlike many other support groups which exist only in the media propaganda, TSO, founded and directed by Hon. Aminu Suleiman, has very active, complete and verifiable structures (Executive Committees) at all levels: ward, local government, state, zonal and national. Hon. Suleiman, also known as Jagaban Gwandu, made it a point of duty to personally inaugurate all the state Excos, mostly in the respective state capitals, but sometimes, in the Federal capital, Abuja.
At the Federal level, in addition to the National Exco, headed by Hon. Suleiman as National Coordinator and Director-General, the group has the full compliment of a Media Team, led by Engr. Shafiu Shuaibu, which comprehensively reports all the activities of the organization to ensure that its messages get across to the electorate.
Hon. Suleiman brought his sterling leadership qualities, strategic thinking, people management skills, political experience and dexterity to bear on the leadership of and success of TSO. He put at TSO’s disposal his impeccable track record of political experience, which has distinguished him as one of the most reliable and leading politicians in Nigeria. Having been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007, Suleiman brought to the table a wealth of political experience that was invaluable to the organisation’s campaign. All these contributed handsomely to the victory of his principal, Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the polls.
TSO under the leadership of Hon. Suleiman is still the largest, most vibrant and most widely known support group for the RENEWED HOPE agenda that has been working vigorously round the clock for almost four years ago.
The seed for what is today called TSO was planted in 2019. From the little known Asiwaju Movement, Hon. Aminu Suleiman expanded his dream for the Tinubu presidential mission to become Arewa Next Step for Tinubu (ANEST), concentrating it in the northern region before transforming it into the present Tinubu Support Organization (TSO) aiming to achieve both national and diaspora coverage. Since inception, Hon. Suleiman has been able to navigate the complex political terrain in Nigeria, building bridges and forging alliances with different interest groups across social, political, religious and ethnic divides.
He showcased his brilliance and competence as a man to watch in the Nigerian political space, and his contribution to the success of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory cannot be overstated.
As the leader of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Support Organisation, Suleiman demonstrated his exceptional leadership qualities by leading his team effectively, motivating them, and ensuring that they all worked towards the common goal of victory.
His people management skills were top-notch, as he was able to bring together people from different backgrounds, political affiliations, and religious beliefs, and galvanize them towards a common goal.
The Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Support Organisation’s political campaign strategy was a perfect mix of online and offline platforms, which proved to be highly effective in mobilizing Nigerians across social, political, religious, and ethnic divisions.
Suleiman’s team was able to utilize social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to create a buzz around their candidate and rally support from young Nigerians who are tech-savvy and who were able to take advantage of the social media to neutralize the negative vibes created by opponents.
He was quick to adapt to changing circumstances, and his ability to make strategic decisions at critical moments was invaluable.
The campaign strategy was designed to reach Nigerians across social, political, religious and ethnic divisions. That way, Suleiman’s team was able to use social media platforms to reach millions of Nigerians across the country.
The organisation’s social media handles were constantly updated with news, information and events related to the campaign, keeping the electorate informed and engaged.
This approach was particularly effective in reaching young people who are more inclined to social media platforms. In addition to the online platforms, the campaign team which was led by Suleiman also utilised offline platforms to reach voters across the country.
The team organized rallies, town hall meetings, and other political events, which helped to create strong grassroots support for the Tinubu campaign.
This approach was particularly effective in reaching voters in rural areas who have limited access to social media platforms.
The team’s offline strategy was also commendable as they held rallies, meetings, and door-to-door campaigns in various states across the country. They were able to reach out to rural communities and connect with voters who may not have had access to social media platforms.
The Director General, Hon. Suleiman, continually organized working meetings and visits across the country with their principal, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Alhaji Kassim Shettima; relevant party officials at various levels, APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC); TSO officials, women and youth groups as well as other interest and local support groups. A typical example of such activities took place in Abuja early August 2022 when the Director General was joined by the National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Philip Wale Adelena, North-West Coordinator, Hon Usman Ali Maitsidau, Chief of Staff to the DG, Barr UsmanYakubu, PAs to the DG Abdurrahman Lawal and Hassan BalaYa’u as well as the Director, TSO Media Team, Engr Shafiu Shuaibu met with leaders of North-East Grassroot Movement for Asiwaju and those of Candido Progressive Network For APC and Tinubu North-East Concern Movement.
During the separate meetings, the Director General, the National Organizing Secretary and the North-west Coordinator all commended the groups for what they had been doing for Asiwaju and for their decisions to collaborate with the TSO.
The groups were also asked to submit relevant information that would enable TSO know if the groups were really on ground and if they were relevant to the success of APC Presidential candidate during the poll.
Another good example was the inauguration of North-West Women Mobilization and Strategy Committee in Kano early September 2022 by Hon. Suleiman. The Occasion was attended by several Zonal and States Leaders of the APC and support groups as well as over 4,000 women leaders from across all the seven states of the region, including Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi.
During the event, the Women Mobilization and Strategy Committee under the leadership their Director and Women TSO Coordinator, Kano State Chapter, Hajiya Hauwa Shehu Tahir, also formally welcomed G9 group into their fold. The organization distributed over 20,000 textbooks and notebooks, branded with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pictures, to selected primary and secondary schools in the state.
The National Coordinator was accompanied to the colorful inauguration ceremony by the APC National Women Leader, Mrs. Dimka Hezekiah; Director Support Groups, Dr. Aminu Abdullahi Gwandu; Kano State TSO Coordinator, Hon Aminu Gaya; Assistant National Secretary, Barr UsmanYakubu; Director, TSO Media Team, Engr. Shafiu Shuaibu; PA to the National Coordinator; Mallam Abdurrahman Lawal; and several other state and local government officials of the TSO.
Through these and other efforts, TSO was able to mobilize a broad coalition of Nigerians from different social, political, religious and ethnic backgrounds, all united in their support for the organisation’s candidate.
This all-around approach helped to create a formidable campaign strategy that was hard to match. Suleiman’s political experience and dexterity were also evident in the way he handled the campaign. He was able to navigate the murky waters of Nigerian politics, negotiate with other political parties, and forge alliances that helped to strengthen their campaign.
His understanding of the political terrain in Nigeria was invaluable, and he was able to use this knowledge to Tinubu’s advantage. Tinubu’s victory can be largely attributed to Suleiman’s competence, capabilities, and leadership skills. Therefore, his contribution to the campaign cannot be overstated, and he has proven himself to be a man to watch in the Nigerian political space.
Suleiman demonstrated his political acumen by being able to foretell the outcome of the presidential campaign and by putting in place strategies to ensure the success of the Tinubu campaign. In the words of the great Nelson Mandela, “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind!”
Suleiman exemplifies this quote, as he was able to create a movement that brought people together to achieve a common goal. He stayed behind the flock, directing and guiding them towards success.
His capabilities are traits that are essential for any successful political campaign. In the words of the former United States president, Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Suleiman embodies this quote, as he was the change that the Bola Ahmed Tinubu campaign sought. He was the catalyst that brought about the change that Nigerians desired. Hon. Aminu Suleiman is a man to watch in the Nigerian political space. His leadership and organizational skills are exemplary, and his ability to mobilize Nigerians across social, political, religious and ethnic divides is a testament to his political savvy.
The success of TSO in the just concluded presidential elections was a testament to the competence and capabilities of Sulieman as its director. His leadership and political acumen were the driving force behind the organisation’s victory, and his strategic thinking, people management skills and political experience were critical factors that contributed to the organisation’s success.
As Nigeria prepares for the future, leaders like Suleiman who contested for the House of Representatives seat for Birnin Kebbi, Kalgo/Bunza constituency under APC in 2019 must be allowed to utilise their experience, skills and natural ability to serve the Nigerian people in this critical moment of national unity.