A group of supporters of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, the BAT Ambassadors for Nigeria’s Greatness (BANG), has intensified grassroots mobilisation for the former Lagos governor.
The support group inaugurated 12 state executive members and 17 executive members for each of the local government areas in Lagos on Saturday.
The Lagos State Coordinator for BANG, AbdulRahman Lekki, said: “one of the aims of the support group is reawakening the political life of every citizen, particularly at the grassroots level.”
Mr Lekki said the target of the group is to mobilise one million voters in the state, which he noted is achievable, saying they have the support of local mosques, several organisations and prayer groups.
He said the support group was “deliberately structured to first and foremost mobilise the Muslims but open to collaborating with other faiths.”
“We understand our differences but that does not matter. We have a lot of counterpart Christian organisations and they are with us. As we are saying 1 million voters, they are also saying they will do 1 million, and we are in strong collaboration and networking with them,” he said.
BANG to help Tinubu win
In his remarks, the National Secretary of BANG and lecturer at Osun State University, Mojeed Alabi, said the support group was founded about two years ago before the APC presidential candidate declared interest in running.
Mr Alabi, a professor, said: “The BAT Ambassadors are present in 10 states, the whole of the South-western states, including Edo, Delta, Rivers and so on, to ensure we canvass for him at all levels.
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“We want to be identified as part of the success, and that is why we have intensified the grassroots mobilisation for him. Today we have inaugurated the various committees, and steering committees at the various levels to make sure that the message is disseminated down to the grassroots.”
The event was graced by religious leaders across Lagos, members of Muslim groups, members of APC campaign groups and students.
Giving a short lecture on the roles and responsibilities of Nigerians in the electoral process, an INEC Senior Administrative Officer in Lagos, Edem Nelly, urged the participants to get their voter’s cards before the deadline to enable them to exercise their constitutional rights.
She said the only way to achieve change in the country is to vote. “Choose the candidates of your choice and then vote; that is the only way your voice will be heard.”
Speaking on INEC’s efforts, she said “the commission has tried its best to ensure that the electoral process in Nigeria is carried out in a free, fair and credible manner.”
She added that adopting the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has made the election process smoother and will be the only means voters will be accredited in the 2023 general election.
Reacting to a question about reports of vote buying during the Osun election, she assured that “the BVAS will do an accurate job during the general election because we have practicalities on it and we have seen it worked.”
Mr Alabi also said the “issue of vote buying should not be allowed at all.”
He said: “We discourage vote buying and that is one of our messages. We are mobilising people to come and vote. One man, one vote.
“We will canvass with INEC to also give proper training to party leaders to ensure that when they are appointed as party agents, they should be of high integrity, not those that can be easily enticed with money.
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