The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal has revealed how former governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, funded the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Babachir who was sacked as the SGF following the grasscutting contract scandal in an interview on Punch revealed that Buhari had no money to finance his re-election in 2015 until Tinubu intervened.
In the interview on Sunday, August 23, he said that “Buharists didn’t have money; they only had ideas, zeal, and fanaticism. And politics requires money.”
He noted that Tinubu was able to raise funds from people in the corporate world; who were initially scared of the former president Goodluck Jonathan.
“He (Tinubu) was the one that reached out to all the ‘big men’ who were at the time scared of the then President Goodluck Jonathan. These were all rich men that depended on the government’s patronage. But somehow, Tinubu was able to persuade some of them to support Buhari.”
According to Babachir, who is also supporting Tinubu for a possible 2023 run; Buhari would have lost the 2015 convention to either Sen Rabiu Kwankwaso or Atiku Abubakar due to lack of funds until Tinubu declared support for him.
He said further that the APC national chairman had to hire the PR team that handled Barack Obama’s election; to package Buhari who according to him was considered too rigid in personality.
“It was Tinubu who brought in consultants from the US; the firm behind the successful execution of President Barrack Obama’s campaign. It helped to repackage Buhari to Nigerians,” he said.
“Everybody knows Buhari had no money and he doesn’t play money politics. So he won his presidential primary election without spending money.
“Also, Tinubu, who had his tentacles spread across the corporate world; was the only man who knew where and how to raise the funds needed.
“We had so many experiences. Timipre Sylva (now Minister of State for Petroleum Resources) and I thought we could do it; but found out we couldn’t until Tinubu came in.”