Thursday, December 7, 2023


In faraway Guinea Conakry, was Tinubu acting alone?

In faraway Guinea Conakry, was Tinubu acting alone?
October 28
17:15 2015

By Desmond Afolayan

The acclaimed national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress was recently in Guinea where he was reportedly involved in influencing the outcome of the October 11 presidential election in favour of the 77-year-old incumbent President Alpha Condé. In a statement of triumphalism by Sunday Dare, his media aide, Bola Tinubu is adulated for extending the frontiers of his illustrious political empire beyond Nigeria.

Mr. Tinubu’s forays into another African country to openly take sides in the highest level of their domestic politics should ordinarily be seen as the private business of a private citizen with no risk of negatively impacting on Nigeria’s foreign relations interests. It is however important to note that the former governor of Lagos state failed to appropriately draw the lines between acting in his own capacity and posturing that can suggest he was covertly acting on behalf of President Buhari or the Nigerian state.

To start with, Dare offers us an insight into how Bola Tinubu met his “friend and brother” President Condé in May this year at a meeting during his 5-day state visit to Nigeria for President Buhari’s inauguration. He went on to provide details of how “Tinubu in June 2015 visited Conakry, Guinea to further assess the country’s political terrain and the direction of the presidential campaigns” and how soon after, Tinubu moved into Conakry personally with his election strategy and planning team to work as an integral part of the president’s campaign team with barely 60 days to the election. What this means in sum is that President Condé came to Nigeria on a state visit and returned with a machinery that helped prosecute his re-election agenda.

The chest thumping by Tinubu’s media office necessitated disclosing that President Condé’s sensitive decision not to postpone the election in which he was a candidate was as a result of the fact that “Asiwaju Tinubu played a key role in advising the President to stick to the date, October 11. He reportedly provided context for the President by letting him into the experience Nigeria had during the last presidential election.” It is worth mentioning that the seven opposition parties called for a postponement, citing alleged irregularities in the electoral roll, but their pleas were rejected by the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Cellou Dalein Diallo, the candidate of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) also petitioned the Supreme Court of Guinea to have the election postponed, but it was rejected.


Not a few diplomatic watchers would wonder if President Buhari had an interest in returning his Guinean counterpart to office for a second term? Was Bola Tinubu acting on behalf of the Nigerian President and the Nigerian state? I doubt. The actions and statements by Bola Tinubu’s office however leave room for the possibility of mottled interpretations. This is against the backdrop of the diplomatic sacrilege that occurred 2 days to the May 29, 2015 handover date when visiting President Condé on arrival in Nigeria shunned former President Jonathan and the diplomatic courtesies usually extended to every visiting head of state and instead chose to be received by Mr. Tinubu – a private citizen – apparently on the instruction of President Buhari who was then on an unofficial visit to the United Kingdom.

In a country whose democracy is yet fragile and in an election that was just the country’s second free multiparty national election since it gained independence in 1958, the help any true friend of the people of Guinea should have offered leading up to and during the election should have been in such critical areas as the advocacy for a peaceful and watchful conduct by the people, capacity building for state institutions like the electoral umpire and security agencies to perform their duties without fear or favour, and the advocacy for exemplary behaviour by the candidates and other key political operatives that will result in peaceful electoral outcomes.

Even if Mr. Tinubu absolutely had to support President Condé, conventional wisdom would have prescribed that he did so discretely without showing his hand. He has however taken sides overtly, and though his horse in the race was victorious with 58% of the votes, there are 42% of other voters – a significant minority by any standards – who may one day wonder who the Nigerian was that denied them of their preference for the office of president.


In this complex era where Citizen Diplomacy is an increasingly important tool in advancing the interests of countries and where private citizens and corporations have been known to shape the texture of foreign relations a country has with others in more effective ways than diplomatic services can, it is important to keep an eye on the activities of our influential Nigerians on the global stage, especially those seen to be close to the president and the Government of Nigeria – off course without impugning on legitimate individual liberties and interests. Nigeria cannot afford hostilities from other countries after an alternation of power in the future brings to office individuals and political interests who nurture resentment for Nigeria for being seen to have worked behind the scenes to help sitting presidents utilise the power of incumbency to perpetuate themselves in power. Perception is just as powerful as reality.

This calls for greater vigilance by active citizens and the media in spotlighting what goes on in the famed corridors of power during state visits as power brokers with ulterior motives can be inadvertently conferred sovereign legitimacy simply by appearing in the company of the president. At this rate, as “Tinubu seems to be about the business of installing presidents across Africa”, the Presidency needs to deploy the finest tact in ensuring that as Mr. Tinubu goes along his way in his mission, he is seen to be acting on his own.

Afolayan writes from Brussels and can be reached on [email protected].


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

Click on the link below to join TheCable Channel on WhatsApp for your Breaking News, Business Analysis, Politics, Fact Check, Sports and Entertainment News!


  1. Emmanuel Maluba
    Emmanuel Maluba October 29, 10:06

    So much bile in writing. No wonder Africa is so backward!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Keita
    Keita November 03, 10:45

    Hello Sunday Dare,

    Please you all should pardon my English, am a French man,
    Google really helped me here.

    My attention is drawn to your write up on Vanguard news
    paper date 26th of October about your principal Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu,
    for winning the re-election of Pr. Alpha Conde and you tagged him the
    ‘Babalawo’ in English I want to believe it means Herbalist and in French Feticheur,
    meaning he has the power to do a lot of things and probably he can make things
    happen anytime anywhere and any day.

    I read through your lines and I didn’t see any real sense in
    it, rather it was full of lies and untrue stories. Let me tell you a brief
    scenario of what happened in Guinea and to also redirect over 180m Nigerian
    that might have read your innuendoes, if you are telling the world that your
    principal won the election for pr. Alpha Conde on a clean slate, I would say
    you are wrong and you are nothing but a liar, a confused being and a cheat. But
    if you say your principal helped Alpha to rig the election as it was seen and generally
    believed, then am going to say you are right.

    One of the major tools you motioned in your article and you
    kept referring to was the ROBO call APP. You even called it ROBO call
    “element” you also said that it was your
    principal ideal and he brought in 6 man team to monitor the election and work
    on the social media and all for the president, believing this is your principal
    idea and probably that ideas made Alpha wins the election.

    My questions are why are you lying? Why do you and your principal
    taking an innocent man’s glory, idea and sweat? Why? Why?? Why???

    Let me tell you the story of this robocall that turned
    Guinean on and made them feel like ‘oh the president just called me’ it was in
    August a young man from Nigeria chatted with me and told me ‘hey bro I have a
    fantastic idea for your country I want to share it with you’ then he was in
    ivory Coast selling the same idea to the campaign team for their October
    election. After we skype and chatted I was convinced and I put in my idea into
    it, I flew down from Paris to Conakry my City my country. And I asked him to
    join me in Guinea the following day, I went to the airport in Gbesia to pick
    him up myself, and he lodged in an Hotel in Town. He explained the work of the
    application and he told me the effect on the people of Guinea for this coming
    election if the president can buy the idea, most times when we talked it’s
    mostly about elections in Africa, development of African counties and all. He
    said he want the president to use this app to campaign for the election.

    The following day we started moving around and looking for
    the direct contact to the president after some weeks we were able to get to the
    presidency, this is how our experiences with people in government stated. When
    we got to the presidency, when we were in the lift going up, we met a man (name
    held) and the woman that took us there said ‘oh son this is one of the right
    person to the president, immediately the man said we should brief him why we
    were there, the young man explained and immediately the man said we are in the
    right place, he asked further if what we are saying is possible and we replied
    yes and told him a demo can be sent to him. Right there he asked us to come
    back the following day to meet with the Director of campaign, director of
    communication to the president and director of communication for the election.
    As far as Guinea is concern these men are the pillars of Guinea as I write
    these line you can all verify that.

    Lo and behold the following day we met these great men as
    expected and we demonstrated the effect of the Robocall app to them, they were
    dazed and immediately they asked us to send them the full proposal, the budget
    cost and all which we did and submitted at the right place, it was stamped and
    acknowledged, and from there we started sending demos and attending meetings
    organized by them, infact the Gentleman has bought the licenses to roll it out
    from his partners in abroad and also recruited some of us for the project,
    because he said we can’t roll it out on any of the local network because the
    local network won’t agree to be partisan.

    To cut the long story short things turned around when your
    principal came few days to the election and he asked for the update of what is
    on ground, our source said the robocall proposal was presented to your
    principal and he was told a Nigerian proposed it to them, the effects was
    explained to him, how the people of guinea are going to feel picking a call
    from their president soliciting for their votes which of course they won’t vote
    for on a good day. Your principal jumped into it and decided to run it for the
    president hoping it will be for the man from Nigeria to run it, but NO it was
    run by local network in guinea with this number 62411111, but because it’s a
    local network provider, they don’t want to be partisan, it made the president
    to think of what to say and just decided to ask people not to fight and just go
    and vote peacefully. He couldn’t campaign or saying they should vote for him
    because the network provider won’t do it for him. Since it’s against their
    rules and regulations.

    Also why do you need to lie?, that the president called 6m
    people? This is a bloody lie, the total number of subscribers in guinea is
    9.8m, the network they used for the IVR call can only call the numbers on its
    network, with the 9.8m subscribers, and this is shared amongst 4 different
    network providers so there’s no way they would have called 6m people.

    I also laughed when I read the part that the president spoke
    to the people in 4 different languages, this is a crazy lie. Why are you
    lifting everything this young man wrote in the proposal submitted why???? This
    part of him speaking the 4 languages was my idea, I was the one that told this
    man that if it’s possible to say it in French, then lets us write the codes for
    other local languages which he did and put in the proposal. Three days to
    election the director of communications for the campaign who is the minister
    for youth and employment called this young man and said ‘sorry we can’t
    continue with you, someone from Nigeria decided to do it for the president for
    free’. So it was a combined effort of
    the minister to approach the local network and share the idea with them, the
    local network said they can run it on their IVR but they won’t say people
    should vote for any candidate but they can honor the president by letting him to
    plead to the people to vote in peace.

    My questions again are where were the 6man team when all
    these were going on? Where were they
    when this your country man was consulted and he was giving them all these ideas
    you said your principal architected? Stop feeding your country people with lies
    and untrue stories and stop bring GOD out of an ordinary man. He may have done
    well for electing Nigerian president but for Guinea election NO! all what you
    said your principal did was not his idea it was the idea of that young man who
    came to this country to create jobs for
    us, to enlighten us and help generate revenue.

    Normally I wouldn’t have been involved in this, but when I
    stumbled on the write up and saw my Country I became keen and decided to read
    through, I was just laughing and cursing you for all the lies you choose to
    feed the great people of Nigeria. Let me tell you what your principal might
    have done, when they told him that his country man brought the idea and he’s
    still in the country, he ought to have called the man, talk with him, encourage
    him and appreciate him, and not taking his effort and idea and praising someone
    who has or have no knowledge of it. Your
    principal was NEVER the man behind the alpha’s social campaign. The facebook,
    twitter and robo call was strictly this man’s idea. If you want proofs you can
    engage me, I have the copy of all the transactions with me, when it was
    proposed, when it was signed and stamped, voices of the campaign directors used
    for the Demo and send to all the numbers given and all. If your principal had
    been there before him they won’t even give audience it would have been ‘hey
    young men, we are not interested someone is on it’. There won’t be need for the
    man to start wasting money and all; I was privileged to this information
    because I was his interpreter in Guinea here. Why your principal didn’t used
    the same for the election of his son Ambode when the going was tough and we
    read it in the papers that one of your kings actually cursed some tribes in
    Nigeria. If this had or has been with him I guess he would have used it then,
    so stop lying.

    I think this young man deserves an apology from you and he
    should be compensated, I wonder what will be going on his mind if he read that
    piece you wrote, like he use to say ‘this is another African syndrome’

    This is the young man that has left Guinea to another
    country, he designed all what they used for the election, the election was
    successful, no pin dropped on the Election Day and he was celebrated. Funny
    enough, it is this entire leader that’ll be going around saying African youths
    are lazy, they don’t want to work, and they don’t want to think etc. allowing
    people like Donald Trump insulting us. Meanwhile a hard working young man is
    somewhere working and you these elders and leaders are there trampling on their
    efforts and taking their glories.

    Let me stop at this juncture and for you to say your
    principal was the one that advised pr, ALPHA Conde to insist on the 11th
    for the election is lame too, God was with us and still with us that is the
    reason why there was no bloodshed and not because your principal was involved.
    I am going to leave that part for another day.

    But if that’s what you have been paid for is to lie and cook
    stories, well if you know how to write lies don’t forget there are some people
    that know how to counter it. If you are confused and you want clarifications,
    proofs and details behind the whole of ‘he’s my friend and my co pan Africanist’
    I can be reached on [email protected]

    God bless Nigeria! God bless Guinea! And God bless that
    young man behind that idea.

    Keita Camara

    [email protected]

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment

error: Content is protected from copying.