How NTA, AIT treated us badly during 2015 presidential campaigns – Garba Shehu, SSA to Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has restated his gratitude to Nigerians for his victory at the general elections, saying he emerged winner against all odds.

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Buhari, who spoke at the Red Media Summit in Lagos, yesterday, added that he won the election in spite of the deployment of state forces against him.

The president was represented at the occasion by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

Shehu said, “Muhammadu Buhari’s goodwill greetings to you is on account of the fact that he won an election that many people think he was not going to win.

“Americans say that elections are won on the dollar. It’s very improbable that anybody can win an election without money. We didn’t have advertising money in our campaign. Even when we had little money to spend on advertising, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was not making slots available to us, neither was AIT.

“I remember on a particular night I called NTA. They had 16 slots of one-minute adverts and I said I wanted to buy one minute for the Buhari campaign; they said all 16 had been sold.

“Some other instances exposed the partisan nature of the NTA. Money was returned to us; from AIT money was returned to us. They simply wouldn’t advertise for us.”

The presidential spokesman also expressed the presidency’s gratitude to Statecraft, an arm on The Red Media, for “selling an unlikely candidate to a very sceptical nation.”

“The day there was a security siege at my home, I woke up to see that my house had been surrounded by armed policemen in the course of the campaign,” Mr. Shehu said.

“In fact it was the cocking of their guns that woke me and my family members from our sleep, only to discover that tens of policemen, police vehicles, and some other unidentified vehicles darkened our windows around my home.

“The first thing I did was to say, ‘Who will help me out of this situation?’ I needed to expose what was going on, and the first man I reached was Adebola Williams of Statecraft. Adebola began to announce on Facebook and Twitter from that moment until the security elements realized that the whole world was looking at what they were doing, because I remained indoors throughout the siege.”

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