unstoppable as the governing party, but don’t be surprised that at the end of the day we may be labouring under a delusion after it becomes clear that we cannot support our governing status, and can be easily be knocked over at the polls because of the internal crisis threatening us,” a party chieftain told LEADERSHIP Friday in confidence yesterday.
Secretary of the presidential campaign council, James Faleke, had last Friday released a 422-member council, with President Muhamadu Buhari as chairman; Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate and Abdullahi Adamu, the national chairman of the party, as deputy chairmen, as well as Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, as director-general.
The list was however greeted with media reports suggesting that the governors under the party’s platform rejected it on grounds that the presidential candidate and the party ignored their nominations and replaced them with others from their respective states.
The national working committee (NWC) of the APC was also said to have rejected the list because its members were not consulted before constituting the campaign team.
Following the said report, the presidential campaign council had issued a statement clarifying that the list released was a partial one, adding that more names would be added on the list of members of the campaign team.
In a swift reaction to the protest that trailed the list, the director, Media and Publicity, of the campaign council, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement on Monday, called for calm, stating that nominees of the aggrieved governors and other party members would be included in the list.
He said the 422-member list was a “partial list” containing only the directors, deputy directors, secretaries of directorates and key stakeholders, even as he said the final list would be released.
Also, after announcing that it would commence the 2023 campaigns on Wednesday with special prayers and a road show, the Tinubu/Shettima campaign council issued another statement saying it had suspended the campaign kick-off indefinitely.
The director general of the campaign council and Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, said the decision to postpone the kick-off of the campaign is aimed at accommodating more members of the party.
He assured that a new date and timetable for the formal take-off of the campaign will be announced soon.
Just as party members were trying to figure out the party’s next move, a letter purportedly written by the national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, to Tinubu protesting the composition of the campaign council went viral on social media yesterday.
In the letter titled, “Release of the Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Council Listing”, Adamu said the 422-member list released last weekend by secretary of the campaign council, James Faleke, was not approved by the NWC and should be withdrawn.
But in what could be described as a dramatic volte-face, the APC yesterday disowned the letter purportedly written by its national chairman to the party’s presidential candidate protesting the list of the presidential campaign council.
In a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Barrister Felix Morka, the APC said Adamu did not write such a letter, noting that the party was united.
Morka stated: “Our attention has been drawn to a ‘draft’ letter in circulation purportedly written by His Excellency, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the National Chairman of our great party, addressed to His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of our great party, expressing dissatisfaction over the recently released list of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
“To be clear, the ‘draft’ letter did not emanate from the party. An unsigned letter that marks itself as a ‘draft’ cannot and should not be attributed to its purported author.
“The National Chairman of our party and our presidential candidate maintain cordial and effective communication channels, and enjoy full liberty of open and frank conversations on matters of interest to the party and our presidential campaign. As such, an unsigned ‘draft’ letter of the kind in circulation is patently unnecessary and of no qualitative value to engagement between the party and the PCC.
“We will not be distracted by the wishes and actions of detractors that wait gleefully but in vain for some kind of crisis to erupt between the Party and the PCC. We stand united, as a party, in our resolve and commitment to execute a focused and issue-driven campaign to persuade Nigerians to renew our mandate in next year’s general election.”
But some party members said all that is playing out could be a smokescreen to cover up for the simmering crisis that may soon reach boiling point.