The presidential campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday explained why Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s name was missing from the 422-man list of the campaign team released on Friday night.
Apart from Osinbajo, the names of secretary to government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and the Chief of Staff the president, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, were also conspicuously missing from the list.
It was gathered that the vice president’s name was not included on the list of the flagbearer of the APC, Bola Tinubu, because President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that Osinbajo, Mustapha and Gambari should be left out of the council to allow them “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government”.
According to a statement by spokesman of the Tinubu/Shettima campaign team and minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), Osinbajo was not sidelined as claimed in some quarters.
Keyamo said the vice president and the SGF were considerably not included in the lineup because the president “felt very strongly that governance should not suffer, as is often the case once presidential electioneering is actively on.
He said President Buhari, who is also chairman of the council, specifically instructed that the vice president, as well as the SGF, and the Chief of Staff, should not be saddled with the campaign council so as to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.
Keyamo stated: “Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari , GCFR, is the Chairman of the Campaign Council. As a result, Mr. President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of Government.
“As a responsible Party and Government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May, 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.
“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country, but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”
In a statement on Friday announcing members of the campaign team, Faleke had said, “We are pleased to announce the nominees of the leadership of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, as per enclosed. All nominees are kindly advised to pick their appointment letters from the undersigned on Monday, 26th September, 2022 at 12noon.”
In the 422-member list released by secretary of the presidential campaign council, Hon James Faleke, names of some prominent party chieftains were missing.
Presidential candidate of the party, Tinubu, is deputy chairman of the campaign council, while Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, retained his position as director-general.
For national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole is listed as deputy D’director general (Operations), Adams Oshiomhole, even as the list named APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors, serving and past public office holders in key positions.
But former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former SGF, Babachir Lawal; former minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and a staunch Tinubu associate, Adebayo Shittu, who heads one of his biggest support groups, Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance, were missing.
A Peoples Democratic Party PDP chieftain and Senator representing Enugu East Senatorial District, Chimaroke Nnamani, was listed as a member of the APC presidential campaign council.
Don’t Turn Afenifere To Personal Franchise, Tinubu Tells Adebanjo
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday asked the leader of Afenifere, Pa Ago Adebanjo, not to turn the apex Yoruba socio-cultural group into a personal franchise.
Adebanjo had recently said Afenifere has adopted the candidature of Peter Obi based on fairness, even as he urged other geopolitical zones to support the South East to produce the President in 2023.
But in a statement signed by director of Media and Publicity of his campaign team, Bayo Onanuga in Abuja, Tinubu said: “Papa Ayo Adebanjo does not speak for Afenifere. He is free as an individual to support anyone he likes, in furtherance of his democratic right.
“We know for a fact that Baba has turned Afenifere into his personal estate as Acting Leader. We are also certain that there was nowhere Afenifere, as we know it, met and took a decision to adopt Mr. Peter Obi as a candidate for 2023 presidential election. We respect the age of Baba Adebanjo but he cannot turn Afenifere into his personal franchise for any political alliance.”
Jega, Ezekwesili Make Obi’s Team
Ahead of the commencement of campaign, The Big Tent, a Pat Utomi team within the third force has selected former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili , former IGP MD Abubakar, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Prof Chidi Odinkalu and Chief Tonye Princewill to be part of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi’s campaign team.
The team which is to drive an issues based campaign to liberate Nigeria in 2023, according to Pat Utomi, considering the troubling state of governance in Nigeria, the Big Tent coalition of political parties, social movements and civil society that constitute the Third Force for national retrieval and transformation, is inaugurating the national Policy Review and Futureview Team this week.
“This is to enhance the functioning of Democratic Institutions and to begin to restore legitimacy to government at a time when Governors are pointing to large areas of ungoverned spaces, ways and means money creation that has repeatedly violated the law and set the country on the course of surging inflation, Oil theft and the production of Oil at close to half of our OPEC quota has driven up the misery index from an already negative pole position of the poverty capital of world.
The team of policy players we unveil today which holds its first meeting next week, and whose engagement in policy contestation will shed light on why the promise of Nigeria has become blighted will henceforth suggest how policy can move Nigeria from the obsession with the sharing of hardly existent revenues to production. Such production we expect can result in a demographic dividend from our youth bulge.
“In assembling this group of citizen actors for the people, primary consideration has been given to competence, passion, inclusion, and commitment to the unity and security of Nigeria and advancing the wellbeing of the people, in the firm belief that a new Nigeria is possible and can be achieved now.
“In addition to this team, we are pleased to announce that we have set up a college of spokespersons from every state of the Federation, and the six zones, plus Abuja, to deepen the communication to the grassroots, of the work of the policy teams as they propose alternatives to extant policies in other to see a shift from revenue bating and conspicuous consumption emphasis to a production culture that will lift up the quality of life of Nigerians, This shift in emphasis which will dramatically shrink poverty, and put the Nigerian economy in a place where SDG targets are advanced will form the core of the new orientation. Prescriptions will have to include practical , immediately implementable decisions that can stem the rot and reverse Nigeria’s slide.
“These spokespersons who will also communicate the efforts of the Big Tent for Peter Obi Campaign, as the Labour Party candidate leads the college of leaders working together to win the 2023 election so Nigerians can take back their country through what is truly a government of the people, for the people and by the people.
This would replace the dysfunctional tradition of a government of politicians by politicians for politicians, in which the rest live in insecurity, shrinking opportunity, and economic hardship.This group has a duty to be manifestly ethical, accountable and live a disavowal of corruption, ” Utomi said.
According to him, due care has been taken to have a team that includes very experienced older leaders, creative and highly exposed younger people, women, the physically challenged and patriots from all parts of Nigeria.
Utomi said the team is an academic community, policy arena, domain of praxis, civil society, and politicians active in the field.
“The policy Review and Future watch team includes Power: Dr. Jerome Okolo and Professor Auwal Aliyu, Agriculture: Prof. Murtala Sagagi and Soji Apampa, Constitution Reform: Dr Muiz Banire SAN) Chidi Odinkalu. and Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed. Law and Order: Rtd IGP MD Abubakar Augustine Edet,; Economy and Finance: Ituah Ighodalo,, Dr. Emeka Okengwu , Remi Babalola.
“Transportation: Dr. Chris Asoluka, Gbenga Ajayi, Defence: General Henry Ayoola (Rtd), Dr. Sadiq Gombe,
Health: Dr. Lorieta Oduwa Ogboro-Okor, and Pharm Ifeanyi Okeke;
Establishment and Pensions: Prof. Lilian Oby Orogbu. Amb Hassan Tukur.
External Affairs: Amb. Joe Keshi, Ms. Bilkisu Magoro.
“Education: Dr Usman Bugaje , Mrs. Halima Dada-Abubakar, Dr. O. J. Yakas.
Youth Development: Naseer Sidi Ali.
Information and Culture: Dr. Tanko Yinusa. Femi Joshua. Rashida Abubakar
Women’s Development: Ms. Temidayo Nike Oriola. Madam I Usman.
Petroleum Resources: Nuhu Yakubu, Tonye Princewill. Economic Planning. Dr Bongo Adi Water Resources: Danladi Ndayebo, Atinuke Odjenima .
“Constitutional Reform : Bar Alfred Oloko, Wale Okuniyi, Bar. Dele Farotimi
Public Works: Dr. Engr. (Mrs) Halibat Adediran , Engr Ashana Mundi
Blue Economy Development.: Prof Chris Ekong. Aviation: Chibuzor Nwachukwu; International Trade, Industry and Investments; Prof Osita Ogbu
Humanitarian Affairs..Lolo Kadafa
Mobilization for Self Help: Aisha Yesufu Environment. Prof Chukwumerije. Mrs Ifechidere Kanu