Saturday, September 24, 2022 9:43 am
• Zack Orji, Jide Kosoko, 22 Nollywood stars on list
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has released a 422-man presidential campaign council list of the flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
In the latest list released by the Presidential Campaign Council Secretary, James Faleke, in Abuja on Friday night, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, retained his position as Director-General just as Deputy Director-General (Operations), Adams Oshiomhole, and Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga.
However, there are shocking omissions of party stalwarts, many of whom have been at loggerheads or engaged in cold war with Tinubu over his preference for the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket.
They include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and one of Tinubu’s sweat merchant, Adebayo Shittu, who heads one of his biggest support groups — Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance.
While the camp of Osinbajo had distanced itself from the former Lagos governor after his emergence as winner of the APC presidential ticket, the duo of Dogara and Lawal had, according to the report, remained a perennial thorn in Tinubu’s flesh for selecting ex-Borno Governor Senator Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim, as running mate.
Loyalists of the APC national leader have always seen the former Minister of Communications as an outsider because he “found his way into the party” through Congress for Progressive Change, one of the few political platforms that merged to form the current All Progressives Congress.
However, Shittu, in a recent interview said, “Why I think people often regard me as an outsider was probably because I was never a member of Alliance for Democracy, Action Congress or Action Congress of Nigeria. Besides, it has not been on record that I have a fight with Tinubu, even though critics who are jealous of my current achievements in the struggle to ensure success for him, out of pettiness and rivalry, have been trying to paint me black and blackmail me with the same slogan of ‘I am one of Tinubu’s enemies.’
“But I am happy and proud to say that Tinubu, as an experienced politician who knows his onions, has always maintained that Shittu is not an enemy. The fact that we never worked together in the past does not translate to being an enemy. In any case, he is also somebody who appreciates what I have been doing.”
The inclusion of former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who have been indicted of alleged anti-party activities in the last month has, as Punch reported, come as a surprise.
While Amaechi had subtly accused Tinubu of financially inducing delegates for votes at the last Convention, Aregbesola was believed to have worked for the victory of the governor-elect of Osun State , Ademola Adeleke, at the expense of the incumbent and fellow party member, Adegboyega Oyetola.
Faleke’s statement on Friday read, “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.
“The venue is Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council on Plot 781, Herbert Macaulay Way, Central Area Abuja. All other members will be contacted by the leaders of their respective directorates.”
Who is heading what
In the list, President Muhammadu Buhari retains his position as Chairman of the campaign council; while Tinubu is Deputy Chairman and Abdullahi Adamu is Deputy Chairman II.
Tinubu’s running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima was named Vice Chairman while the Plateau state Governor, Simon Bako Lalong is Director General.
Others are; Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (Deputy Director General, Operations); Hadiza Bala Usman (Deputy Director General, Administration); and Hon. James Faleke as Secretary. Hadiza Bala Usman is Deputy Director General (Admin). James Faleke is Secretary while Christopher Tarka is the Deputy Secretary.
Atiku Bagudu according to the list of 422 is the Vice Chairman and Kebbi State Coordinator just like all Governors in the party are their various state coordinators. Bayo Onanuga retained Director of Media and Publicity, Alhaji Ali M. Ali as his Deputy, Felix Morka as Co. Deputy Director and Ibim Semenitari as the Secretary.
Mohammed Idris heads the Strategic Communications Directorate with Danladi Bako as Co Director, Lanre Issa Onilu as Deputy Director and Dilli Ezuaha as Secretary. Minister of State Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo heads the Public Affairs Directorate as Spokesperson while Aminu Sani Jaji heads the Contact and Mobilisation Directorate.
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode heads the New Media Directorate with Bashir Ahmed as Deputy while Seun Olufemi White is the secretary.
Senator Godswill Akpabio made the list as the Vice Chairman (South-south) and Uju Kennedy is the Vice Chairman (South-east).
The Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru is the Regional Coordinator for North, while Abubakar Kyari is the Deputy Regional Coordinator, North.
The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi is the Regional Coordinator for South and Chief Emma Eneukwu was appointed as his Deputy.
Other directorates are: Support Groups Coordination; National Youth Mobilisation; Parliamentarian; Trade and Economic, Agriculturist/Commodities; Campaign Planning; Civil Societies; Diaspora Directorate.
Also included are: Election Planning and Monitoring; Finance; Fund Raising; Humanitarian/ Social; ICT/Data Management; Intelligence and Security; Labour; Legal; Logistics and Support Service; Medicals; Policy Research and Strategy; Protocol and Events; PWD Mobilisation; Sustainable Development Goals; Stakeholders Relations; Special Duties; Local government directorate and Performing arts directorate.
However, on the Osinbajo angle, Festus Keyamo issued the following statement :
PRESS RELEASE BY THE TINUBU/SHETTIMA PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COUNCIL
ABSENCE OF VICE-PRESIDENT YEMI OSINBAJO FROM CAMPAIGN COUNCIL LIST NO CAUSE FOR CONCERN
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.
Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.
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.
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb(UK)
Director of Public Affairs and
Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
Hon. Minister of State,
Labour and Employment.