The leadership of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council have explained why Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, were excluded from the 422-man list of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.
The clarification follows the reaction that has trailed the release of the comprehensive list of campaign council members a few hours ago after several weeks of anxiety and series of postponements.
The campaign council said that Osinbajo and Mustapha were omitted due to the specific directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that they should be left out of the Council to concentrate on the governance of the country.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Spokesman of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo on Saturday, hours after the party released a longlist of powerbrokers as members of the Campaign Council, where he said that Buhari asked that they should be dropped to avoid abandoning governance for electioneering campaigns.
What the APC Presidential Campaign Council Spokesman is saying
Keyamo in the statement said, “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.”
Keyamo also said the list released is subject to “periodic review”.
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He said, “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.”
APC releases list of Presidential Campaign Council members
The APC Presidential Campaign Council on Friday night released a 422-man list of powerbrokers as members of the council tasked with the responsibility of ensuring victory for the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, at the February 2023 presidential election.
Aside from Osinbajo and Mustapha, other prominent members of the party not included in the campaign council include former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, amongst others.
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Osinbajo and Nwajiuba had contested the presidential primary of the ruling party with former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, the eventual winner, whilst Dogara and Lawal have fiercely registered their opposition to Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The list released by the Presidential Campaign Council Secretary, James Faleke, includes, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who is the Director-General of the council with Adams Oshiomhole as the Deputy Director-General (Operations), Hadiza Bala Usman as the Deputy Director General (Admin) and Bayo Onanuga as the Director of Media and Publicity.
Faleke also announced President Muhammadu Buhari as the chairman for the council with Tinubu as deputy chairman as well as APC national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, as Deputy Chairman 2.