Crisis: Osinbajo, Amaechi, Ganduje Others Absent In APC Presidential Campaign Unveiling

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Prominent chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were absent on Friday at the unveiling of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the party and its Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s Action Plan at the Presidential Villa.

Those absent at the well-attended event include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, one of Tinubu’s major ally and governor of Kano State, Alhaji Umar Abdullahi Ganduje and immediate past Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi. Also absent was Ameachi’s former counterpart in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogboonaya Onu, but those present include the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. Others include the Director- General of the PCC and Plateau State governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, his Kaduna State counterpart, Mallam Nasir el-Rufa’i a former National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande and a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani among others. National Chairman of the APC, Senator Adamu Abdullahi led other members of the National Working Committee as well as other relevant organs of the party to the event.

Sources close to Tinubu told during the week that efforts were being made to ensure that aggrieved members of the party are brought on board to ensure a comprehensive victory at the forthcoming general elections. “We are aware of some discontent within the party over the emergence of Asiwaju as the candidate of the party and we are not resting on our laurels on this. We are indeed working on it. We have secured the needed assurances from Governor el-Rufa’i to help in this regard,” a source close to Tinubu told one of our correspondents. A source very close to Osinbajo told one of our correspondents that his principal stayed away from the event due to a presidential order that some officials of state should stick to the work schedule to avoid distraction.

“The spokesman of the Presidential Campaign Council has answered this question that you are posing to me and I need not speak further on it. The Vice President stayed away from the unveiling event because the President asked him and certain public office holders not to be part of the PCC,” the source who pleaded not to be mentioned said in a telephone chat with one of our correspondents. This notwithstanding, President Muhammadu Buhari personally presided over the unveiling that took place at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday amid pomp. Addressing party members present, Buhari said Nigeria would be safer with the ruling party beyond 2023 pledging that to be at the forefront of electing Tinubu as his successor. According to him, electing Tinubu would consolidate on the achievements of his administration, saying the presidential candidate has the capacity, visionary leadership and track record to do more for the country.

Taking a poke at the opposition, Buhari said, “It would be disastrous to allow a situation that will lead to the reversal of the progress our country has made. Let me add that I joyfully accept the position of the chairman of the campaign council we are unveiling today. ”Our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is too well known for his capacity and can-do spirit. He stands tall in his track records as a democrat, a champion of the rule of law, a man at home in every part of our country, and a truly visionary leader. All you need to do is think of Lagos in 1999 and 2022!

”I, therefore, want to assure all party members and supporters of our government that I will be at the forefront of this campaign. ”This election is even more important than the election of 2015 that brought us into power. The cost of losing the gains our country has made is much more than the need to stop the haemorrhage that led to our coming together nearly nine years ago.

”I want to charge every member to put in all their efforts during the next four and half months of the campaign to ensure we record a resounding victory in all our elections nationwide. The future of this country is safer in our hands, ” he said. The President also thanked party officials in the National Executive Council, the Zonal, State, Senatorial, Local Government, and Ward executives for their unalloyed support to his administration and the great efforts and outstanding commitment to the cause of the party and democracy. He urged them to be mindful of the importance of building a strong and purposeful political party, recounting that the project of pulling ”Nigeria back from the precipice in 2015 was made possible by putting together a formidable party peopled by many who have made a vow to work for a Nigeria we all can be proud of.”

In his remarks, Tinubu declared, “It is, therefore, fitting that we are unveiling the Tinubu/Shettima Action Plan for a Better Nigeria today. This Plan is not only a roadmap to a prosperous future, it serves as notice to the Nigerian people that, if elected, Senator Shettima and I shall work tirelessly to reach that promised future from the first moment of the first day we enter office.

“The doors to security, prosperity and greatness are open to us. We must step through these portals, guided by a torchbearer with the experience and mettle to shoulder the task ahead. Nothing short of this will suffice. “I seek to become the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because I know the way. My experience and past performance have shown that it will be through collective efforts and national endeavour that we join hands, cross the divides and achieve our vision. I ask you to join Senator Shettima and I on this journey.”

He added: “The country does not need fancy promises or foreign experiments. Nigerians seek sustained progress and reform through stable governance and proven leadership. “We need true and innovative solutions that address the specific challenges of each of our 36 states and our over 200 million people. We need our own Miracle on the Niger River.”

On his Agenda for Renewed Hope for Nigeria, he said standing on the foundation emplaced by the current administration, his administration will among other things build a country, especially for the youth, where sufficient jobs with decent wages will be in place to create a better life. He said his administration would export more and import less in order to earn more foreign exchange and strengthen the naira.

”We will deliver food security and affordability by continuing to prioritise agriculture and assist farmers and other players in the agricultural value chain through the enlightened agricultural policy that promotes productivity and guarantees robust income. ”We will modernise and expand public infrastructure to stimulate economic growth at an optimal rate. Generate, transmit and distribute affordable electricity to give our people the necessary power to drive their businesses and brighten their homes. ”Our national economy will grow, succeed and be respected. We will embolden and support young people and women to participate more in politics and governance, harnessing emerging sectors such as the digital economy, entertainment, tourism, sports to build today, for the Nigeria of tomorrow.”

Tinubu also promised I  the unveiling to provide economic opportunities to people living with disability, the poor and vulnerable, saying ”we will build a Nigeria where no parent is compelled to send a child to bed hungry.” He added that his administration will also make basic healthcare, education, and housing accessible and affordable for all. On security, Tinubu promised to establish ”a bold and assertive policy that will create a strong yet adaptive national security architecture and action to obliterate terror, kidnapping, banditry, and other crimes from the face of our nation.”

National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, said the APC is set for self-succession, saying his optimism is buoyed by ”the dint of hard work, perseverance, discipline, good governance and far-reaching policies of the Buhari administration which have pulled Nigeria back from the brink and stabilised the country.”

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