Hurdles Before Tinubu Presidential Campaign

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On Wednesday, the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council served its final notice for the full commencement of the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Since the official window for electioneering opened in September, the APC has failed to kick off its campaign, unlike the opposition parties.

The campaign spokesman for Tinubu, Festus Keyamo, who doubles as the Minister of State for Labour, defended the position of the party saying, “Part of the structure of our campaign involves a presidential diary, our campaign is not like those who have done kick and start with their small vehicles.”

He further explained that “Our campaign is like maneuvering a 50-tonne trailer into the highway and once we hit the road, we hit the road.

“So that is what we are doing, the president is the chairman of the campaign council, we are going to take his diary into consideration in picking and choosing the day.”

However, the national chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, at a meeting with the governors elected on the platform of the party a few weeks ago hinted that all was not well with the party.

He said, “we will campaign when we will campaign. We must do what we must do first by putting our house in order,” adding that the party will not rush into a campaign.

He was echoing reports of rifts in the ruling party, part of which came up in a letter he wrote that was expected to be sent to the party’s candidate but was leaked. The former Nasarawa State governor denied he wrote the letter.

The meeting failed to agree on key issues and the party will be starting its campaign with the lingering crises.

Fears About Commitment From Northwest Governors
There are fears that the five APC governors northwest states of Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina and Kebbi may not be committed to Tinubu’s campaign after he failed to pick one of them as his running mate.

Save for Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, who have made few appearances at events organised in which Tinubu attended, others are bogged down by internal struggle to ensure their re-election or the election of their successors and other candidates. also learnt that the governors have not made any financial commitment. It was learnt that Kaduna State was muted as the state that should stage the first campaign for the party but lack of financial support from the governor forced a shift to Plateau State, Jos, which would host the rally on the 15.

At the moment, no financial commitment yet from the governors which is sending fears across the APC campaign council.

Lack Of Funds, High Debt Profile In APC
A major problem and a worry to the Tinubu/Shettima campaign is lack of funds in the party despite the candidate being believed to be one of the richest candidates.

There is also a huge debt hanging on the neck of the leadership of the party.

On October 21, Adamu sounded the alarm that his leadership inherited N7.5 billion in debts on legal fees alone when it took over the affairs of the party.

He accused the Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, who led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party before he took over of corruption and presiding over bloated staff who he described as ghost workers.

This lack of funds has also led to salary arrears causing low morale among staff.

The consequence is that the party would not be able to support the presidential campaign council as has always been the case financially.

It has also failed to pay state chapters their statutory entitlements from the sale of forms before the conduct of the party’s primaries.

It was gathered that the state chapters have demanded for their share which has not been honoured by the Adamu-led leadership.

One of the state chairmen confirmed the development to He said, “Yes, we have not been paid and it will affect our support for our candidates at the state levels.

“We won’t be able to also mobilize for the presidential campaign when they will be visiting for their state-by-state campaign.

“So far, the national chairman has said no money. He revealed this in the media before we could request as if he was pre-empting us.”

A state chairman in one of the states in the South South who pleaded anonymity said “we are in a serious financial crunch. If we can’t get money from the centre, the money that is our due, I don’t see how we can mobilize for them.”

Internal Revolt Over Muslim/Muslim Ticket
The call for the replacement of Kashim Shettima as the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the party has continued as some stakeholders have failed to buy into the explanation offered by the candidate. gathered that Adamu had told some stakeholders that Tinubu did not consult him before picking his running mate.

Tinubu had thrown the chance open to the president who instead of anointing a candidate said he will not make any choice.

The former Lagos State governor also bypassed the Northwest governors after allegedly promising to pick one of them as running mate to choose Shettima. He also reportedly did not explain to them his change of mind before announcing Shettima.

While some Christian groups have endorsed the ticket, no major northern Christian bloc has identified with the party. On the contrary, they have continued to attack the ticket as anti-Christian.

Lack Of Support From Osinbajo/ Former Presidential Aspirants

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has also failed to publicly endorse his former political associate after losing the ticket to him. gathered that many of his supporters have shifted their support to Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, have not been included in the PCC.

Also, almost all the presidential aspirants have failed to publicly declare their support for the Tinubu/Shettima ticket. While some of them have seen their names omitted from the PCC, those whose names appeared have also not shown up.

But the only female presidential aspirant in the party, Uju Kennedy, told THE WHISTLER that “All former aspirants are in support of Asiwaju. We are working together.”

Although these hurdles have been downplayed by Keyamo who said the campaign has “no problems at all,” even as some stakeholders have expressed fears that the problems may affect the conduct of the party’s presidential campaign.

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