- Buhari kicks off reelection bid, unveils Campaign Council
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Presidency yesterday night clarified the status of the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, named under the sub-head (Advisory Members) in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), unveiled yesterday, saying that Dangote “is not a member” of the APC PCC.
A statement by the President’s Media Adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina said it had become imperative to further clarify the status of Dangote, to avoid misconception.
Also yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, formally launched the campaign for his re-election with a promise to focus on security, economy and corruption if re-elected.
Adesina, in the statement clarifying the status of Dangote, said: “Africa’s richest man, not being a card-carrying member of APC, cannot, and is not member of the PCC. He is also a member of the Peace Committee, and thus cannot be in a partisan campaign council.”
Buhari, who began his re-election bid with the South-South Presidential campaign, held at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, praised his administration for fulfilling his promise in 2015 to improve the nation’s security, economy and fight corruption.
He stated that when he became president, about 17 local governments in Borno and Yobe States were under sieged by Boko Haram but that presently, the Boko Haram was not physically in any of these local governments.
The President also stated that before now bombings were rampant in churches, mosques, market and motor parks in the northern part of the country but such was no more the case.
Speaking on the economy, the President said over 60 per cent of the nation’s population consists of young people, saying his administration would eventually achieve food security with the ban on the importation of rice and support to farmers.According to the President, at an appropriate time, Nigerians would be informed on how much had been recovered from the looters of the nation’s treasury and those involved, stressing that his administration would continue to do everything to protect the country from being destroyed.
The National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole lauded the President for starting the presidential campaign in the South-South zone, saying the people of the region really appreciate the honour.
The APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu described the rally as a very successful one as the stadium was filled to capacity to endorse continuity of hope and development.
He called on Nigerians to re-elect President Buhari, saying APC government gives the nation hope and has diversified the economy.
The Akwa Ibom State APC Chairman, Iniobong Okopido praised the national leadership of the party for the confidence reposed in the state to host the beginning of the South-South presidential campaign.
He said the state and indeed other South-south states were ready to vote for the APC come 2019 and lauded Presidential Buhari for the numerous appointments extended to the state. The high point of the rally was presentation of flags of the party to governorship candidates of Akwa Ibom, Obong Nsima Ekere; Cross River, Senator John Owan-Enoh; Delta State, Great Ovedje Ogboru; and Rivers State, Chief Tonye Cole.
The Presidential rally was attended by APC governors across the country, led by the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, National Assembly members, members of the national working committee of the party and members of the Federal Executive Council, among others.
Also yesterday, the president unveiled the members of his Presidential Campaign Council and appointed the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu as his co-chairman.
Also appointed in a Special Advisory Committee, are billionaire President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola, while Babatunde Fashola, Gen. A. Dambazzau, Nuhu Ribadu, Hadiza Bala Usman head directorates.
The full list of members of the APC PCC for the 2019 elections, include: President Muhammadu Buhari as chairman; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is co-chairman, while the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole are deputy chairmen.
Others are, Vice chairman (North), Senator George Akume, Vice chairman (South), Senator Ken Nnamani, and Director General, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
Also with Dangote and Otedola in the special advisory committee to Mr. President are Vice President Osinbajo; Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Senator Ahmed Lawan (Senate Leader); Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Leader of the House); and APC Party National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The Deputy Director General (Operations) is Senator A.O. Mamora; Deputy Director General (Coordination) is Arch. Waziri Bulama and there are two people in the position of Secretary- Adamu Adamu and Dele Alake.
The Zonal Directors are: North-west, Senator Aliyu M. Wamakko; North-east, Senator Muh’d Ali Ndume; North-central, Senator Abdullahi Adamu; South-west, Sola Oke, SAN; South-east, Sharon Ikeazor; and South-south, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
There are 13 Directorates, having Dr. Mahmoud Mohammed as Director, Buhari Support Groups; Festus Keyamo, SAN, Director, Strategic Communications with Abike Dabiri- Erewa as Deputy Director. Hadiza Bala Usman is Director, Contact and Mobilisation; with Victor Eboigre as Deputy Director South and Senator Bashir Nalado, Deputy Director North.
The Director, Election Planning & Monitoring is Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. With him are Deputy Director I- Baba Kura Abba Jato; and Deputy Director II-Chief Emani Ayiri. Director, Logistics is Dr. Pius Odubu; with him are Deputy Director, Senator Umanah Umanah; and Deputy Director II, Nasiru Danu.