APC: Buhari Directed Osinbajo, Mustapha’s Names to Be Excluded from Campaign Council
*Dogara, Lawal, Lai Mohammed’s names also missing
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari gave a directive that the name of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, be excluded from the list of the 422-member council.
Osinbajo’s name was conspicuously missing as the ruling APC finally released the full list of the Presidential Campaign Council consisting of 422 members.
The full list was released in the early hours of Saturday ahead of the September 28 official commencement of political campaigns for the 2023 elections.
Surprisingly, Osinbajo’s name was not listed in the campaign council, an ominous sign that all was not well within the ruling party.
Osinbajo was one of the presidential aspirants that contested at the APC primary election held between June 6th and 8th where senator Bola Tinubu emerged as the presidential candidate bearer of the party.
He was not the only one excluded from the presidential campaign council.
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, did not make the 422-members list of the Presidential Campaign Council of the APC.
Lawal and Dogara had at several times expressed their displeasure against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the party, describing it as an affront to Christians in the ruling party.
Both have also vowed to work against the party in the 2023 elections.
Lawal was a staunch supporter of Tinubu before following Tinubu picked Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Also, Mohammed, who played a pivotal role as the party’s spokesperson before the 2015 elections and also played a crucial role in the 2019 elections did not make the list.
Mohammed was one of the major political actors in Kwara State that led the “Otoge” revolution against Bukola Saraki which saw the APC winning the state in 2019.
The minister is no longer in the good books of Tinubu, his erstwhile benefactor.
But a statement issued yesterday by the Spokesperson of the Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Festus Keyamo, said President Buhari gave a directive that the name of Osinbajo and Mustapha be excluded from the list.
“For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari 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.”
Keyamo noted that as a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns.
He stressed that the ruling party has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and said the party intends to do so with all sense of responsibility.
Keyamo added: “We will not toe the path of those who irresponsibly governed the country 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.”
Buhari is made the Chairman of the Campaign Council, while Tinubu was appointed as the Deputy Chairman. APC National Chairman is the Deputy Chairman (II).
The party’s vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima was appointed the Vice Chairman of the Campaign, while the Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong was made the Director General of the Campaign.
Former National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole was appointed as the Deputy Director General (Operations) and Hadjia Bala Usman was made the Deputy Director General (Admin), while James Faleke was appointed as the Secretary and Christopher Tarka was appointed his Deputy.
The Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu is Vice Chairman (North) and coordinator of his state; Senator Godswill Akpabio is the Vice Chairman (South-south) and Uju Kennedy is the Vice Chairman (South-east).
The Governor of Jigawa state, Abubakar Badaru was made the Regional Coordinator for North, while Abubakar Kyari was appointed the Deputy Regional Coordinator, North.
Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi was made the Regional Coordinator for South and Chief Emma Eneukwu was appointed as his Deputy.
Others appointed are: Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as National Youth Coordinator, Felix Nicholas was made Deputy National Youth Coordinator; Governor Kayode Fayemi was appointed as the Coordinator for Ekiti State and Adviser Foreign Affairs.
Also, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan was made Senior Adviser on Strategic Planning; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila was appointed as the Adviser on Legal Matters; while the former Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamako was appointed as the Adviser on Special Duties.
The immediate past Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi was Adviser on Infrastructure; former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, was made Adviser on Contacts and Mobilisation; and Mr. Dele Alake was appointed Adviser on Media, Communications and Public Affairs.
Others are: the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje was appointed Adviser on Political Affairs and Kano state Coordinator; the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai was made coordinator of his state and Senior Adviser, Policy, Strategy and Enforcement and Abdulrahaman Dambazau was appointed as Adviser, Strategic Engagement.
Faleke in a statement issued yesterday advised all the nominees to pick their appointment letters on Monday, September 26, 2022, at noon.
The 31 directorates created are Media and Publicity with Mr. Bayo Onanuga as the Director; Directorate of Public Affairs has Festus Keyamo as the Spokesperson and Kassim Afegbua as Secretary; while the New Media directorate is headed by Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode. Other directorates were also created.