Tinubu's Campaign In Trouble Hours To Kick-off; APC Chairman, NWC, Governors Oppose Candidate's List
Tinubu's Campaign In Trouble Hours To Kick-off; APC Chairman, NWC, Governors Oppose Candidate's List

Tinubu’s Campaign In Trouble Hours To Kick-off; APC Chairman, NWC, Governors Oppose Candidate’s List

Rather than begin its presidential campaign on Wednesday, September 28, APC NWC will be holding an emergency meeting to resolve the Campaign Council List as candidate leaves the country for undisclosed reasons

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Twenty-four hours to the 2023 national election campaigns, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s campaign structure and that of his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, on the platform of the the  All Progressives Congress’ (APC) is facing major challenge. Members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) have disowned the presidential candidate’s campaign council membership list, which is now a subject of controversy.

The Schedule/Timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stipulates that campaigns for national elections are expected to officially kick off on September 28, while that of the governorship and state Houses of Assembly will begin on October 12.

But just as there are indications that the APC candidate in the crucial election has left the country in what his aides argued was a scheduled UK trip, not for medicals or to meet with the Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike who is also in London, there is anger and confusion in his camp, PBA reports authoritatively.

For Tinubu’s campaign, there seems to be distrust between the candidate and the APC governors on  one hand and the NWC members, including the APC chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, on the order. It was gathered that the NWC has already convened an emergency meeting for Wednesday morning to discuss their grievances and those of the APC governors with candidate Tinubu, who, according to them, acted without consulting  the party while adding  some names and omitting others in the Campaign Council List.

Tinubu’s campaign council list as released recently has over 400 members across the country, with some controversial errors, including addition of a serving Senator and member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chimaroke Nnamani, among other repetitions which were later explained.

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Two top members of the National Working Committee of the ruling APC who confided in Prime Business Africa (PBA) were full of anger. ‘’There is a big, big problem in our party,’’ one of them managed to say on Monday night, but declined further comments when pressed to disclose what the matter truly was.

Another senior official, however,  gave a clearer hint when he said both the NWC and the governors were all irked by the fact that candidate ‘’Tinubu did not consult the party, the chairman or PGF, before the list was released.’’

Asked further to explain why the NWC members would throw caution to the winds hours to the presidential election to voice their disagreement with the campaign arrangement, he disclosed the ‘‘the NWC members will meet on Wednesday to discuss this.’’

PBA was to confirm much later that, indeed, a circular had been quietly circulated to all NWC members for the said Wednesday meeting. The invitation reads: ‘‘NOTICE OF NWC MEETING: There will be an NWC Meeting as follows; DATE: Wed. 28th Sept.2022. TIME: 12 Noon. VENUE: NWC Hall.’’

Failure to include some APC top shots in the  Tinubu’s Presidential Campaign Council such as Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had caused some ripples within the party fold during the weekend prompting Festus Keyamo, the Presidential Campaign Council Spokesperson to issue a statement explaining that “President Buhari who is the chairman of the council had 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.”

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It was gathered that members of the APC NWC were not consulted when the Tinubu’s Presidential Campaign Council was formed and therefore, even though the candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC governors had two months ago agreed on its leadership as exclusively reported by Prime Business Africa at the time.

READ ALSO: Buhari Chairs APC 2023 Campaign Council, As Party Finalises Structure – Exclusive

“No, no, our candidate, Tinubu got it very very wrong,’’ a top member of the NWC told PBA. ‘‘The norm, even the extant rule, is  that once a candidate emerges, campaign issue becomes a party matter not the candidate’s as an individual anymore,” the top party official said.

This, the source added means that the presidential candidate and running mate were not supposed to take unilateral decision on constitution of the campaign team.

The source also said that the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) were the most offended as they were kept in the dark regarding some of the controversial appointments  made by the candidate for the campaign council.

Meanwhile, sources explained that the APC NWC would be able to resolve the matter at the scheduled meeting on Wednesday (today) in Abuja, even as Tinubu is believed to have jetted out of the country.

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His aides insist that the trip was scheduled but had to be postponed as issued came up. The NWC  member, however said he was not aware of the candidate’s trip, especially as campaigns would begin on Wednesday.

A source close to the Tinubu camp, however, wondered why APC NWC and APC governors would be raising such a critical matter hours before kick-off of campaigns saying it would be detrimental to the interest of the party as far as the 2023 elections are concerned.

Recall that Tinubu recently had to visit the APC headquarters in what he said was a home visit following insinuations that there was no love lost between him and the national chairman of the party on one hand and the NWC on the other.

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Uduegbunam Chukwujama
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