• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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2023: APC organs agree to work for Tinubu/Shettima victory

Tinubu, Shettima against live broadcast of tribunal proceedings

An expanded tripartite meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), comprising the National Working Committee (NWC), governors and the Presidential Campaign Council of the party on Wednesday resolved to work for the victory of the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima at the 2023 general election.

This resolution was reached at a meeting of the party organs in Abuja where the campaign council list was harmonised, the presidential candidate’s manifesto was reviewed and approved and the nationwide presidential campaign programme prepared by the PCC was discussed and approved.

The meeting was attended by the presidential candidate, Tinubu, his running mate, Shettima, members of the APC NWC members, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, 13 governors and a deputy governor as well as some members of the campaign council.

The meeting which lasted for over three hours was a follow-up to last week’s meeting of the NWC, governors and some members of the campaign council.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, the spokesperson for the campaign council and Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo said, the meeting resolved to work together for the good of the party and its candidates in the 2023 general elections.

Keyamo said: “What you have seen here is the meeting of different layers of the party. It was the meeting of the major stakeholders of the party. The Progressive Governors, the NWC, and the PCC with the presidential candidates. We are a very united party with all the organs of the party working in unison towards one purpose.

“All we did today during the meeting was review the draft of our manifesto. Our candidate is not the type that operates on his own. He carries everybody along. He presented the draft of the manifesto to all the stakeholders that looked at it. And guess what, almost all the stakeholders gave that draft more than 90 per cent pass mark.”

When asked for the highlight of the manifesto, Keyamo said a committee would soon come up with major highlights for easy communication and digestion by the electorate.

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“We can’t give you the content because we are not going to take it away from our candidate. He is going to present himself before Nigerians on a particular date and occasion. We have set up a small committee charged with the responsibility of reducing the manifesto documents to major highlights in message form we will sell to even the market women, and street traders in the most simple language. We don’t want to present to Nigerians a very complicated document that they cannot understand in simple terms,” he stated.

On the date for the kick-off of the party’s campaign, Keyamo explained that the activities of President Muhammadu Buhari who is both the party national leader and campaign council chairman will determine the date, adding that the campaign train would soon start.

He said: “You know that the structure of our campaign involves a Presidential diary. I have said that our campaign is not going to be like those that they can kick and start like small vehicles. It is manoeuvring a 50-ton tanker on a highway and once we hit the highway, it will be motion and movement.

“Since Mr President is the chairman of the Campaign Council, we are going to consider his diary in picking and choosing the date. However, we have all virtually agreed to hit the street very soon. We have also agreed on the region we are going to kick-start but I won’t say that now. We have also agreed on all the basic issues. We just want to carry along the leader of the party, Mr President and hit the street.”

Reacting to the opposition of the NWC to the initial 422 PCC membership list earlier released by the council, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka said the party’s highest administrative organ is in sync with all the other organs over campaign council composition.

He said all interest groups have been accommodated in the campaign list, adding that there was no further disagreement.

Morka said: “A party is a unit comprised of so many parts. Yes, we are in sync with all of the segments of the party, the NWC. As you can see, the governors were here, the PCC, and we’re on the same page. And just as the spokesperson has said, we are about to launch. So any moment from now you will be hearing the fullness of our program. You know, going forward.”

On the absence of the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu at the meeting, the party spokesman said: “The National chairman was not missing, he was adequately represented by the Deputy National Chairman, North and the Deputy National chairman, South and he was in touch with every stakeholder who was here. He did inform them of his inability to be here, but he was effectively represented.”

Also speaking, Femi Fani-Kayode, director, of new media, dismissed the allegation by the opposition that the ruling APC was trying to force the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deactivate and stop the use of Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BWAS) at the 2023 general election.

“That allegation is absolute nonsense. It’s what you call poppycock. And these are the words of a drowning party spoken by a drowning man with a drowning candidate. There is nothing like that. We are above board, we are serious about what we are trying to do, we are going to achieve our objective, and we are going to win this election fair and square.

“They are the ones that have lost five governors. They’re the ones that can’t get their party leaders to come to their rallies at their presidential campaign inauguration. We don’t have that challenge. We’re working slowly but surely. As one together, everybody’s coming. And I’m very proud to be part of this.