Buhari will determine our campaign flag-off — APC
After weeks of dilly-dallying about the formal kick-off of its presidential campaign, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has now said President Muhammadu Buhari will determine the commencement of the exercise.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) who doubles as the official spokesman of the campaign council, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, shortly after a meeting of the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee, NWC, governors of the party and the PCC itself.
The meeting, which was held at Transcorp Hotel, Abuja, started a few minutes after 11a.m and ended at 2:15 pm.
It had in attendance Tinubu, campaign Director-General and governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and APC running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Governors at the meeting were Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abubakar Bello (Niger), AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Umara Zulum (Borno), David Umahi (Ebonyi) and Mai Mala Buni (Yobe).
According to Keyamo, all parties at the meeting agreed on the composition of the PCC, the manifesto and other programmes.
Keyamo said APC is not competing with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the timeline for campaigns, saying the party will allow the “little boys’’ to continue, while the ‘’big boys’’ will be coming behind.
He 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 candidate.
“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 to 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.
“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, street trader in the most simple language.
“We don’t want to present to Nigerians a very complicated document that they cannot understand in simple terms.”
On the specific date for resumption of campaigns, Keyamo said the president’s itinerary will determine that.
“You know that the structure of our campaign involves 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 maneuvering a 50-ton tanker in 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 take his diary into consideration in picking and choosing the date.
“However, we have all virtually agreed to hit the streets 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 streets.
““We have accommodated all the interest groups in the campaign list. There was virtually no disagreement in the meeting today,” Keyamo added.