Osinbajo, Dogara absent, Amaechi on Tinubu’s campaign list
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After weeks of angst and serial postponements, the Presidential Campaign Council list of Congressional Flag Bearer of All Ruling Progressives, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has been released along with several notable names of missing party leaders.
The 422-man list contains names of political heavyweights, including APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors as well as public office holders and former public office holders.
In the latest list released by Presidential Campaign Council Secretary, James Faleke, in Abuja on Friday evening, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong retained his position as Chief Executive as did the Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) , Adams Oshiomhole, and Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga.
However, there is a shocking omission from party stalwarts, many of whom have been at loggerheads or engaged in a cold war with Tinubu over his preference for the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket.
They include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara; former Federation Government Secretary Babachir Lawal; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and one of Tinubu’s sweat-mongers, Adebayo Shittu, who leads one of his biggest support groups – the Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good governance.
While Osinbajo’s camp had distanced itself from the former governor of Lagos following his emergence as the winner of the APC presidential ticket, the duo of Dogara and Lawal had remained an eternal thorn in Tinubu’s flesh for having selected the former Governor of Borno, Senator Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim, as his running mate.
Dogara predicted on Tuesday that passing a Muslim-Muslim ticket was a fruitless political effort and “doomed to spectacular failure”.
The former speaker made the statement during his keynote address at a summit titled “Meet The Church”, organized by the Nigeria National Christian Coalition.
Lawal, on the other hand, swore that the introduction of a same-faith ticket by the APC was a deliberate plan to create more divisions in the north.
The disgruntled former SGF, who spoke in an interview on Arise Television, said he was working with around 40 Christian leaders in the north to ensure the controversial APC ticket goes through.
Although he vigorously defended his principal on all fronts, including live political television programs, Shittu’s sin remained largely unknown.
However, The PUNCH understands that loyalists of the national leader of the APC have always viewed the former communications minister as an outsider because he “worked his way into the party” through Congress for a Progressive Change, one of the few political platforms that merged to form the current All Progressives Congress.
Shittu told our correspondent in a recent interview, “Why I think people often consider me an outsider is probably because I’ve never been a member of the Alliance for Democracy, Congress of Action or the Action Congress of Nigeria. Moreover, it has not been recorded that I quarrel with Tinubu, even though the jealous critics of my current achievements in the struggle to ensure success for him, out of pettiness and rivalry, have tried to paint me black and blackmail me with the same slogan of ‘I am one of Tinubu’s enemies.’
“But I am happy and proud to say that Tinubu, as an experienced politician who knows his onions, has always maintained that Shittu is not an enemy. The fact that we have never worked together in the past does not mean to be an enemy. In any case, he is also someone who appreciates what I have done.
The inclusion of former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who were charged with alleged anti-party activities in the past month came as a surprise.
While Amaechi had subtly accused Tinubu of financially inducing delegates to vote at the last convention, Aregbesola is said to have worked for the victory of the elected governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, at the expense of the incumbent and colleague of the party, Adegboyega. Oyetola.
Faleke’s statement on Friday read: “We are pleased to announce the candidates for the leadership of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, as attached. All applicants are requested to collect their nomination letters from the undersigned by Monday, September 26, 2022 at noon.
“The venue is Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council at Plot 781, Herbert Macaulay Way, Central Area Abuja. All other members will be contacted by the leaders of their respective directorates.